50 Most Affordable In-State Public Universities

Attending a college or university across the country is a tempting option for many students, but ultimately, an expensive one. While being close to home is a perk, the greatest advantage of attending an in-state school is affordability. Students who are state residents typically qualify for in-state tuition, which ends up being significantly lower than tuition and fees at an out-of-state school. In fact, College Board reports that the average in-state tuition for U.S. four-year public colleges was $9,410 for the 2015-2016 school year. In contrast, the average cost of out-of-state tuition during the same year was $23,890.

Public universities are funded by taxes from state residents, so out-of-state students are usually required to pay considerably higher tuition rates than their in-state counterparts. Resident students may also qualify for state-funded grants and scholarships, making in-state tuition even cheaper. These types of financial aid are often offered based on high school academic performance and/or standardized testing scores.

The requirements for receiving in-state tuition vary from state to state. Generally, though, students are qualified to receive in-state tuition rate if at least one of their parents has been a resident of the state for at least a year (if that parent is the student’s source of financial support). For financially independent students, the requirements are similar; the student (or his or her spouse) generally must be a state resident for at least a year before the start of classes.

Below, we’ve ranked the most affordable public universities and colleges for in-state students. The ranking weighs criteria such as in-state tuition, the number of students receiving financial aid, graduation rate, and overall net cost to determine which schools across the U.S. offer the most valuable education to students with residency status.


50 Most Affordable In-State Public Universities
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

University of Florida

Value Score 8.43
Average Tuition $4,477
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Net Price $7,024
Graduation Rate 87%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 47.54%
Enrollment Rate 49.58%
Retention Rate 49.58%
Number of Online Programs 5

Founded as a public land, sea, and space-grant institution in 1853, the University of Florida boasts a long and distinguished history as an educational pioneer. Today’s students benefit from 200+ education centers, service bureaus, and research institutes spread throughout the sprawling and leafy campus. It’s not just scenery and space that makes a difference though: 96% of freshmen students elect to continue their educations at UF into their second year. As one of the premier affordable in-state colleges in Florida, it's also one of the more affordable-- more than half of all UF graduates leave school without any student debt.

Notable faculty include recipients of the Fields Medal, NASA’s top research award, and multiple Pulitzer Prize winners. Approximately 30 faculty members are part of the Institute of Medicine or the National Academies of Science and Engineering. With more than 100 undergraduate programs on offer, the University of Florida offers something for everyone. Notable majors include animal sciences, botany, French and Francophone studies, and nuclear and radiological sciences.


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2

New College of Florida

Value Score 8.01
Average Tuition $5,227
Students Receiving Financial Aid 81%
Net Price $5,527
Graduation Rate 71%
Student to Faculty Ratio 10:1
Admissions Rate 60.97%
Enrollment Rate 25.87%
Retention Rate 25.87%

A public liberal arts college based in Sarasota, New College of Florida is currently home to just under 1,000 undergraduates and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-one. Ninety-nine percent of its faculty hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their field, and 80 percent of the student body pay in-state tuition. Tuition costs for Florida residents add up to just $6,916 per academic year, compared with the nearly $30,000 paid by their out-of-state counterparts.

Degrees at New College are divided into three separate areas: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The school makes a range of interdisciplinary programs available. Standout degrees students can expect to find at this public in-state college include marine biology, medieval and renaissance studies, political science, and urban studies. NCF is also home to an innovative writing program that encourages current or budding authors to hone their skills, take advantage of significant resources, and even use the school's Student Writing Assistants to act as audiences for their work.


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3

University of South Florida-Main Campus

Value Score 7.14
Average Tuition $4,559
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $7,544
Graduation Rate 68%
Student to Faculty Ratio 24:1
Admissions Rate 44.64%
Enrollment Rate 30.69%
Retention Rate 30.69%
Number of Online Programs 2

The University of South Florida was founded in 1956 as a metro research institution in Tampa Bay, and the school continues to live up to its mission in the 21st century. Serving nearly 50,000 students at its three locations, the Tampa Bay campus is known for high achieving undergraduates who matriculate with average GPA scores of 4.08, SAT scores of 1223, and ACT scores of 28. Academic offerings at this public in-state college are diverse, with 13 colleges providing an array of degrees in areas of world languages and cultures, environmental microbiology, finance, and public health, to name but a few. The school makes a separate honors college available to high achieving students who seek a consistent challenge throughout their college career. In-state students pay the relatively cheap tuition rate of $6,410 as full-time studies, with housing, meals, books, supplies, and other expenses bringing the annual rate to $22,518.


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4

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Value Score 7.09
Average Tuition $6,120
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $7,353
Graduation Rate 68%
Student to Faculty Ratio 6:1
Admissions Rate 34.39%
Enrollment Rate 65.25%
Retention Rate 65.25%

A public college focused on studies in dance, design, production, drama, filmmaking, and music, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a particularly unique entry on this list. Founded as a coeducational conservatory in 1963, the institution was the first of its kind in the United States. The four words used most commonly by students and alumni to describe their experience at UNCSA are challenging, inspiring, intense, and transformative. Notable alumni of the school include Tony Award winners, Emmy Award winners, Broadway stars, and countless other notable actors, writers, filmmakers, directors, and musicians.

In addition to career-specific coursework, students move through a series of liberal arts courses to provide a well-rounded education tailored to prepare them for different walks of life. As of 2017, in-state tuition is incredibly cheap for an institution of this caliber -- $6,497 per academic year.


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5

University of Georgia

Value Score 7.05
Average Tuition $9,364
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Net Price $7,792
Graduation Rate 84%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 52.88%
Enrollment Rate 45.45%
Retention Rate 45.45%

As the first state-chartered university in the United States, the University of Georgia has accomplished a lot in its 232 years of existence. During that time, the school has grown into a sprawling campus made up of 17 schools and colleges, each promoting the school's deep-seeded focus on education and research. Located about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, among the hills of Athens, UGA’s campus of 465 buildings spreads across 760 acres and is the central campus to a network of over 36,000 students. Students looking for activities can take advantage of more than 600 registered organizations, including a large range of Panhellenic groups.

