Most Affordable Colleges & Universities

best_colleges_universities_most_affordableSo, you want to go to college, but, let’s face it, it’s expensive. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, at the end of 2018, outstanding student loan debt reached $1.46 trillion, rising $15 billion from the previous data! Worse than that, 11.4% of student debt was ninety days or more delinquent or in default. That doesn’t even account for half the loans that are in deferment, grace periods, or forbearance, which tend to end up delinquent, too. Source

Graduating without student debt is a worthy but difficult goal. The costs continue to rise at a much faster rate than income will, especially if you are in high school. It all boils down to choices.

When looking at which college or university to attend, consider certain costs besides the tuition rates. Low-cost college experiences result from careful planning, good grades, deciding what “luxuries” you will go without, learning which grants are available in your state, and zealously applying for scholarships for which you may qualify.

Are you willing to eat noodle soup or do you need five-star restaurant food? Are you willing to live in a tiny old apartment or must you have a posh suite with a maid? Are you willing to put in the effort to earn good grades in high school or would you rather live the party life and not stress about homework? Will you put in the time to search out and apply for grants, scholarships, and tuition programs available at your postsecondary school and state of choice?

These choices may be hard to make, but we can point you in the right direction with one choice by showing you which colleges are the most affordable places to attend. Just ask anyone who has graduated with debt and they will tell you how it feels to have that heavy burden without even having a way to pay for it right away. It is a long-term sentence. In contrast, the freedom that comes with being debt-free is an incredible feeling that allows you to live life more fully and happily.

Rankings

Only schools with an average net price of less than $3,500 were considered for this ranking.

EDsmart assesses colleges and universities based on data that covers four main areas:

  • Cost (average net price)
  • Academic quality (graduation rate)
  • Student satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Salary After Attending (the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school)

All data was gathered from the U.S. Dept of Education websites College Scorecard and College Navigator.

This ranking aims to help students assess the affordability and value of top colleges in the U.S. so they can make informed decisions about which college to attend.

Top 50 Most Affordable Colleges & Universities for 2020

1. Berea College

Score: 100

Average Net Price: $1,298
Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Salary After Attending: $33,700

With the offer of a No-Tuition Promise, Berea College gives students the chance to obtain an affordable degree at a great private school. Accessibility to an elite education is the main emphasis of this school. Berea College is one of many lower-priced schools but is one that also offers work experience, funded internships and study abroad, along with over 60 areas of study. The college is described as a close-knit, diverse community. In fact, Niche.com awarded Berea College an overall grade of ‘B+’ with an ‘A’ in the categories of Diversity, Academics, and Value. 100% of students receive financial aid and the average awarded aid is approximately $33,422 per year. Niche.com also ranks Berea College #1 in Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Kentucky. US News also ranked the school #61 in National Liberal Arts Colleges. Berea College is a small institution with an enrollment of 1,615 undergraduate students. This small school has a competitive acceptance rate of 35% and a very low student-faculty ratio of just 10:1. This above-average private college is a terrific and affordable option for any student interested in continuing their higher education goals.

2. CUNY Lehman College

Score: 98.4

Average Net Price: $1,886
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 45%
Salary After Attending: $43,100

Founded in 1931 as the Bronx campus of Hunter College, the CUNY Lehman College is a rather competitive public college. The school has an acceptance rate of 35% and enrolls more than 7,200 students annually. The school is located in the Bronx, New York in the NYC area. Tuition at the CUNY Lehman College is about $2,939 per year and 88% of students receive financial aid. A 16:1 student-faculty ratio is currently held and popular areas of studies at Lehman include Business, Nursing, and Sociology. Niche.com ranks CUNY Lehman College #492 in Best Colleges in America with an overall grade rank of ‘B’ (‘A’ in the category of Campus). The school was also ranked #120 in Regional Universities North by US News. This above-average school became independent within CUNY in September of 1967. It is mid-sized and was also given the rank of #34 of 465 in Best Colleges for Public Policy in America.

3. CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

Score: 98

Average Net Price: $2,695
Retention Rate: %90
Graduation Rate: %68
Salary After Attending: $57,200

Recognized as #3 in Top Public Universities in New York by Niche.com, CUNY Bernard M Baruch College is a highly rated public college located in Manhattan, NY in the New York City area. The college is a big, holding an enrollment of 11,598 undergraduate students. It is competitive as it has an acceptance rate of 29%. Popular majors studied at this school include Finance, Accounting, and Merchandising and Buying Operations. An overall grade of ‘A-‘ was given by niche.com, along with a ranking of #30 of 687 for Best Colleges for Accounting and Finance in America. US News also assigns Baruch College #20 in Regional Universities North. The average cost of attendance after financial aid is applied is $4,544 per year with 77% of students receiving financial aid. The school is a constituent college of the City University of New York system and has a 19:1 student-faculty ratio. This affordable school emphasizes academics, arts, and athletics.

