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100 Most Affordable Colleges & Universities
Top Consensus Ranked Schools 2019

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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. If you’re interested in an affordable online degree, be sure to check out our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges.

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.

Recommended Online Schools

1

Brigham Young University-Hawaii
Laie, HI

BYUH
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$5,720

2

Brigham Young University-Provo
Provo, UT

provo byu
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.1
College Consensus
70
Publisher Consensus
82.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$5,790

4

Delta State University
Cleveland, MS

delta state university
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$7,671

5

Alcorn State University
Alcorn State, MS

Alcorn State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$7,290

6

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
Alfred, NY

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,477

7

Southwest Minnesota State University
Marshall, MN

southwest minnesota state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$8,874

8

Bemidji State University
Bemidji, MN

bemidji state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$8,940

9

Youngstown State University
Youngstown, OH

Youngstown State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$9,639

10

Nicholls State University
Thibodaux, LA

nicholls state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$8,991

11

West Texas A & M University
Canyon, TX

West Texas AM University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$9,541

12

Dickinson State University
Dickinson, ND

dickinson state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$11,044

13

Henderson State University
Arkadelphia, AR

Henderson State
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$10,612

14

University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS

university southern miss
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$10,896

15

Midwestern State University
Wichita Falls, TX

Midwestern State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$11,551

16

Northern State University
Aberdeen, SD

northern state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$11,821

17

Lake Superior State University
Sault Ste Marie, MI

Lake Superior State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,255

18

Alice Lloyd College
Pippa Passes, KY

Alice Lloyd
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,230

19

Black Hills State University
Spearfish, SD

nicole honeywill dGxOgeXAXm8 unsplash
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,155

20

South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD

sdsu
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,589

21

University of Minnesota-Crookston
Crookston, MN

University of Minnesota Crookston
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,116

22

Wayne State College
Wayne, NE

Wayne State
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,662

23

University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD

USouthDakota
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,807

24

University of Maine at Fort Kent
Fort Kent, ME

fort kent mine 1
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,585

25

Dakota State University
Madison, SD

DSU
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,606

26

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus
Magnolia, AR

southern arkansas university
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,580

27

William Carey University
Hattiesburg, MS

William Carey University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,750

28

Arkansas Tech University
Russellville, AR

arkansas tech university
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,236

30

University of North Georgia
Dahlonega, GA

UNGjpg
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,776

31

Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL

Western Illinois University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,256

32

Northwest Missouri State University
Maryville, MO

Northwest Missouri State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$14,020

33

Bluefield State College
Bluefield, WV

bluefield state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$14,352

34

University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE

UNK
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,854

35

University of New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

University of New Orleans
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,608

36

Morehead State University
Morehead, KY

Morehead State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,876

37

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Pine Bluff, AR

pine bluf UA
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$14,908

38

Cleveland State University
Cleveland, OH

Cleveland State University 1
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,370

39

Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL

Eastern Illinois University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.8
College Consensus
73.7
Publisher Consensus
71.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$14,269

40

Southwestern Christian University
Bethany, OK

SWCU
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,330

41

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Kutztown, PA

Kutztown University Pennsylvania
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,166

42

Northeastern State University
Tahlequah, OK

bookcase books bookshelves 1850021
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,315

43

University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO

university central missouri
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$14,715

45

CUNY City College
New York, NY

city college CUNY
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
53.6
College Consensus
42.5
Publisher Consensus
64.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,290

46

CUNY York College
Jamaica, NY

nathan dumlao ewGMqs2tmJI unsplash
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,308

47

CUNY Hunter College
New York, NY

Hunter College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.3
College Consensus
60.8
Publisher Consensus
63.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,332

48

CUNY Lehman College
Bronx, NY

CUNY Lehman College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.1
College Consensus
62.6
Publisher Consensus
65.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,360

49

CUNY Brooklyn College
Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.5
College Consensus
64.8
Publisher Consensus
66.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,390

50

Truman State University
Kirksville, MO

truman
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.4
College Consensus
68.9
Publisher Consensus
71.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,314