Programs that students may not find at other in-state colleges include agricultural communication, physics and astronomy, electrical and electronics engineering, and housing management and policy. Georgia residents can expect to pay just $11,818 for two semesters of tuition and fees. Residence halls, meal plans, books, supplies, and living expenses tack on an additional $14,586 each year.


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6

Fayetteville State University

Value Score 7.05
Average Tuition $2,833
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $3,452
Graduation Rate 32%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 60.39%
Enrollment Rate 26.5%
Retention Rate 26.5%
Number of Online Programs 6

A historically black institution established just after the Civil War, Fayetteville State University in North Carolina currently caters to 6,000 students, the vast majority of whom are undergraduates. The school boasts a number of notable athletes as alumni, including members of the NBA, MLB, and NFL. The school is notably military-friendly and administers satellite campuses at the nearby Fort Bragg Army Base as well as the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Bachelor’s degrees currently account for 36 programs, including innovative studies in banking and finance, fire and emergency service administration, management information systems, and music education. Fayetteville State offers incredibly cheap tuition rates, making it possible for students from all socioeconomic levels to consider college affordable. Full-time students can expect to pay $2,982 per year, with an additional $1,867 in mandatory athletic, health, technology, activities, and securities fees due at the same time.


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7

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Value Score 7.03
Average Tuition $6,648
Students Receiving Financial Aid 97%
Net Price $4,229
Graduation Rate 90%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 30.54%
Enrollment Rate 42.86%
Retention Rate 42.86%
Number of Online Programs 1

One of 17 campuses associated with the University of North Carolina system, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a large, public school that ranks high among great in-state college values. The school currently enrolls over 30,000 and is alma mater to more than 300,000 alums. Particularly notable Tar Heels from the past include former U.S. President James K. Polk, writer Thomas Wolfe, actor Andy Griffith, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Jeff MacNelly, and Caleb Bradham, developer of Pepsi. The school has produced 47 Rhodes Scholars in the past five years alone.

There are currently 78 bachelor’s degrees offered at UNC, including studies in areas of archaeology, cell biology, Latin American studies, and operations research. Undergraduate internship opportunities total more than 30,000 and take place in worldwide locations. Students seeking a more rigorous education can take part in Honors Carolina. Tuition and fees for 2017 stood at $7,694, with additional costs bringing the total number to $22,282.


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8

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Value Score 7.00
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $7,823
Graduation Rate 65%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 49.69%
Enrollment Rate 23.46%
Retention Rate 23.46%
Number of Online Programs 1

Catering exclusively to undergraduates, SUNY College at Plattsburgh is a public in-state college with a current enrollment of 6,000 learners. Small class sizes and student-to-faculty ratios of 16-to-one make SUNY Plattsburgh feel like a small, private liberal arts college with the affordable price-tag of a public school. And with 97% of faculty holding the highest degree possible in their field, students never need worry about the quality of their educations. Alums include U.S. Congressmen, Olympic athletes, Emmy Award winners, Academy Award winners, and even distinguished faculty members.

Although a small school, SUNY Plattsburgh offers a large number of degree options, including studies in audio-radio production, cytotechnology, literacy education, and optometry. A number of dual bachelor’s and master’s programs are also available. The estimated tuition for full-time resident students is $6,470, more than $10,000 less than what out-of-state students are expected to pay.


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9

Truman State University

Value Score 7.00
Average Tuition $7,152
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $7,823
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 78.97%
Enrollment Rate 40.97%
Retention Rate 40.97%

Located in Kirksville, Missouri, Truman State University offers liberal arts and sciences educations to more than 6,000 students each year. This public in-state college enjoys the distinction of being the only school in the state that is officially approved to pursue high selective admission standards, making it a great choice for students who seek rigorous academic experiences. Located on a 210 acre campus, Truman students enjoy a mix of history and modernity, with buildings catering to living, learning, teaching, and research activities.

The school places a particular emphasis on experiential learning, and provides opportunities for internships, independent research, and study abroad opportunities. Current majors include creative writing, exercise science, linguistics, and statistics. Missouri students who take 12-17 hours paid $7,352 in tuition during the 2016-2017 academic year, or $298 per credit hour. The school makes a range of scholarships and grants available to further help offset costs.


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10

University of Wyoming

Value Score 6.98
Average Tuition $3,570
Students Receiving Financial Aid 77%
Net Price $8,309
Graduation Rate 55%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 95.66%
Enrollment Rate 37.98%
Retention Rate 37.98%

In all senses a pioneering institution, the University of Wyoming was founded as a land-grant institution before the state was admitted into the Union. Today, that spirit continues, perhaps best evidenced by the inordinate amount of cutting-edge academic programs on offer among the school's eight colleges. Agriculture and natural sciences play a big role in Wyoming, and that importance is reflected in degrees programs in subjects such as agroecology, environmental system science, livestock business management, and international agriculture.

A student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-one ensures every degree seeker has the opportunity to gain an individualized education, while students from all 50 states and 90 countries make the campus a multicultural and diverse community. Undergraduates account for 10,000 of the 14,000 students enrolled annually, with 26% of all students living off-campus.


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11

North Carolina A & T State University

Value Score 6.98
Average Tuition $3,370
Students Receiving Financial Aid 75%
Net Price $7,133
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 60.48%
Enrollment Rate 48.97%
Retention Rate 48.97%
Number of Online Programs 5

A historically black institution, North Carolina A&T State University traces its beginnings to 1890 as an agricultural college. As technology has developed, so has the school. Today award-winning professors, well-regarded researchers, and a number of community leaders make up the school's faculty. NCATSU places a particular emphasis on all things related to technology, business, engineering, and the arts and sciences, and the school is home to an innovative nanoengineering program, and courses focused on topics such as atmospheric sciences and meteorology, construction management, multimedia journalism, and professional theatre.

NCASTU boasts a long history of close involvement with the Civil Rights Movement, so much so that many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement are alums of the school. The school works to make its tuition highly affordable, with incoming students of the 2017-2018 academic year paying a notably cheap rate of $1,770 per semester (for 12 or more hours). Additional mandatory costs include $1,493 in fees and $1,270 in student insurance.