4. College of San Mateo

Score: 97.4

Average Net Price: $1,521
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 38 %
Salary After Attending: $40,700

Rated #18 in Best Community Colleges in California and given a grade of ‘B-‘ by Niche.com, the College of San Mateo is a public, two-year college located in San Mateo, CA. The College of San Mateo (CSM) has been ranked best among cheap colleges around. The college offers higher education at a very low cost of just around$1,688 per year after aid. In-state tuition is listed at an even lower cost mark of $1,400 annually. The school is a small institution with an enrollment just under 2,500 undergraduate students. CSM has a 100% acceptance rate and offers a 29:1 student-faculty ratio. Popular areas of study include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, and Social Science Research Methods. CSM is part of the San Mateo County Community College District and is located on the north end of beautiful Silicon Valley. The school was additionally awarded an ‘A’ in Diversity, Student Life, Safety, and Location.

5. CUNY City College

Score: 96.4

Average Net Price: $2,540
Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 48%
Salary After Attending: $46,300

With a terrifically low student-faculty ratio of 14:1, CUNY City College is an above-average four-year university located in Manhattan, NY in the New York City region. Niche.com ranks CUNY City College (CC) #552 in Best Colleges in America and #98 of 1,692 in Most Liberal Colleges in America. The school was also assigned an overall grade of ‘B’ (with an A in the category of Diversity) by Niche.com. CC is a rather competitive school with an acceptance rate of 46% and has a large enrollment size of 10,225 undergraduate students. Popular majors studied at CC include Psychology, Biology, and Molecular Medicine. This school is a public senior college of CUNY and was originally founded in 1847 as the first free public college of higher education in the USA. US News ranks CC as #55 in Regional Universities North making CUNY City College a wonderful and elite choice of higher education.

6. CUNY Brooklyn College

Score: 96

Average Net Price: $2,725
Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 55%
Salary After Attending: $43,900

Using the entire city as a living classroom to expand and broaden students’ perspectives and learning, the CUNY Brooklyn College is an above-average public school in Brooklyn, NY. Being located in the NYC area, this school uses civic, urban, and artistic energy around to support student growth. CUNY Brooklyn College (BC) is ranked #11 in Top Public Universities in New York with an overall grade of ‘B+’ (and an ‘A’ in Diversity). The school was also ranked #74 in Regional Universities North by US News. It is a big school with an enrollment of 10,786 undergraduate students and has an acceptance rate of 40%. Tuition at BC is typically around $4,144 per year with 83% of students receiving some form of financial aid. This above-average school was first established in 1930 as an extension division of the City College for Teachers. The school has expanded now offers evening degree programs. The school has a 16:1 student-faculty ratio and is ranked #180 of 1,664 in Hardest Colleges to Get Into in America.

7. Moorpark College

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $2,283
Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Salary After Attending: $38,600

Attracting over 5,500 undergraduate students annually, Moorpark College is ranked #16 in Best Community Colleges in California by Niche.com. With evening programs offered and many popular areas of interest for study, including Liberal Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Business, Moorpark College (MC) has grown in popularity. The school has an acceptance rate of 100% and has a student-faculty ratio of 33:1. The average cost of attendance is currently $4,293 per year after aid. This public community college was established in 1967 and has grown tremendously throughout the years. Interestingly and uniquely, this school now includes an Exotic Animal Training and Management center that houses over 200 animals directly on campus. An overall grade of ‘B-‘ was awarded by Niche.com, with an ‘A’ in both Student Life and Safety. This amazing school offers more than 1,500 classes each semester in over 70 discipline and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

8. Ventura College

Score: 92.4

Average Net Price: $1,961
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 35%
Salary After Attending: $33,800

Among the list of cheap schools, Ventura College (VC) is a small institution with an enrollment of about 4,214 undergraduate students. 72% of students attending Ventura College receive some form of financial aid. This relatively affordable school offers a beautiful seaside community, schedule flexibility, and an in-person or distance education. Niche.com assigned Ventura College an overall grade of C+ (and an ‘A’ in Location). This small school is located in Ventura, California in the Los Angeles area. Popular majors studied at VC include Natural Sciences, Business, and Liberal Arts and Humanities. This California state funded school was started in 1925 as part of the Ventura County Community College District. The school holds an acceptance rate of 100% and encourages all students to apply. VC is accredited, is a two-year college of higher education, rests on a 112-acre campus that is conveniently located. VC aims at using excellent faculty to offer quality education that can lead to a high-demand career or that can support students in transfers to a four-year university.

9. Elizabeth City State University

Score: 91.8

Average Net Price: $2,060
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 37%
Salary After Attending: $30,400

A public, four-year institution with a low enrollment of about 1,179 undergraduate students, Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) sits in beautiful Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It is a historically black university and with its strong history, the school remains committed to the education of African Americans. This small school is somewhat competitive as it has a 60% acceptance rate. ECSU offers popular majors such as: Business, Criminal Justice and Safety Studies, and Biology. Niche.com ranked ECSU #539 in Colleges with the Best Professors in America. In fact, according to one poll: 90% of students agree that professors put tremendous effort into teaching their classes. The school received an overall grade of C+ by Niche.com and was also ranked #71 in Regional Universities South by US News. Elizabeth City State University offers professional, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees for students wishing to enroll. The average cost of tuition is $3,251 after aid for undergraduate students.

