USMMA

100 Most Affordable Colleges & Universities
Top Consensus Ranked Schools 2018

August 27, 2018 Most Affordable Colleges Universities

In the age of rapidly rising tuition – college costs have risen far faster than the rate of inflation in the 21st century, and even faster than financial aid – affordability is no joke. With our Consensus Ranking of the 100 Most Affordable Colleges & Universities, College Consensus is lighting up the way to a college education students can actually afford. With student debt representing the second-largest consumer debt class (after mortgages), earning a college degree without setting yourself up for a life of loan repayment – which never goes away, not even in bankruptcy – has turned into the Holy Grail: much sought, found by only a lucky few.

To create our ranking of the 100 Most Affordable Colleges & Universities we started with schools that qualified for a College Consensus score and then ordered them from lowest to highest according to the most recent out-of-state tuition & fee information published by the National Center for Education Statistics. College Consensus is happy to show prospective students and their families where to find a school that not only won’t break the bank, but will also provide a quality, respected degree to take into the marketplace.

1

United States Merchant Marine Academy

69.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
71.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$1,167

2

Brigham Young University-Idaho

64.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$3,920

3

Brigham Young University-Hawaii

62.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
55.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$5,240

4

Brigham Young University-Provo

71.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
61
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
82.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$5,300

5

Alcorn State University

59.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$6,546

6

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

57.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
39.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$6,958

7

Youngstown State University

50.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
35
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$8,557

8

Dickinson State University

58.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$8,918

9

West Texas A & M University

56.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
41
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$8,945

10

Midwestern State University

55.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
40
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$10,570

11

Northern State University

61.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
47
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$10,800

12

Lake Superior State University

54.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
45
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,019

13

University of Maine at Fort Kent

56.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
36
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,205

14

South Dakota State University

53.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
37.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,403

15

Alice Lloyd College

64.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
62
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,550

16

University of South Dakota

54.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
38.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,688

17

University of Minnesota-Crookston

62.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,700

18

William Carey University

64.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
55.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,700

19

Dakota State University

60.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
44.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$11,843

20

University of Nebraska at Kearney

63.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,268

21

Southeast Missouri State University

60.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,375

22

Northwest Missouri State University

62.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,513

23

Morehead State University

60.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,744

24

University of North Georgia

57.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
45
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,752

25

Bluefield State College

54.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
40.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,876

26

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

57.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
45
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$12,988

27

Southwestern Christian University

61
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,080

28

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

62.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,716

29

Eastern Illinois University

62.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,740

30

CUNY City College

59.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
54
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
65
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,799

31

Cleveland State University

49.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
35
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,819

32

CUNY Hunter College

58.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,892

33

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

62.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,920

34

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

56.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
41.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,920

35

CUNY Lehman College

52.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
40.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,922

36

Truman State University

67.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
61.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,940

37

CUNY Brooklyn College

59.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$13,948

38

CUNY Queens College

57.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,048

39

Missouri State University-Springfield

56.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
41.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,110

40

Arkansas State University-Main Campus

62.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
50.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,260

41

West Liberty University

58.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,394

42

University of Central Arkansas

59.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,447

43

University of North Alabama

61.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,450

44

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

61.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,635

45

Jacksonville State University

61.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
46
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,700

46

Weber State University

50.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
32
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,749

47

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

55.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,764

48

Winona State University

61.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,772

49

University of South Alabama

52.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
39
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,796

50

University of Minnesota-Morris

61.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$14,846

51

Central Baptist College

58.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
44.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,000

52

Henderson State University

58.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,180

53

Minnesota State University Moorhead

58.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
45.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,250

54

Northern Michigan University

61.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,262

55

Worcester State University

59.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,282

56

Westfield State University

59.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,355

57

Framingham State University

56.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
50.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,420

58

Troy University

53
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
36.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,484

59

Minnesota State University-Mankato

50.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
36
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
65.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,602

60

Albany State University

54
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,738

61

Bridgewater State University

57
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,743

62

Lee University

61.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,770

63

Saint Cloud State University

53.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
39.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,828

64

Winston-Salem State University

54.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,915

65

Louisiana College

54.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$15,978

66

Valley City State University

61
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,016

67

Delaware State University

55.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
47.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,138

68

Claflin University

56
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
39
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,158

69

University of Wyoming

60.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
46.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,215

70

Fitchburg State University

57.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
46.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,215

71

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

62.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
52.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,223

72

Marshall University

61
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,382

73

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

62.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,385

74

Grand Valley State University

59.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,392

75

University of Central Oklahoma

49.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
29
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,460

76

University of Southern Mississippi

57.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,529

77

Glenville State College

59.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
41
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,560