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12

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Value Score 6.96
Average Tuition $1,454
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $10,440
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 56.79%
Enrollment Rate 26.9%
Retention Rate 26.9%
Number of Online Programs 12

Boasting more than 17,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, UMass Lowell is the second largest public institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. An excellent in-state college value, the school maintains small class sizes and schedules regular advising sessions to make sure that no student is left behind. The school currently offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees. Learners interested in athletic pursuits enjoy the fact that UML is home to 17 NCAA Division I teams. Students hoping to network have no shortage of options: more than 200 clubs and organizations call UMass Lowell home.

Degrees currently available at the bachelor’s level range from American studies and biological engineering to conflict studies and radiological health. Tuition for in-state learners is $14,307, while room and board tacks on an additional $12,073.


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13

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Value Score 6.96
Average Tuition $3,152
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $10,048
Graduation Rate 39%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 51.41%
Enrollment Rate 49.53%
Retention Rate 49.53%

An extension of the State University System of Florida, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University enjoys a long and storied past as the only historically black college in the Sunshine State. In addition to its status as the alma mater of the first African American to win Wimbledon’s female single crown, it was also home to the first African American president of the American Cancer Society.

Today, the school enrolls 11,000 students annually in 54 bachelor degree programs and a host of graduate-level degrees. The school's most popular undergraduate degrees include architecture, computer information sciences, journalism, and psychology. An excellent in-state deal, FAMU prides itself on being an affordable option, making it easy for students from all 50 states and more than 70 countries to attend without worrying about significant financial burden. The FAMU Rattlers are well-distinguished in NCAA Division I-AA sports, with men’s and women’s sports comprising 15 different teams. Tuition and fees for incoming freshmen living on campus total $22,880 for the 2017-2018 academic year.


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14

Winston-Salem State University

Value Score 6.94
Average Tuition $3,238
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $7,806
Graduation Rate 46%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 58.53%
Enrollment Rate 33.84%
Retention Rate 33.84%
Number of Online Programs 5

A member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Winston-Salem State University is another historically black college that boasts nearly 130 years of history. In addition to providing top-tier educational programs, the school reports that 95% of WSSU graduates go on to jobs or higher education within six months of graduating. According to the NC Department of Commerce, the school has the highest starting salary for bachelor’s graduates in the the Triad area.

Student enrollment currently sits at just over 5,100, and half of those learners are the first in their family to attend college. A student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-one ensures that every student, regardless of degree path or interests, receives the attention needed to thrive. Approximately 40 undergraduate degrees are currently on offer, and many of them are unique. Examples include African and African-American studies, biotechnology, gerontology, and motorsport management.


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15

Dine College

Value Score 6.91
Average Tuition $660
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $3,653
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 36.01%
Retention Rate 36.01%

Although Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona is primarily a two-year community college, this public institution also offers a small range of bachelor’s degrees, making it a highly affordable in-state college option. Diné is unique in this ranking as it’s a tribally-controlled institution that serves the Navajo Nation -- the first in America to exist, in fact. Current enrollment sits at 1,830 students, and the school places a great emphasis on maintaining just the right number of faculty to keep student/teacher ratios low and class sizes small. The degrees offered at Diné serve a specific purpose: to prepare graduates for roles that are beneficial to the economic and social development of the Navajo Nation.

Available bachelor’s degrees include business administration, elementary education, secondary education, biology, and psychology. Diné College charges tuition at the incredibly cheap rate of $55 per credit hour or $660 per semester for full-time students.


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16

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Value Score 6.84
Average Tuition $6,220
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $6,966
Graduation Rate 76%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 50.43%
Enrollment Rate 40.5%
Retention Rate 40.5%
Number of Online Programs 1

Located in Raleigh and offering excellent in-state tuition deals, NCSU is a widely celebrated public college with numerous ties to leading researchers. Even though North Carolina State is currently home to more than 33,000 students at the Raleigh campus alone, the school maintains a 13-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. NCSU consists of 12 colleges and schools representing the school's many programs, including standout options in areas such as applied ecology, industrial design, plant and microbial biology, and population health and pathobiology. NCSU Raleigh, Duke University, and UNC Chapel Hill together form the NC Research Triangle.

Prospective students with any familiarity with the school also know that sports have a major presence at NCSU: the Wolfpack is a NCAA Division I team that to date has won no less than eight national basketball championships. Residents of North Carolina can expect to pay $9,058 in tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 academic year.


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17

SUNY College at Oswego

Value Score 6.83
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $9,389
Graduation Rate 66%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 51.01%
Enrollment Rate 26.77%
Retention Rate 26.77%
Number of Online Programs 3

SUNY Oswego originally began operating in 1861 as a teacher preparation school and today the college caters to more than 7,500 students with wildly varied academic interests. The Sitting on a beautiful lake just outside town, Oswego’s 700 acres include 58 buildings housing academics, research, student services, and residence halls. Incoming freshmen have a high school grade average of 90 and SAT scores of 1110 on math and verbal. The school offers an array of degree programs, including curriculum in areas of cinema and screen studies, cognitive science, geochemistry, and software engineering.

An excellent in-state college deal, in-state tuition costs just $6,470 per academic year, with 89% of students receiving a portion of the $6 million in merit-based scholarships awarded annually. Notable alumni include journalists, authors, Harvard professors, sportscasters, actors, business professionals, athletes, senators, governors, U.S. Ambassadors, and even a Guinness World Record holder.


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18

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

Value Score 6.82
Average Tuition $6,330
Students Receiving Financial Aid 91%
Net Price $5,273
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 32.44%
Enrollment Rate 22.92%
Retention Rate 22.92%

A member of the City of New York System, Baruch College is located in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan and currently provides education to more than 15,000 undergraduate students. According to the school, approximately 40% of incoming freshmen are the first in their family to attend college, and 91% of all students elect to stay at the school after completing their first year. For undergraduates, the school divides its degrees into three areas: business, public and international affairs, and arts and sciences. Innovative programs offered by the Baruch that may not be found at every school include American studies, film studies, global studies, and real estate.

Popular undergraduate majors include accounting, business/corporate communications, computer information systems, finance, marketing, and management. Approximately 73% of all undergraduates pursue a degree within the Zicklin School of Business. Full-time undergraduate tuition for New York residents at this in-state college is $6,330 per academic year. Additional costs include a $125 technology fee per semester, $180 per semester activity fee, and a $15 per semester consolidated service fee.