10. Skyline College

Score: 91.2

Average Net Price: $1,945
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 24%
Salary After Attending: $40,500

Inspired by passion and driven to commitment, Skyline College holds the goal of empowering students to achieve their higher educational goals. Skyline College (SC) was given the overall grade of ‘C+’ (with an ‘A’ in Diversity) by Niche.com. Niche.com also ranks SC #181 of 1,583 in Most Diverse College in America. The school is a four-year public college that small, with an enrollment of 2,612 undergraduate students. SC holds a 100% acceptance rate and offers a 28:1 student-faculty ratio. Evening programs are also offered so that students have a diverse means to complete their degrees at their own pace. Popular majors studied at Skyline College include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, and Automotive Mechanics. The average cost of attendance for SC is approximately $4,130 per year. With this relatively low cost of tuition, SC offers more than 100 affordable associates degrees in San Bruno, CA. This school is one of three comprehensive community colleges in the county aimed at improving the neighboring communities.

11. Lincoln Trail College

Score: 90.2

Average Net Price: $2,121
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 51%
Salary After Attending: $28,900

Founded in 1969 and a current member of the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges organization, Lincoln Trail College is a two-year community college aimed at supporting students in the best way they can. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and according to one poll, 100% of students agree that professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes. Ranked #19 in Best Community Colleges in Illinois, Lincoln Trail College (LTC) received an overall grade of ‘B-‘ by Niche.com (with a grade of ‘A’ in the categories of Student Life and Safety). The school offers a very low cost of attendance at just $2,354 per year in which 100% of students that attend LTC receive some form of financial aid or support. LTC is located in Robinson, Illinois and has a small enrollment of 399 undergraduate students. The school focuses on a two-year college transfer curriculum and offers an 18:1 student-faculty ratio. Lincoln Trail College is a wonderful choice for any student seeking an affordable entry way into higher education.

12. South Georgia Technical College

Score: 89.2

Average Net Price: $1,602
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 54%
Salary After Attending: $23,400

Ranked #25 out of 71 for Best Colleges for Culinary Arts in America by Niche.com, South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) is a small school located in the heart of Americus, GA. SGTC was also ranked by Niche.com as #1 in Best Community Colleges in Georgia, with an overall grade of ‘B.’ The school did receive an ‘A’ in both Value and Safety. The cost of attendance is cheap but on the higher end of “cheap,” with an average tuition of $5,164 per year. 95% of students receive financial aid. SGTC is an above-average public school that has a satellite campus in Cordele, Georgia and serves neighboring counties (primarily). Popular areas of interest for study at South Georgia Technical College include Criminal Justice and Safety Studies, Data Processing, and a well-known program in the Culinary Arts and Food Service. Students attending SGTC are offered a16:1 student-faculty ratio and offers many evening degree programs.

13. MiraCosta College

Score: 88.6

Average Net Price: $1,712
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 31%
Salary After Attending: $28,900

With an enrollment size of about 5,162 undergraduate students, MiraCosta College (MCC) is a mid-size university located in Oceanside, CA in the San Diego area. It has an acceptance rate of 100% and ranks an overall grade of ‘C+’ (with an A in Diversity and Campus) by Niche.com. Niche.com also ranks MCC #809 in Colleges with the Best Professors in America. The average cost of attendance at MCC is roughly $3,480 per year. Liberal Arts and Humanities, Child Care Provider, and Natural Sciences are the three most popular majors studied at the college. MCC is a public community college that serves the coastal California region with two locations, one in Oceanside and another located in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. The school offers a 26:1 student-faculty ratio. If you are considering the school as an affordable option to pursue higher education, MCC offers a wonderful award-winning virtual tour that allows you to view all campuses and learn more about the school.

14. Oxnard College

Score: 88.6

Average Net Price: $1,973
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Salary After Attending: $31,000

Founded in 1975 and resting in Oxnard, California in the Los Angeles area, Oxnard College is a small institution with an enrollment of 2,105 students. It holds a 100% acceptance rate and offers popular majors such as: Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, and Natural Sciences. A 31:1 student-faculty ratio is currently held, and the school also hosts evening degree programs available to all students. Niche.com ranks Oxnard College #24 in Best Community Colleges in California and awards the school an overall grade of ‘B’ (with an ‘A’ in Safety). This school is accredited and offers distance education via a combination of online and hybrid courses. Tuition at the school is currently averaged at approximately $3,860 annually with a substantial 87% of students receiving financial aid and support. This two-year institution has been part of the Ventura County Community College District since its opening and intends on continuing to do so as they promote higher education to all students.

15. Mt San Antonio College

Score: 88.4

Average Net Price: $3,023
Retention Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 32%
Salary After Attending: $35,000

A rather large two-year college in Walnut, California, Mt. San Antonio currently holds an enrollment of 10,226 students. MT San Antonio College (MSAC) awards at least 70% of their students with financial aid packages. With this, students are able to gain an affordable education at the #3 in Best Community Colleges in California (According to Niche.com). The school tuition averages at around $4,890 per year. This two-year institution was also assigned an overall grade of ‘B,’ with an ‘A’ in the categories of Diversity, Student Life, and Safety. This above-average school has a 100% acceptance rate and offers a 24:1 student-faculty ratio. Physical Education, Teaching and Coaching, Psychology, and Business are popular areas of study by undergraduate students. More than 240 unique academic programs, including 25 free student support programs that heavily involve counseling and tutoring. Evening and distance learning programs are also offered and available. MSAC aims at being there for students through each and every step of the way in meeting and exceeding their personal and educational goals.

