10 Great Colleges and Universities for Under $25,000

Looking for a bargain?  Hoping to graduate from college with a minimum of debt and still wind up with a first rate education?  Here are 10 great schools, public and private, where you can get an outstanding education and still pay less than $25,000 in tuition per year.

1. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, Maryland

St. Mary’s is a honors college, which means that every student in the school is an honors student.  Since it’s a state school, tuition is affordable.  Yet with only 1,850 students and super low 13:1 faculty student ratio, the experience is more like a liberal arts college than a public university.

2. Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia

If there was a list of “most improved” schools, this small public university in southeastern Virginia would be high on the list.  Once known as everybody’s safety school, CNU recently has undergone a $400 million facelift. SAT scores are up 200 points, enrollment is up 400 percent, and the facilities are among the nicest in the nation.

3. Rice University, Houston, Texas

All right, this is cheating a little bit, a year of tuition at Rice will run you $25,606 a year.  But since The Princeton Review calls Rice the #1 Best Value Private College in the United States, it’s worth mentioning.  With about 3,000 students, this liberal arts university has an incredible faculty student ratio of only 5:1!

4. New College of Florida, Sarasota, Florida

If you’re in state, tuition at this Florida honors college will only run you about $4,000 a year (and about $23,000 out of state). The Princeton Review calls this innovative place the #1 Best Value Public School in the United States.  It’s pretty darn competitive too–the average GPA of incoming freshmen is over a 3.9.

5. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

SFSU is the quintessential urban school experience–excitement, diversity, great teaching, and students who are politically and academically engaged.  And the best part–it’s in San Francisco!  In state tuition is only about $2,500 a year, and out of state tuition is only about $12,500.

6. University of Minnesota-Morris, Morris, Minnesota

Located in Morris, MN, this public liberal arts school has an enrollment of about 1,600 students and is an absolute bargain, compared to the many pricey private liberal arts schools in Minnesota.  Tuition for both in and out of state students is under $9,000.

7. University of Denver, Denver, Colorado

DU may be one of Colorado’s best kept secrets. Located south of downtown Denver, this competitive private university is home to about 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students–and tuition runs about $21,000 a year.

8. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Yeah, it’s located in a not-so-great area of Detroit, but this school of 20,000 students has a reputation for being one of the best state universities in the United States.

9. Marymount Manhattan College, New York, New York

A bargain college on the Upper East Side of Manhattan?  Absolutely!  With an 11:1 faculty student ratio and an outstanding communication program, this school of 2,000 undergrads and a $21,000 a year price tag is more exciting than a sale at Manolo Blahnik.

10. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, California

This incredibly unique Catholic school has no textbooks, lectures, or majors–and no big price tag either.

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