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19

CUNY Hunter College

Value Score 6.79
Average Tuition $6,330
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $5,448
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 38.66%
Enrollment Rate 20.29%
Retention Rate 20.29%

Another member of the CUNY system on this list, Hunter College is based in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which makes it a popular destination for local students who want to stay within their communities. 17,000 undergraduates roam the school's halls each year, where they complete coursework in academic disciplines ranging from archaeology and behavioral neurobiology to dance education and French adolescent education. More than 150 campus-based clubs make certain that degree seekers never lack social or cultural activities and networking opportunities. Volunteerism is also a big part of the school’s culture, and the campus houses a range of sororities and fraternities.

The school has set its tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year the affordable rate of $3,165 per semester, or $275 per credit. Notable alumni include photographer Robert Altman, Coach CEO Lewis Frankfort, Tony and Emmy award winners, congresswomen, senators, law professors, and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.


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20

Louisiana Tech University

Value Score 6.77
Average Tuition $6,400
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $6,539
Graduation Rate 53%
Student to Faculty Ratio 23:1
Admissions Rate 63.84%
Enrollment Rate 48.18%
Retention Rate 48.18%
Number of Online Programs 3

Another excellent in-state college choice, Louisiana Tech University places a particular emphasis on research and happens to also be the only tier one institution within the University of Louisiana System. Formed in 1894, LTU maintains ongoing projects with NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Aviation Administration. The school's total student body stands at approximately 12,700, and admits 2,000 freshmen each year. Some of the school's more notable degrees include aviation management, computational analysis and modeling, forestry, and sustainable supply chain management.

The school's Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Lady Techsters compete at the NCAA Division I level. In addition to two alumni serving as current CEOs of Fortune 200 companies, LTU was also home to singers Trace Adkins and Kix Brooks, NFL legend Terry Bradshaw, and a range of other notable and prominent business professionals, artists, entertainers, public servants, and athletes.


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21

North Carolina Central University

Value Score 6.76
Average Tuition $3,555
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $8,968
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 65.87%
Enrollment Rate 21.98%
Retention Rate 21.98%
Number of Online Programs 7

Another historically black institution located in the heart of Durham and offering excellent in-state college tuition rates, North Carolina Central University provides baccalaureate degrees in more than 85 disciplines. While the school makes available standard offerings in areas of English, nursing, business, and physics, the institution is also home to a large number of distinctive programs. Such programs include aerospace, forensic science, hip hop, ethnomusicology, sacred music, pharmaceutical sciences, and recreational administration. 8,100 students are currently enrolled, including approximately 6,300 undergraduates. The school's freshman-to-sophomore retention rate is 82% and 33% of undergraduates elect to live on campus.

Top undergraduate programs in terms of student enrollment include criminal justice, family and consumer science, and business administration. Students who seek social opportunities can find 135 registered student organizations housed at the school alongside eight honor societies and 14 NCAA Division I sports teams. Undergraduate resident students pay $3,450 in tuition and fees per semester, less than half the rate for out-of-state learners.


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22

CUNY Queens College

Value Score 6.76
Average Tuition $6,330
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $4,744
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 40.44%
Enrollment Rate 20.77%
Retention Rate 20.77%

In the heart of the Flushing district of Queens in CUNY Queens College, a flourishing in-state college that serves nearly 20,000 students annually. The school is currently in the midst of $1 billion dollars worth of improvement as part of the larger CUNY system, and students from all academic disciplines and levels of study have benefited from this injection of funding. Undergraduate degrees are divided into four areas: arts and humanities; mathematics and natural sciences; social sciences; and education.

In addition to educating more future teachers than any other school in NYC, the college also offers numerous fascinating degrees in areas of actuarial studies, Chinese, fashion and textiles, and labor studies. More than 100 student clubs and organizations are active on campus, including a range of sororities and fraternities, an environmental group, the Chinese Student Association, and numerous other cultural organizations. New York residents enjoy truly affordable tuition rates, which are currently set at $275 per credit. Degree seekers taking 16 hours per semester can expect to pay $3,165, plus an additional $304 each semester in various student fees.


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23

Elizabeth City State University

Value Score 6.75
Average Tuition $2,820
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $1,003
Graduation Rate 39%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 69.95%
Enrollment Rate 25.02%
Retention Rate 25.02%

Another historically black institution in North Carolina, Elizabeth City State University caters to approximately 1,500 undergraduates working towards 28 different baccalaureate degrees within 10 academic departments. Founded in 1891, ECSU was originally established as a teacher preparation academy but has grown into a comprehensive in-state college throughout its history. More than 91% of all learners are from within the state, and many are the first in their families to complete higher education. Some of the degrees prospective students can expect to find at Elizabeth City include pharmaceutical science, criminal justice, aviation science, and music. The ECSU Vikings compete in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s Division II.

North Carolina residents completing their degree on a full-time basis spend $2,856 per academic year on tuition, while fees for athletics, health services, insurance, student activities, and book rental add approximately $5,000 per year.


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24

Appalachian State University

Value Score 6.75
Average Tuition $3,961
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $7,991
Graduation Rate 71%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 66.38%
Enrollment Rate 35.11%
Retention Rate 35.11%
Number of Online Programs 7

More than 18,000 students currently call Appalachian State University home, the vast majority of whom are completing undergraduate degrees. Although ASU is a large public in-state college, the average class size remains low at 27 students while the average student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1 in the majority of classes. Resident students pay $14,416 per academic year, which includes tuition and fees, a standard meal plan, standard accommodations, and the majority of required textbooks. Students who plan to live off-campus will pay less.

App State offers more than 170 undergraduate degrees in nuanced fields of study such as community and regional planning, regional economic development, fermentation sciences, and sustainable technology. A separate honors college is available for degree seekers with above-average test scores and a desire to be challenged. Notable alumni include Olympians, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, writers, congressmen, and other award-winning professionals.