16. Wytheville Community College

Score: 88.2

Average Net Price: $1,866
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 43%
Salary After Attending: $27,800

One of the 23 schools in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Wytheville Community College (WCC) was founded in 1963. The school was originally opened as a two-year branch of the Virginia Polytech Institute but then joined the VCCS just four years later in 1967. The school awards 93% of students a financial aid package, leaving the average student with just $2,184 to pay for tuition annually. Niche.com gave an overall grade of ‘C+’ to WCC (with an ‘A’ in Safety) and according to one poll, 90% of students agreed that effort, produced by professors, can be seen in their classes. WCC is located in Wytheville, VA and has a 100% acceptance rate with a 25:1 student-faculty ratio. Popular areas of study by undergraduate students include Nursing, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Health Professions. This two-year school is a small institution with an extremely low enrollment of 934 undergraduate students.

17. Frontier Community College

Score: 87.6

Average Net Price: $2,835
Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 64%
Salary After Attending: $26,000

Frontier Community College (FCC) is a two-year college in lovely Fairfield, IL. It is a small school with an enrollment of 290 undergraduate students that offers opportunities for students to receive their two-year associate degrees and technical certificates. On-line four-year degrees can also be obtained through FCC’s affiliation with Franklin University. Students at FCC enjoy the 100% acceptance rate and are able to take many courses in different programs. The most popular areas of study at this school include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing Assistant, and Nursing. The average tuition rate per student is $3,178 per year after aid is applied and 100% of students receive some form of financial aid. Niche.com assigned FCC an overall grade of ‘C+’ with an ‘A’ in Safety. A 22:1 student-to-faculty ratio is adhered to. The school was established in 1976 and is currently one of four colleges in the IECC, the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.

18. Porterville College

Score: 87.4

Average Net Price: $1,659
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Salary After Attending: $27,700

Offering associate degrees, numerous distance education degree options, certificate of achievement, and job skill certificates, Porterville College aims at getting you prepared for life. Porterville College (PC) is located in Porterville, California and is a public college with an enrollment of 1,698 undergraduate students. This small school has an acceptance rate of 100% and a student-faculty ratio of 27:1. An overall grade of ‘C’ was assigned by Niche.com to the school. Social Science Research Methods, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Natural Sciences are three areas of study that have been the most popular and most studied at PC. $2,215 annually is the average cost of tuition at PC and 822% of students receive financial aid to help support them in the continuation of their higher education. Porterville College has Transfer Services that are available to all student so that they may ensure a correct pathway for transferring to a four-year university if they chose to do so.

19. Wabash Valley College

Score: 87.4

Average Net Price: $2,808
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 55%
Salary After Attending: $27,800

Wabash Valley College is a member of the Illinois Eastern Community College district and has a mission to deliver nothing but exceptional education and services that aim to improve the lives of students and the neighboring communities. Wabash Valley College (WVC) is a two-year college located in Mount Carmel, IL. The school has a 100% acceptance rate and has a small enrollment of 458 undergraduate students. 99% of students receive financial aid and the average cost of attendance at WVC is $3,378 per year. Several academic scholarships are offered and awarded each year, including scholarships for transfer and nursing students. The school received an ‘A’ in Safety with an overall grade of ‘C+’ by Niche.com. Machine and Metal Working, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Manufacturing Engineering Technician are three of the most popular majors/ areas of study at Wabash Valley College. Offering plenty of programs to select from, WVC also keeps current and up to date on various social media websites so that students can receive information in the most convenient, relatable, and fastest way possible.

20. Glendale Community College

Score: 87.4

Average Net Price: $2,825
Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Salary After Attending: $33,200

With an incredibly large acceptance rate of 100%, Glendale Community College is open and welcoming to new students, returning student students, international students, high school students, veteran students, and others wishing to continue their education. The cost of attendance is $4,293 per year and almost three quarters (70%) of the students receive financial aid of some sort. Glendale Community College (GCC) is located in Glendale, CA and is a mid-sized public school. GCC has an enrollment of 6,634 undergraduate students with a student-faculty ratio of 26:1, which is above-average. Niche.com lists GCC as #27 in Best Community Colleges in California and awards the school an overall grade of ‘B-‘ (and an ‘A’ in the category of Safety). Being suited for all students, the school is especially focused on serving members of the Hispanic community and strives to offer affordable tuition with a plethora of scholarship opportunities. Glendale can help you achieve your definition of success by supporting you in any way they can.

21. Palomar College

Score: 85.8

Average Net Price: $3,066
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Salary After Attending: $34,400

With a popular Emergency Medical Technician (EMT Paramedic, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Social Science Research methods majors offered, Palomar College has grown to an enrollment of 7,190 students. Palomar College (PC) has a 100% acceptance rate is a public school that is located in San Marcos, CA in the San Diego region. It is a mid-sized school with a main campus in San Marcos with three centers and four education sites located throughout the neighboring North San Diego County. Niche.com assigned PC an overall grade of C+. The school currently offers a student-faculty ratio of 26:1. The average cost of attendance for undergraduate students is $3,066 annually with at least half of students receiving some financial aid or support. Palomar College was established in 1946 and for about 73 years now, the school has strived to provide an affordable education to all that are seeking it. PC wishes to support you and make sure you find programs best suited to your individual learning needs.