78

Columbus State University

54.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,605

79

Wichita State University

53.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
40.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,634

80

Mississippi University for Women

65.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
78.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,634

81

Mississippi College

58.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,740

82

Oakwood University

60.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,750

83

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

58.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,760

84

Georgia Southern University

56.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
40
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,847

85

Western Illinois University

55.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,926

86

Texas A & M International University

59.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
43
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$16,946

87

Converse College

60.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,000

88

Texas Woman’s University

54.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
39
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,030

89

Wright State University-Main Campus

50.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
36.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,098

90

Western Carolina University

66.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
57
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,130

91

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

60.1
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
44.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.7
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,230

92

Florida Atlantic University

55.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,276

93

University of South Florida-Main Campus

59.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
47.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,324

94

University of Mary

55.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
48
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
63.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,445

95

California State University-Fresno

55.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,473

96

University of Minnesota-Duluth

58.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
47.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,485

97

Flagler College-St Augustine

68.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
71
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
66.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,500

98

Morgan State University

50.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
35.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
65
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,504

99

Stephen F Austin State University

57.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
42
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,508

100

California State University-Los Angeles

55
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
44.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
65.2
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed August, 2018
Published Out-of-state Tuition and Fees 2016-17
$17,543

What Makes the Most Affordable Colleges and Universities?

So how does College Consensus determine what makes the most affordable colleges and universities? It’s pretty easy to say what makes a college affordable: low tuition, obviously. But as for what makes an affordable college really worthwhile – that takes a little more explanation. After all, it’s no secret that college is more expensive than ever. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average tuition rate for public universities in 2015-2016 academic year was more than $19,000; by contrast, 30 years earlier, the same education would have cost $3800. But everything was cheaper in 1985 – except that, adjusted for inflation, 1985 tuition was less than $8500 in 2015 dollars. That means tuition is going up insanely fast – way faster than inflation.

That raises the question: is a college degree still worth it? The short answer is, yes, almost without a doubt. Why? Because, on average, people still make a lot more money with a college degree than without – more than 60% higher, according to NCES data. Male and female, young and old, every race, the stats hold true: a college degree holder makes more money than a worker without a college degree. However, that average can be a bit misleading. For one, a Georgetown University study shows that the major you choose – and, therefore, the career you go into – makes a huge difference. Engineering and science majors make far more than the average, while social work and education majors make far lower; business majors fall right along the median. Some jobs just make more money than others.

Meanwhile, the average 2016 graduate is more than $37,000 in student debt, and considering that many people have no student debt, thanks to loans, grants, or helpful parents, that means plenty of graduates are entering with workforce with far more debt than that. So, when you’re thinking about an affordable college degree, the most affordable colleges and universities aren’t just the ones with the lowest tuition – they’re the ones with the most value.(And almost as good as a tuition-free college). So plan carefully; think very seriously about how you are preparing for college, because financial smarts are just as important as book smarts. Reasonable costs, market-ready skills, in-demand professions: these are the things that make the most affordable colleges in the US a smart investment for tomorrow’s professionals and leaders.

How Do We Rank the Most Affordable Colleges & Universities?

College Consensus is the most unique college ranking site you’re likely to see. The Consensus method combines two different sets of data: first, we gather results from the most reputable rankings, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. Then, we pull together the most legitimate, verified student reviews from sites like Students Review, My Plan, and Cappex. Combining the Publisher Rating and the Student Review Rating, we calculate the Consensus Rating, which provides a solid average that we use to rank colleges and universities across a wide range of specializations, regions, and other categories.

For the Consensus ranking of the Most Affordable Colleges & Universities, College Consensus took a long, detailed look at the colleges and universities with the lowest tuition rates. That makes for a highly diverse assortment of colleges, including large regional public universities, small liberal arts colleges, evangelical and Catholic colleges, military academies, historically black colleges and universities, and even some of the fastest-growing up-and-coming universities in the US. The most affordable colleges and universities recognize that college students are real people with real needs, real dreams, and real futures, and they work to make sure students can live up to their potential without being dragged down by debt. They’re the heroes in the higher education landscape, and with the College Consensus ranking, they get to stand on their own merits, recognized not only for excellence and reputation, but for being the most affordable colleges in the US.

What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?

Most college rankings don’t take the long view – they look at their own particular criteria and make their rankings from a narrow set of qualifications. That’s precisely where College Consensus is different. Instead of working from its own subjective standards, College Consensus aggregates rankings and reviews to take in all of the perspectives. College Consensus brings together the expert assessment and the lived experience, all treated on an equal plane so that no voice gets the priority. With the Consensus method, every college and university gets its due place in the higher education landscape. Read more about our ranking methodology and sources on our about page.