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25

State University of New York at New Paltz

Value Score 6.74
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $8,839
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 41.51%
Enrollment Rate 17.74%
Retention Rate 17.74%

With roots going back to 1828, SUNY New Paltz is one of the oldest in-state colleges in this ranking. Operating as one of four SUNY colleges in the NY metropolitan area, New Paltz makes it possible for students to enjoy a small, communal campus while living in one of the largest cities on the planet. The more than 100 baccalaureate programs currently at SUNY New Paltz are divided into seven schools and colleges: liberal arts and sciences, business, education, fine and performing arts, science and engineering, pre-health, and pre-law. An honors program for high-achieving students is also available.

Standout programs include pre-dentistry, adolescence education, digital media programming and management, and environmental geochemical science. New York State residents pay $3,235 each semester in tuition, while fees are added for things such as student activities, athletics, technology, and health insurance.


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26

Texas A & M University-Commerce

Value Score 6.71
Average Tuition $3,832
Students Receiving Financial Aid 73%
Net Price $6,231
Graduation Rate 42%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 47.44%
Enrollment Rate 31.64%
Retention Rate 31.64%
Number of Online Programs 4

The Commerce location of Texas A&M is the third largest campus within the system and enrolls approximately 12,000 students each year. Just outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area, students at this in-state college enjoy the benefits of a suburban area while also having easy access to a thriving metropolitan cityscape. Degree seekers who can’t make it to the campus multiple times per week need not worry, as the school also has satellite campuses in Dallas, Corsicana, Mesquite, McKinney, Midlothian, and Rockwall.

More than 100 degrees are on offer, with a good balance among arts and sciences, education, natural sciences, business, and many other disciplines. Degrees that aren’t found at just any institution include construction engineering, curriculum instruction, equine studies, and wildlife and conservation science. The Commerce Lions are members of the Lone Star Conference’s NCAA Division II athletics and offers five men’s sports alongside seven women’s sports.


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27

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Value Score 6.68
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $9,699
Graduation Rate 75%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 51.95%
Enrollment Rate 37.81%
Retention Rate 37.81%

The College of Environmental Science and Forestry, based in Syracuse and operating as part of the SUNY System, has facilities within the Adirondacks and in Costa Rica to ensure students get the proper training for future career paths. 2,800 degree seekers are currently enrolled in specialized programs such as aquatic and fisheries science, bioprocess engineering, environmental education and interpretation, and wildlife science. All told, 21 degrees are available at the bachelor’s level, and many of them include off-site learning at numerous ecological sites in the region. Many notable alumni have enjoyed careers as golf course architects, wilderness activists, animal behaviorists, environmental conservation commissioners, and professors.

Tuition at this in-state college for local students is set at $3,225 per semester when studying on a full-time basis, or $270 per hour when studying on a part-time basis. Learners who want to live on campus pay $4,030 per year for a bed in a basic dormitory.


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28

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Value Score 6.67
Average Tuition $4,129
Students Receiving Financial Aid 77%
Net Price $6,915
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 58.6%
Enrollment Rate 44.78%
Retention Rate 44.78%
Number of Online Programs 7

UNC Greensboro is an in-state college focused on providing liberal arts educations to more than 20,000 students enrolled in 100+ undergraduate degree programs. In 2017, the school is celebrating its 125th year of providing opportunity and excellence within higher education. In addition to a full complement of academic, research, and teaching buildings, the UNC libraries are also home to more than 1.2 million printed books, 100,000 E-journals, and 70,000 e-books to ensure learners have access to necessary resources. Undergraduate majors are wide and varied, with programs including entrepreneurship, interior architecture, kinesiology, and sustainable tourism and hospitality.

Tuition and fees for in-state degree seekers comes to $6,704 per academic year, with anticipated costs for books and other school supplies tacking on an additional $1,066. Alumni of UNC Greensboro include Pulitzer Prize winning authors, congressmen, professional athletes, Tony Award winning Broadway actresses, Olympians, business professionals, artists, musicians, and poets.


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29

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Value Score 6.66
Average Tuition $5,407
Students Receiving Financial Aid 76%
Net Price $7,312
Graduation Rate 45%
Student to Faculty Ratio 23:1
Admissions Rate 55.27%
Enrollment Rate 52.78%
Retention Rate 52.78%
Number of Online Programs 3

With the largest enrollment of any of the University of Louisiana System schools, University of Louisiana at Lafayette serves nearly 20,000 students each year – the vast majority of whom are undergraduates. Recognized internationally as a top research institution, bachelor-level degree seekers often have unique opportunities to be involved in meaningful work with their peers and professors. Undergraduate majors account for 80 programs at ULL, giving students plenty of opportunities to differentiate and diversify their learning. A few highlights are programs in architectural studies, electrical and computer engineering, health services administration, and moving image arts. Notable alumni include Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy Award winning singers, senators, a lieutenant governor, a U.S. Ambassador, and many other athletes, artists, musicians, business titans, and faculty members.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, tuition ranges from $4,713 for 12 hours to $5,105 for 16 hours per semester.


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30

California State University-Long Beach

Value Score 6.63
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $5,588
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 24:1
Admissions Rate 33.82%
Enrollment Rate 22.93%
Retention Rate 22.93%

California State University Long Beach may not be the largest in-state college within the California State University System, but it still educates more than 32,000 undergraduates each year. Aside from offering 82 different baccalaureate degrees, the campus also has the distinction of being the largest art school west of the Mississippi River to be publicly funded. Diversity is a highly celebrated aspect of campus life; the school recently had the distinction of being among the top 10 schools in the country in terms of awarding the most degrees to Hispanic students. Degrees of note include Africana studies, comparative literature and classics, geological sciences, and mechanical and aerospace engineering. A few names prospective students may have heard of among the alumni roster include Steven Spielberg, Linda Woolverton, Mark O’Meara, The Carpenters, and Dwight Stones.

Tuition and fees for incoming students during the Fall 2017 semester are set at $2,871 for those taking seven credits or more per term.


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31

SUNY Oneonta

Value Score 6.63
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $8,657
Graduation Rate 72%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 48.72%
Enrollment Rate 20.3%
Retention Rate 20.3%

An in-state college focusing on liberal arts educations within the SUNY system, Oneonta State helps approximately 6,100 students further their educations each year. Plans of study are divided between five schools and include 70 different majors and 62 minors. Degree seekers who choose to enroll at Oneonta can count on small class sizes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. The school has excellent regard when it comes to life outside college, too: 63% of graduates found a job within three months of graduation, while 75% were accepted to graduate programs. Some of the undergraduate programs of study available include dietetics, earth science, international development studies, and meteorology. The school is centrally located in the state, with hubs such as Binghamton, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and NYC all within a few hours away.