22. College of the Sequoias

Score: 85.6

Average Net Price: $1,659
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Salary After Attending: $27,400

With an acceptance rate of 100%, the College of the Sequoias (CS) is a two-year public community college located in Visalia, California. The school is a mid-size school with about 5,169 undergraduate students enrolled. CS was awarded an overall grade rank of ‘C’ by Niche.com and is most popular for students wishing to major in the Liberal Arts and Humanities, Child Care Provider, and police and Criminal Science. The average cost of attendance at the College of the Sequoias is a low $2,780 per year. 82% of students attending CS receive some form of financial aid from the school or outside of the school. The school is named for the Giant Sequoia trees native to the region, the Sierra Nevada mountain range that is nearby. With beautiful scenery around, the College of the Sequoias becomes a terrific place for students to use critical thinking and grow both with personal life goals and higher educational goals.

23. Canada College

Score: 85.4

Average Net Price: $2,468
Retention Rate: 68%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Salary After Attending: $31,500

With innovative forms of student support services in degree and certificate planning, the Canada College aims to support students wanting to transfer to a four-year college or university. Canada College (CC) also offers support in orientation, counseling, and tutoring. More than 40 quality instructional programs are offered as weekend courses at this fifty-year-old school. CC was ranked #17 in Best Community Colleges in California with an overall grade of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A’ in Diversity, Student Life, and Safety) by Niche.com. CC is a two-year school located in Redwood City, CA in the San Francisco Bay Area with an acceptance rate of 100%. A student-faculty ratio of 26:1 is observed at the school in which popular areas of study include Child Care Provider, Psychology, and Liberal Arts and Humanities. The cost of attendance is $6,453 per year with over half (55%) of attending students receiving some form of financial. This public school is one of the smallest in the area with an enrollment of just 999 undergraduate students.

24. South Texas College

Score: 84.6

Average Net Price: $2,096
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 16%
Salary After Attending: $30,300

South Texas College is a public community college located in McAllen, Texas in the Brownsville area. South Texas College (STC) is a rather large school with an enrollment of 10,788 students. The school is ranked #18 in Best Value Colleges in Texas and has an overall grade ranking of ‘B-‘ (with an A in Campus and Value) by Niche.com. STC has an acceptance rate of 100% and popular areas of study include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Information Science, and Business. The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. STC’s annual cost of tuition is approximately $1,825 with 89% of students receiving financial aid or support. The school is unranked by US News but aims at supporting students as greatly as they can to make what you need happen. South Texas College has an average student-faculty ratio of 22:1 with many students agreeing that selecting the classes they desire is an easy task at the school.

25. Olney Central College

Score: 84.6

Average Net Price: $3,135
Retention Rate: 65%
Graduation Rate: 54%
Salary After Attending: $29,500

With an incredible graduation rate of 74%, the Olney Central College (OCC) is a two-year public college devoted to conferring specific degrees. Specific degrees conferred at OCC include associate degrees, technical certificates, and online four-year degrees through an affiliation with the nearby school, Franklin University. The school offers a super low student-faculty ratio of 13:1 with an acceptance rate of 100%. This school is small and has an enrollment size of just 522 undergraduate students. An overall grade of ‘C+’ was assigned by niche.com, with an ‘A+’ in the category of Safety. This two-year institution is located in Olney, IL and gives 100% of attending students financial aid packages. The average cost of attendance is $3,176 annually, after aid is applied. Students attending OCC often seek majors in: Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing, and Licensed Practical Nurse Training (LPN). ¬Olney Central College makes it their mission to deliver exceptional educational services to improve the community and lives of their students.

26. Carl Sandburg College

Score: 84.2

Average Net Price: $2,478
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 32%
Salary After Attending: $29,700

With 7 out of 10 students graduating entirely debt free, Carl Sandburg College (CSC) makes it to the top of the list of cheapest colleges in the USA. CSC has an average tuition rate of just $1,695 per year with 89% of students receiving financial aid and support. Ranked #11 in Best Community Colleges in Illinois by Niche.com, CSC enrolls 883 undergraduate students. An overall grade rank of ‘B-‘ to the school was also given by Niche.com. The school is small and located in Galesburg, IL and has an acceptance rate of 100%. Popular majors studied by undergraduates at CSC include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Nursing. A 15:1 student-faculty ratio is adhered to at the school. Most unique, Carl Sandburg College offers an education for 3x less the cost of tuition that most universities or public colleges. With such low rates of tuition, students are able to focus on their education without the added stress of financial burden.

