Your Guide to Affordable Colleges

As of 2016, 41.8 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt totalling over $1.2 trillion dollars. That’s an average of approximately $28,700 per individual. You don’t have to join the millions of people taking on loans in an effort to further their education. By finding the best value school for your degree and taking advantage of the free money available to you, you can further your education without making loan payments for the next 20 years.

Graduating debt free is possible. We will show you how.

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How Can You Do It?

Avoiding college debt is not easy. The American higher education system has seen tuition climb steeply, with seemingly no end in sight. Accounting for inflation, the average yearly cost of attending school has more than doubled since 1963, up to over $20,000 per year. We offer a number of informative pages to help you find the best path to your education.

Affordability Center

Affordability Center

From scholarships, to financial aid, to loans, we have everything you need to explain the ins and outs of making the most for your money. Earn your degree with the smallest debt burden possible. Find scholarship resources as well as tips on getting and saving money on tuition.
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College Rankings

College Rankings

Your choice of school not only determines how much you pay in tuition, but also your employment and salary prospects upon graduating. We have developed an intensive methodology using government data that informs our rankings of the most affordable schools in the country.
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Degree Breakdowns

Degree Breakdowns

Depending on the career you want to pursue, your recommended degree and education path may differ from the standard of earning a bachelor’s degree. Our degree pages will help you figure out your best options for reaching your career and higher education goals.
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Finding AffordableColleges.com's Value Score

Affordability doesn’t just mean low tuition; it means getting the most rounded experience for your money. Our rankings methodology is designed to ensure that the schools we list provide success, support, and an excellent ROI, as well as low tuition. See our methodology page for more information.

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How to Get Started

The first step towards your degree is often the hardest. You not only face the question of how you are going to pay for your education, but also which degree level, subject, and school to choose. Every person is different, but we recommend using the following path to make the most of our site:


Review Subject Pages

Our subject pages introduce you to some of the many fields available in higher education. They provide an idea of possible career paths, income potential, and the types of courses you will take. Browse around and get an idea of a few fields that might interest you, including accounting, teaching, and nursing.


Find Your Degree Level

After narrowing down the subjects you want to pursue, take a look at our degree pages to see what level of education is right for you. We break down each level of degree — associate, bachelor’s, and master’s — to give you an accurate assessment of costs vs. return. Once you have figured out which degree level you want to pursue, head on back to the subject pages to compare the subjects you have chosen at that specific level.


Select a Ranked College

By now, you should have narrowed your search down to the top two or three subjects you want to pursue and the degree level that best fits you. You’re now ready to take a look at our rankings to figure out which schools you will apply to. We have done the hard work for you here, ranking the schools that give the best education at the lowest cost using government data. To find the best school for you, you just need to consider location, program, and admissions requirements.


Plan Your Financial Future

If you’ve followed every step up until now, you should be prepared to apply for an affordable education at a fantastic school. The final step is to refer to our financial aid and scholarship guides to plan out paying for your education. Our guides highlight the numerous opportunities to fund your education through scholarships and grants, money that does not have to be repaid. Once you have maxed out those opportunities, our financial aid guides will show you how to minimize your debt burden and get an affordable education.