Tuition for students entering during the 2017-2018 year are set at the affordable rate of $6,470 for full-time learning, with fees adding up to approximately $1,466. Students who plan to live on campus will pay $12,658 for room and board.


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32

CUNY Brooklyn College

Value Score 6.63
Average Tuition $6,330
Students Receiving Financial Aid 82%
Net Price $4,870
Graduation Rate 54%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 37.31%
Enrollment Rate 17.67%
Retention Rate 17.67%

Originally founded as a teacher’s college in 1930, CUNY’s Brooklyn College today offers a host of undergraduate degrees to students from across the world. While the great majority of the school's 17,500 enrolled students are undergraduates, the in-state college also has a close-knit community of graduate students. 83 undergraduate programs run the gamut of disciplines and include studies in areas of art history, Caribbean studies, computational mathematics, and speech-language pathology. A series of interdisciplinary programs in areas of American studies, linguistics, and urban sustainability are also available to individuals who want to combine multiple disciplines into a single degree.

The school sets tuition for New York State residents at $3,165 per semester for full-time enrollment. When not walking to class on the leafy campus or studying in the state-of-the-art library, students can take part in a range of student organizations focused on cultural topics, governance, health and wellness, performing arts, political or social action, spirituality, and sports.


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33

University of Central Florida

Value Score 6.62
Average Tuition $4,478
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $11,028
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 48.57%
Enrollment Rate 37.92%
Retention Rate 37.92%
Number of Online Programs 15

With more than 65,000 students enrolled in 200+ undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the University of Central Florida in Orlando is the largest higher education institution in America and features fairly cheap in-state college tuition. The school is also home to 289 National Merit scholars and thousands of faculty members who hold the highest degree in their field. According to the school, nearly half of all of its students graduate debt-free.

UCF's degree programs are wide-ranging, with options stretching from aerospace engineering and biomedical sciences to event management and social science education. All majors are divided between 13 colleges and the school's Burnett Honors College provides education for students hunting for a challenge. UCF bundles its tuition and fees, meaning students pay the cheap rate of $212 per credit with no additional fees.


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34

California State University-Fresno

Value Score 6.58
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $3,730
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 52.19%
Enrollment Rate 35.29%
Retention Rate 35.29%

Founded as a teacher’s college in 1921, California State University, Fresno began offering advanced degrees in 1949. Last year this in-state college enrolled nearly 25,000 students. Based at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Fresno State consists of a 388-acre main campus and a 1,000-acre University Farm campus. CSU Fresno divides its degrees into a range of colleges and schools focused on arts and humanities, health and human services, science and mathematics, social sciences, business, agricultural sciences, education and human development, and engineering.

Aside from an impressive range of student clubs and organizations, the school's campus is also home to the Downing Planetarium, intramural sports teams, vintage days, a bustling student union, and 18 sports teams competing at the NCAA Division I level. The school's tuition and mandatory fees for the upcoming year add up to $3,156 per semester for students taking seven or more undergraduate credits.


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35

Western Carolina University

Value Score 6.56
Average Tuition $3,779
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $8,921
Graduation Rate 57%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 40.27%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Retention Rate 23%
Number of Online Programs 7

One of 16-member institutions that make up the University of North Carolina System, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee caters to 11,000 students from all 50 states and 35 countries. Although WCU's campus is large, most classes enroll fewer than 30 students and the school's student-to-faculty ratio remains a low 16-to-one. Once on campus, new learners enroll in one of more than 115 undergraduate degree programs. Living on campus is a popular option for local and non-resident students alike, and approximately half of the student body resides in one of the school's 13 on-campus residence buildings.

Degree programs include business administration and law, communication sciences disorders, inclusive education, and sport management. The institution provides affordable in-state college education rates -- NC residents enrolled at WCU pay just $4,865 per semester for tuition and mandatory fees.


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36

East Central University

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $4,511
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Net Price $4,739
Graduation Rate 36%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 46%
Enrollment Rate 68.81%
Retention Rate 68.81%

A member of Oklahoma’s Regional University System, East Central University is a comprehensive teaching institution based in the city of Ada. ECU maintains a small student body of 4,500 for individuals seeking a more personalized, intimate learning environment. Aside from standard undergraduate degree programs in areas such as accounting, business, chemistry, physics, English, and other traditional subjects, ECU boasts the distinction of being one of the few universities in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in cartography. The school is also the only institution in Oklahoma to offer a bachelor’s in environmental health science. ECU boasts a successful alumni network as well: former students include five governors, senators, representatives, PGA tour magnets, NFL and MLB players, authors, professors, and senior executives of multinational corporations.

The school includes all mandatory fees in the cost of tuition, which is currently set at $210 per credit.


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37

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $150
Students Receiving Financial Aid 86%
Net Price $13,078
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 76.52%
Enrollment Rate 32.3%
Retention Rate 32.3%

Founded in 1842, the Citadel is one of the best known military colleges in the United States. Offering affordable in-state college tuition rates, this institution is open to both traditional non-military students and those who are members of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. The school enrolls approximately 2,300 degree seekers are currently enrolled, half of whom are South Carolina residents. Undergraduate students are divided into five battalions and 21 companies, each of which participates in Leadership Day to provide volunteer service to the local community. Enrolled undergraduates also take part in mandatory leadership and ethics studies about military culture.

The school divides its baccalaureate degrees into five different schools: business, engineering, humanities and social sciences, science and mathematics, and education. Upon graduation, just under one-third of students go on to be commissioned military officers, according to the school. Notable alumni include congressional representatives, governors, astronauts, best-selling authors, renowned athletes, and 47 college presidents.