27. Albany Technical College

Score: 83.2

Average Net Price: $1,033
Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Salary After Attending: $21,700

Albany Technical College offers a high-quality education at one of the lowest costs around. Albany Technical College (ATC) holds an average cost of attendance of $1,033 per year and a whopping 95% of undergraduate students receive financial aid and support. Niche.com assigned an overall grade rank of ‘C’ to the school. ATC is a public college located in Albany, Georgia and holds a 100% acceptance rate. The school enrolls about 1,232 undergraduate students and offers a 15:1 student-faculty ratio. ATC’s students often major in: Business, Automotive Mechanics, and Criminal Justice and Safety Studies. The Albany Technical College is a unit of the Technical college System of Georgia and provides education for the surrounding seven counties. ATC offers students the option of more than 40 diploma, more than 70 technical certificates of credit, and more than 25 degree programs. These various opportunities created and available at ATC aim at helping the community thrive and grow professionally.

28. Grossmont College

Score: 83.2

Average Net Price: $3,011
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 26%
Salary After Attending: $34,000

A two-year community college located in El Cajon, California in the San Diego region, Grossmont college is committed to supporting students in achieving all of their educational and career objectives. Grossmont College (GC) is ranked #25 in Best Community Colleges in California with an overall grade ranking of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A’ in the categories of Diversity, Student Life, and Safety) by Niche.com. The school has an acceptance rate of 100% and a student-faculty ratio of 24:1. GC is a mid-sized college with an enrollment of just above 6,190 undergraduate students. Grossmont College has made many wonderful programs available to students. The three most studied majors at the school are: Business, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Economics. These have been rated the most popular areas of study at the school. Tuition at GC averages at $4,629 per student per year with 68% of students receiving some kind of financial aid or support.

29. New Mexico Military Institute

Score: 82.4

Average Net Price: $2,837
Retention Rate: 51%
Graduation Rate: 35%
Salary After Attending: $39,700

The New Mexico Military Institute is a public military junior college located in Roswell, New Mexico. It was founded in 1891 and currently reports to the Governor of New Mexico. A low 12:1 student-faculty ratio is offered at the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). NMMI was ranked #1 in Best Community Colleges in New Mexico and was given an overall grade rank of ‘A-‘ by Niche.com. The school has a competitive acceptance rate of 42 percent and is recognized globally as a learning institution with a mission to provide preparation and education for students to become leaders, capable of critical thinking and analysis. The average tuition rate is $4,218 per student annually. 95% of the total 419 enrolled students attending NMMI receive financial aid and support. This school seeks to create leaders by emphasizing duty, honor, and achievement. The New Mexico Military Institute values these three elements and believes that these help students grow in their personal and professional lives.

30. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

Score: 82.2

Average Net Price: $1,715
Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 33%
Salary After Attending: $22,500

A small public college located in Valdosta, Georgia, the Wiregrass Georgia Technical College hosts 909 undergraduate students each year. 95% of these students receive financial aid lowering their average cost of attendance to about $2,345 per year (while the national average is around $15,000 annually). Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (WGTC) has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1 and accepts 100% of applicants. Criminal Justice and Safety Studies, Truck, Bus, and Commercial Vehicle Operation, and Cosmetology are three most favorited areas of study by undergraduate students at WGTC. The school was given an overall grade of ‘C+,’ with an ‘A’ in Safety, by Niche.com. WGTC provides education for the neighboring eleven counties in South-Central Georgia. Wiregrass currently holds the title for #1 in enrollment in the state for the year. More than 5000 students have been served at the school with over 140 programs of study to select from. Wiregrass was also voted Best for Vets Technical College in 2019.

31. Chattahoochee Valley Community College

Score: 81.6

Average Net Price: $769
Retention Rate: 53%
Graduation Rate: 15%
Salary After Attending: $28,900

Described as having a true community feel in which even student birthdays are celebrated monthly, the Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC) is a small local school with an enrollment of 820 students. The school’s average cost of attendance is about $1,234 per year with greater than 90% of students receiving some form of financial aid. A 16:1 student-faculty ratio is adhered to with an acceptance rate of 100%. An overall grade of ‘C’ is assigned to CVCC by Niche.com. The school is located in Phenix City, Alabama in the Columbus city region. Popular programs of study by students include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing, and Medical. CVCC primarily serves residents of Russel County. The college has a mixture of older building and newer buildings, the newest being the Instructional & Performing Arts Center for a total of nine permanent buildings and fifteen temporary ones. The school was established in 1973 as a Junior College by the Alabama State Legislature.

32. Wayne Community College

Score: 81.4

Average Net Price: $3,065
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 33%
Salary After Attending: $27,400

Also including nine permanent building is the Wayne Community College. The Wayne Community College (WCC) has more than 14,000 curriculum and extension students enrolled per year even though this small school only has an enrollment of 1,330 undergraduate students. The school also offers opportunities for students to study abroad in countries such as Amsterdam, London, and Paris. The school has a 100% acceptance rate and offers a low 11:1 student-faculty ratio. Popular majors studied at WCC include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Medical Office Management, and Machine and Metal Working. $6,066 per year is the average cost of attendance with 93% of students receiving financial aid and support. The Wayne Community College is located in rural Goldsboro, North Carolina. This school is a public learning-centered and associate degree granting institution that offers an open-door admissions policy to all student seeking higher education. This includes students that have recently graduated from high school, that are returning students, or that are adult students returning to complete their higher education after a long period of time.