51

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
New York, NY

Baruch College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68
College Consensus
70.7
Publisher Consensus
65.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,412

52

CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
New York, NY

CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.9
College Consensus
73.1
Publisher Consensus
72.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,420

53

CUNY Queens College
Queens, NY

CUNY Queens College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.2
College Consensus
62.5
Publisher Consensus
63.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,488

54

Fairmont State University
Fairmont, WV

backpacks college college students 1454360
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,814

55

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Edinboro, PA

edinboro
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$15,002

56

Westfield State University
Westfield, MA

Westfield State University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.6
College Consensus
52.4
Publisher Consensus
66.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,929

57

Framingham State University
Framingham, MA

framingham state university
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,180

58

Troy University
Troy, AL

Troy University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,708

59

Minnesota State University-Mankato
Mankato, MN

Minnesota State University Mankato
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,730

60

Albany State University
Albany, GA

Albany State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,656

61

Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,872

62

Lee University
Cleveland, TN

Lee University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,770

63

Saint Cloud State University
Saint Cloud, MN

Saint Cloud State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,948

64

Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC

Winston Salem State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,188

65

Louisiana College
Pineville, LA

Louisiana College
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,500

66

Valley City State University
Valley City, ND

valley city
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$12,120

67

Delaware State University
Dover, DE

delaware state
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,294

68

Claflin University
Orangeburg, SC

claflin campus
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,192

69

University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY

Wyoming
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
53
College Consensus
32.4
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: July, 2019
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,151

70

Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
50.6
College Consensus
32.3
Publisher Consensus
68.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: August, 2018
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,690

71

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Whitewater, WI

University of Wisconsin Whitewater
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$16,416

72

Marshall University
Huntington, WV

Marshall University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$19,266

73

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Eau Claire, WI

University Wisconsin Eau Claire
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.2
College Consensus
55.2
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: August, 2018
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,115

74

Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI

GVSU
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,296

75

University of Central Oklahoma
Edmond, OK

central ok
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,640

76

University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS

university southern miss
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$10,896

77

Glenville State College
Glenville, WV

Glenville State
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$8,818

78

Columbus State University
Columbus, GA

Columbus State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,295

79

Wichita State University
Wichita, KS

Wichita State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,480

80

Mississippi University for Women
Columbus, MS

Mississippi University Women
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$7,525

81

Mississippi College
Clinton, MS

Mississippi College
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,800

82

Oakwood University
Huntsville, AL

Oakwood University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$19,990

84

Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA

Georgia Southern Dining Commons Lakeside 1 1
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,518

85

Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL

Western Illinois University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$13,256

86

Texas A & M International University
Laredo, TX

Texas A M International University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,666

87

Converse College
Spartanburg, SC

Converse College
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$19,890

88

Texas Woman's University
Denton, TX

Texas Womans University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,055

89

Wright State University-Main Campus
Dayton, OH

Wright State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,996

90

Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC

WCU
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$8,277

92

Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, FL

Florida Atlantic University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,324

93

University of South Florida-Main Campus
Tampa, FL

University South Florida Main
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.6
College Consensus
50.4
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: August, 2018
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$17,324

94

University of Mary
Bismarck, ND

university mary
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$19,074

95

California State University-Fresno
Fresno, CA

Fresno State
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.9
College Consensus
67.8
Publisher Consensus
70
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: August, 2018
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,469

96

University of Minnesota-Duluth
Duluth, MN

University of Minnesota Duluth
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.8
College Consensus
53.2
Publisher Consensus
70.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: August, 2018
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,880

97

Flagler College-St Augustine
Saint Augustine, FL

Flagler College
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$19,500

98

Morgan State University
Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,480

99

Stephen F Austin State University
Nacogdoches, TX

Stephen F Austin State University
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,972

100

California State University-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Calstate LosAngeles
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69
College Consensus
72.5
Publisher Consensus
65.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: August, 2018
Out-of-State Tuition & Fees
$18,648

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.

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