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38

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $3,628
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $5,288
Graduation Rate 53%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 63.31%
Enrollment Rate 33.28%
Retention Rate 33.28%
Number of Online Programs 5

A member of the UNC System, the University of North Carolina Charlotte is noted for its status as an esteemed research institution and provides 140 undergraduate degrees to nearly 24,000 students -- 42% of whom are the first in their family to attend college. The campus is located just outside the city limits on a sprawling and verdant 1,000-acre campus that offers access to more than enough academic, research, and student life opportunities to keep learners occupied. UNC Charlotte offers students a lot of unique programs of study, including degrees in civil engineering technology, neurodiagnostics and sleep science, respiratory therapy, and systems engineering. The Charlotte 49ers consist of 16 varsity teams within the Conference USA Division I grouping.

Tuition for 12 or more hours per semester is charged at $1,906, with additional mandatory fees bringing the total to $3,486.50 per semester. The school adds a mandatory health insurance charge of $1,270 unless students make other arrangements.


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39

CUNY City College

Value Score 6.54
Average Tuition $6,330
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Net Price $4,381
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 42.97%
Enrollment Rate 18.66%
Retention Rate 18.66%

While other colleges within the CUNY system cater to general academic pursuits, City College is unique in its focus on providing an education rooted squarely in the world of technology. More than 17,000 students currently take part in the school's bachelor’s and associate-level degree programs, along with a few specialized certificates. Whether an incoming undergraduate is hoping to study bilingual childhood education, branding and integrated communications, environmental earth systems science, or mental health counseling, City College offers relevant programs.

Aside from an honors college, CC also offers students a range of undergraduate fellowships, programs funded by the NIH, and an initiative to increase the support and retention of black males and other underrepresented groups. Full-time in-state residents pay the cheap tuition rate of $3,165 each semester, or $275 per semester for part-time studies.


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40

Northwest Missouri State University

Value Score 6.52
Average Tuition $4,335
Students Receiving Financial Aid 71%
Net Price $7,020
Graduation Rate 47%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 74.95%
Enrollment Rate 39.93%
Retention Rate 39.93%
Number of Online Programs 2

In addition to being one of the top public in-state colleges in the region, Northwest Missouri State University is also home to the official Missouri Arboretum. The leafy and welcoming campus is the perfect place for high-achieving students who also want a space where they can find respite from hectic undergraduate schedules. Located in Maryville, NMSU enrolls 6,500 students and incoming learners hold an average ACT scores of 22.5 and GPAs of 3.38. According to the school, approximately 71% of freshmen return to NMSU for their second years, and 97% of undergraduates either find employment or move into a graduate program of study within six months of graduation.

NMSU's degree programs include agricultural education, animal science, clinical laboratory sciences, and wildlife ecology and conservation. NMSU reports that nine out of every 10 students at Northwest said their experience at the school was good or excellent, while 87% of seniors said they would attend the university again. Student activities are a big part of life at NMSU and, according to the school, 83% of the student body participates in one of the 150 student groups and 14% participate in Greek life.


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41

Westfield State University

Value Score 6.51
Average Tuition $970
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $10,916
Graduation Rate 63%
Student to Faculty Ratio 17:1
Admissions Rate 79.61%
Enrollment Rate 31.57%
Retention Rate 31.57%
Number of Online Programs 4

Founded in 1838 and based in Massachusetts, Westfield State University draws from a long tradition of providing access to quality education regardless of economic status, gender, or race. The school launched a nursing program in 2014 and in 2016 opened a purpose-built science and innovation center, which is available to undergraduates. The school offers approximately 80 baccalaureate programs, including unique degrees in aviation management, athletic training, public and corporate communications, and jazz studies.

Aside from providing extremely affordable tuition to in-state learners, anyone over the age of 60 can take classes for free. Annual tuition for Massachusetts residents is only $970 per year, while fees are an additional $8,305 annually. Degree seekers who want to stick close to campus can also choose from a range of housing and dining plans to meet their needs.


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42

Florida State University

Value Score 6.50
Average Tuition $4,640
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Net Price $12,155
Graduation Rate 79%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 55.9%
Enrollment Rate 36.58%
Retention Rate 36.58%

Based in Tallahassee, the Carnegie Foundation classifies Florida State University as a very active research facility, making it not only one of the oldest institution in the country, but also one of the most venerable. Founded as a space and sea-grant institution in 1851, today the in-state college caters to 42,000 learners, the majority of whom hail from Florida. A competitive school, last year's incoming students held an average GPA score of 4.1 and SAT scores of 1858. Freshmen seem to be pleased with their decision: according to the school, 93% of freshmen decide to stay for their second year.

Degrees at this award-winning institution span the spectrum of learning, with highlights including civil engineering, exercise science, animation and digital arts, and commercial entrepreneurship. All told, FSU consists of 542 academic and research buildings spanning across 1,650 acres. FSU students pay a small $216 per credit, a rate that includes fees.


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43

SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Value Score 6.48
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $10,970
Graduation Rate 60%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 56.8%
Enrollment Rate 37.92%
Retention Rate 37.92%
Number of Online Programs 2

A small, public in-state college that caters to the needs of a growing tech industry, Alfred State in Allegany County serves approximately 3,500 students. In addition to offering associate degrees, SUNY Alfred is also home to 19 innovative baccalaureate programs in areas such as digital media and animation, forensic science technology, applications software development, and geomatics engineering technology and surveying. Although its campus is small, Alfred State houses more than 100 student clubs and organizations, an active band and choir, a radio station, and provides its students with opportunities for civic engagement. Greek life also plays a significant role in campus life. The Alfred State Pioneers include nine men’s teams and eight women’s teams that play at the NCAA Division III level, but many intramural teams are also active at the school.

Incoming students who are residents of New York pay just $8,327 per academic year for full tuition and required fees. Learners who seek to live on campus pay an additional $12,250 for a dormitory room and meal plan.


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44

California State University-Fullerton

Value Score 6.48
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $3,472
Graduation Rate 62%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 41.86%
Enrollment Rate 25.13%
Retention Rate 25.13%

The largest institution within the California State University system, CSU Fullerton serves more than 40,000 students enrolled in 240 different degree programs each year. The school is a leading research institution that offers highly affordable in-state college tuition and is nationally recognized in many different academic disciplines. Fifty-seven bachelor’s programs make it possible for students to tailor coursework to interests, and specialized studies are available in niche topics such as anthropology, geochemistry, ethnic studies, and public finance management.