33. Coahoma Community College

Score: 81

Average Net Price: $1,035
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Salary After Attending: $19,500

With a ninety-nine-acre campus near the Mississippi River, the Coahoma Community College is a public college that rests on a beautiful campus. The Coahoma Community College (CCC) is a historically black college with a strong history and commitment to the educational advancement of black Americans. The school is located in Clarksdale, MS and has a Niche.com overall grade rank of ‘C’ (With an ‘A’ in Safety). The school costs the average student about $1,067 per year and most students (99%) receive a financial aid package. CCC is a small school with an enrollment size of about 1,438 undergraduate students. The college has a 100% acceptance rate and a decent student-faculty ratio of 19:1. The top three most popular majors studied at Coahoma Community College are Liberal Arts and Humanities, Automotive Mechanics, and Child Care provider. The school, however, was originally opened in 1924 as the first agricultural high school in Mississippi for African Americans.

34. Cleveland Community College

Score: 80.8

Average Net Price: $224
Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 21%
Salary After Attending: $24,500

Established in 1965 as the Cleveland County Industrial and Adult Education Center, the Cleveland Community College located in Shelby, NC. The school had first classes that consisted of a Licensed Practical Nurse program. In 1980, the school took its current name of Cleveland Community College (CCC). CCC is a small school with a low enrollment of just 990 undergraduate students. The school was ranked #19 in Best Community Colleges in North Carolina and received an overall grade of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A’ in Safety). The cost of attendance at the Cleveland College is roughly $3,911 per year and 77% of students receive some form of financial aid and support. The school offers a 11:1 student-faculty ratio and has an acceptance rate of 100%. Evening programs are offered and three popular areas of study at the college include Information Technology, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Robotics and Automation Engineering Technician.

35. Spartanburg Community College

Score: 80.2

Average Net Price: $1,824
Retention Rate: 58%
Graduation Rate: 18%
Salary After Attending: $28,300

With almost one hundred percent of students receiving financial aid and support, the Spartanburg Community College is a cheaper college with a tuition of $2,307 per year. Niche.com gives Spartanburg an overall grade ranking of ‘C+’ (with an ‘A+’ in the area of Safety). Spartanburg Community College (SCC) is a public community college that is located in Southern Shops, South Carolina. It is a small school with an enrollment of 2,058 undergraduate students. SCC has an acceptance rate of 100% and offers a 17:1 student-faculty ratio. The school serves the citizens of three neighboring counties in Upstate South Carolina (Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties). SCC emphasizes personal and professional development in earning a certificate or degree. The school allows students the opportunity to obtain skills they may need for a new job or personal hobby. The most popular majors studied at SCC include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Instrumentation Technician, and Welding.

36. College of the Mainland

Score: 80.2

Average Net Price: $2,769
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 21%
Salary After Attending: $30,500

The College of the Mainland is a public community college located in Texas City, Texas in the Houston region. Tuition at the College of the Mainland (CM) averages at about $3,463 per year with more than half of students receiving financial aid packages. The school is small and has an enrollment of 1,167 undergraduate students but offers a 100% acceptance rating, accepting all applicants. Popular areas of study include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Lab Technician, and Nursing. The school received an overall grade of ‘C+’ by Niche.com (With an ‘A’ in Safety). A 16:1 student-faculty ratio is adhered to at CM. Graduates with technical degrees form this college (on average) receive the highest starting salaries of any new university or college graduates in the state. They receive, on average, a starting salary of $73,509. The school’s mascot is the Fighting Ducks and currently, construction is being done on the school for the purpose of growing and improving the campus as a whole.

37. Reedley College

Score: 79

Average Net Price: $2,485
Retention Rate: 65%
Graduation Rate: 24%
Salary After Attending: $26,300

With the main focus of motivating and empowering students to be successful, the Reedley College (RC) provides students with a high-quality education. The school offers associate degree programs, career technical education, transfer level, and basic skills course that can be offered in an accessible and safe learning space. Popular programs of studies include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Biology, and Business. The Reedley College has an acceptance rate of 100% and is located in Reedley, California in the Fresno region. The average cost of attendance is around $3,653 per year with 90% of students receiving financial aid and support. Niche.com gives RC an overall grade rank of ‘C+’ (with an ‘A’ in Safety). The school holds a 24:1 student-faculty ratio. The Reedley College was founded in May of 1926 on the campus of Reedley High School as the Reedley Junior College. It became a complete community college in July of 1946.

38. Northeast Alabama Community College

Score: 79

Average Net Price: $2,874
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Salary After Attending: $27,900

Ranked #5 in Best Community Colleges in Alabama by Niche.com, the Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) offers students higher education at a low cost. The average rate of tuition at the school is $3,144 per year with almost 90% of students receiving some form of financial aid support. Niche.com also awarded NACC an overall grade of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A+’ in Safety). NACC is a small public college located in Rainsville, AL with an enrollment just above 1,200 students. The school accepts 100% of students who apply to the school. The top three programs of study at NACC include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Welding, and Medical Assistant. The Northeast Alabama Community College offers a student-faculty ratio of 18:1 and (according to one poll) 80% of students agree that it is relatively easy for them to get the classes they desire. Being able to easily select your choice of classes with the professors you want at the times you want is very important to the college-going experience.