According to the school, approximately 39% of the student body states that they are of Hispanic descent. Notable alumni include actor Kevin Costner, astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, athletes Bruce Bowen and Tony Reagins, and politicians Jack O’Connell and Ed Royce. The school's charges an in-state tuition rate of $3,913 per semester for seven or more units.


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45

California State University-Stanislaus

Value Score 6.47
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 81%
Net Price $3,977
Graduation Rate 55%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Admissions Rate 70.63%
Enrollment Rate 25.39%
Retention Rate 25.39%

One of 23 institutions that make up the California State University System, Stanislaus State is the only institution in the system to offer a bachelor’s degree in cognitive studies. The school offers an additional 132 bachelor’s degrees to its student body of over 10,000. Aside from a lush 228-acre campus in Turlock, the school has a presence at the Stockton Center within the city’s historic Magnolia District Stanislaus State is centrally placed, allowing students easy access to San Francisco, Monterey, Sacramento, and Big Sur.

As of 2016, the school's most popular undergraduate majors included business administration, psychology, biological sciences, criminal justice, and liberal studies. According to the school, Stanislaus State's retention of freshmen to sophomores stands at 95%, while its four-year average graduation rate is 55%.


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46

Minot State University

Value Score 6.46
Average Tuition $5,066
Students Receiving Financial Aid 75%
Net Price $7,685
Graduation Rate 43%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 56.79%
Enrollment Rate 71.49%
Retention Rate 71.49%
Number of Online Programs 7

Minot State University is the third largest in-state college in North Dakota and one of the most well-regarded. Founded in 1913 as a teacher preparation institution, the school has risen in the ranks to become a Carnegie Institute-classified university that caters to approximately 2,500 students annually. Although smaller than other schools in this ranking, Minot State still manages to have a number of cutting-edge degree programs within its plans of study. These include addiction studies, chemistry education, corporate fitness, and intellectual developmental disabilities. The Minot State Beavers are part of the NCAA Division II conference, with a range of men’s and women’s sports offered.

The school is regularly noted for offering one of the most affordable tuition rates in the country, making it possible for students to graduate from a four-year degree program without incurring debt. Annual tuition and fees at Minot State currently add up to $6,568, with additional fees for residence halls and an unlimited meal plan totaling $5,882.


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47

California State University-San Bernardino

Value Score 6.45
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Net Price $3,968
Graduation Rate 52%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 64.59%
Enrollment Rate 33.7%
Retention Rate 33.7%

From the University District of California State University San Bernardino, this branch of California State system serves close to 21,000 students on a 440-acre campus. The school offers around 140 bachelor’s degree programs, including specialized programs in hospitality management, aerospace studies, environmental studies, and kinesiology. Outside of the classroom, CSUSB learners take advantage of numerous student activities, Greek life, leadership opportunities, community service initiatives, research opportunities, NCAA Division II athletics, and many intramural teams. Nearly 85,000 CSUSB living alums can be found across the globe.

Residents of California enjoy an affordable tuition rate at CSUSB: part-time students pay $1,110 per semester, while their full-time colleagues pay $1,914 when taking six or more credits. Mandatory campus charges tack on an additional $387 per semester.


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48

Florida International University

Value Score 6.45
Average Tuition $4,721
Students Receiving Financial Aid 88%
Net Price $9,785
Graduation Rate 58%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 50.4%
Enrollment Rate 38.89%
Retention Rate 38.89%
Number of Online Programs 13

A public metropolitan research university located in Miami, Florida International University is the second largest in-state college in Florida and the largest in the southern portion of the state. With campuses in both Miami-Dade County and University Park, FIU educates approximately 55,000 degree seekers each year. The institution is highly regarded by the Carnegie Foundation, which designates the school as a highest research activity institution. Even though most research is relegated to graduate students, FIU's undergraduates often have the opportunity to take part in meaningful projects much more quickly than they would at many other universities.

A sampling of the school's 100+ baccalaureate degrees includes studies in construction management, digital media studies, geosciences, and women’s studies. Part of the State University System of Florida, FIU provides notably cheap in-state tuition rates, currently set at $206 per semester hour for the 2017-2018 academic year.


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49

University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Value Score 6.43
Average Tuition $5,815
Students Receiving Financial Aid 80%
Net Price $8,008
Graduation Rate 47%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 57.88%
Enrollment Rate 43.58%
Retention Rate 43.58%
Number of Online Programs 2

New Mexico’s flagship research institution, the University of New Mexico opened its doors in 1889. Today the school operates as a R1 research university (as classified by the Carnegie Foundation) with more than 27,000 students enrolled on campus and online. From its 800-acre campus in the heart of Albuquerque, UNM provides 94 baccalaureate degrees alongside a variety of other certificate and graduate programs. A sampling of interesting bachelor’s programs includes astrophysics, design and technology for performance, medical laboratory sciences, and speech/hearing sciences.

According to the school, a recent survey found that 94% of graduates believe their degree prepared them for the future, while 90% had found employment or started graduate school within six months of graduating. Students concerned about paying for their educations will be happy to hear that the school awards $50 million in scholarships each year.


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50

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Value Score 6.41
Average Tuition $4,620
Students Receiving Financial Aid 81%
Net Price $9,134
Graduation Rate 61%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 75.13%
Enrollment Rate 44.47%
Retention Rate 44.47%
Number of Online Programs 1

A land and sun-grant research institution in Stillwater, Oklahoma State University began its life as an agricultural and mechanical college in 1891. The school has diversified over the years and it has grown at a steady pace: the college serves more than 23,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually. OK State divides its baccalaureate degrees into eight colleges, including agricultural sciences and natural resources, arts and sciences, human sciences, and veterinary health sciences, among others.

The school makes a separate honors college available to high-achieving students who want to be challenged throughout their educations. Athletics are a big part of life at OK State, and the Cowboys and Cowgirls compete on a range of NCAA Division I teams. In the last 100 years, 55 OSU alumni have won medals at the Olympics. Regardless of whether or not full-time resident students takes 12 or 18 credits each semester, each pays the same reasonable rate of $8,320 per academic year.


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