39. Southeastern Technical College

Score: 78.8

Average Net Price: $2,503
Retention Rate: 54%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $20,600

Offering popular majors such as: Nursing Assistant, Health Service Preparatory Studies, and Criminal Justice and Safety Studies, the Southeastern Technical College is a public college located in lovely Vidalia, Georgia. With an extremely small school comes an even smaller enrollment size of only 449 undergraduate students. Students attending Southeastern Technical College (STC) pay, on average, $3,216 per year of attendance. 99% of attending students receive financial aid support. STC received a ‘C’ from Niche.com as the school’s overall grade. This small school has an acceptance rate of 100% and a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Southeastern Technical College has satellite campuses in Swainsboro and Glennville with distance learning centers in other neighboring counties as well. More than 80 programs are available for students to select from making this school a wonderful opportunity for beginning higher education needs. STC is part of the Technical College System of Georgia so that it may best support its community and help students grow.

40. Mississippi Delta Community College

Score: 78.2

Average Net Price: $2,164
Retention Rate: 51%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $22,100

With a mascot of the Trojan Warrior, the Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC) is a public college that rates ‘A’ in Safety by Niche.com. MDCC has an acceptance rate of 100% and offers a student-faculty ratio of 18:1. The three most majored programs of study include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing, and Licensed Practical Nurse Training. This public school is located in Moorhead, Mississippi and has a small enrollment of 1,801 students. This school is described as comprehensive and offers traditional education that lead to four-year college or fast track career-technical training to help students get fully certified and qualified. MDCC has a historic campus. The school was originally formed with the Sunflower County Agricultural High School in 1927 and was accredited in the following year by the Accrediting Commission of the Senior Colleges of Mississippi. This historic campus is set in a very rural, beautiful, and peaceful community ensuring high quality educational services for all students. The annual cost of attendance is $2,650 with 95% of students receiving financial aid.

41. Fresno City College

Score: 77.6

Average Net Price: $2,834
Retention Rate: 65%
Graduation Rate: 18%
Salary After Attending: $28,000

Fresno City College is a mid-size public college located in Fresno, California. The school has a total enrollment of 7,794 undergraduate students and has a 100% acceptance rate. Fresno City College (FCC) operates on a semester-based schedule, offering both associate degrees and certificates. The average rate of tuition is around $4,266 per school year with 85% of students receiving financial aid support. Nursing, Business, and Police and Criminal Science are the three top programs of study at Fresno City College. Niche.com assigned FCC an overall grade of ‘C.’ FCC offers an above-average student-faculty ratio of 27:1. The school has recently created a collaborative pilot program so that interested student can receive an online cybersecurity certificate. The collaborative program is entirely online with textbooks that are zero-cost. Fresno City College is dedicated to its community and has formed a Transformative Climate Community (TCC0 proposal to take this generation of students onto their next chapter in higher education.

42. Chattahoochee Technical College

Score: 77.4

Average Net Price: $2,231
Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 19%
Salary After Attending: $28,600

Governed by the Technical College System of Georgia, the Chattahoochee Technical College is a public community college that offers a 22:1 student-faculty ratio. The school is a small school located in Fair Oaks, Georgia (in the Atlanta region) and has an enrollment of about 2,750 students. Automotive Mechanics, Professional and Technical Writing, and Network, Database, and System Administration are highly rated and popular programs of study at the Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC). The school costs around $3, 115 per year per student after aid is applied and 85% of students currently receive financial aid. Niche.com rates CTC an overall grade of ‘C’ (with an ‘A+’ in Safety). The school has an acceptance rate of 100% and offers degrees, certificates, and diplomas in more than unique 50 program areas. CTC has eight campuses that serve six counties in beautifully wonderful North Georgia and is recognized as a globally competitive institution.

43. Lanier Technical College

Score: 77

Average Net Price: $2,930
Retention Rate: 58%
Graduation Rate: 32%
Salary After Attending: $26,700

Offering a great 14:1 student-faculty ratio, the Lanier Technical College is a small college located in Oakwood, GA. It hosts 1,053 students annually and offers a 100% acceptance rate. The school was ranked #5 in Best Community Colleges in Georgia and was awarded an overall grade of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A+’ in the category of Safety) by Niche.com. The cost of tuition is currently averaged at $4,325 per year after aid is applied and 86% of students receive financial aid support. The three top areas of study selected at Lanier Technical College (LTC) are: Automotive Mechanics, Welding, and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT Paramedic). The school has multiple locations in Georgia and emphasizes the importance of workforce development. LTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and was originally chartered by the Board of Education in 1964. The school was originally named the Gainesville-Hall County Area Vocational Trade School but had its name changed just ten months later.

44. Pearl River Community College

Score: 77

Average Net Price: $3,156
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Salary After Attending: $27,600

Ranked #7 in Best Community Colleges in Mississippi by Niche.com, the Pearl River Community College (PRCC) is a small public school located in rural Poplarville, Mississippi. Niche.com also awarded the school an overall grade of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A’ in the category of Safety). While the school is a bit more on the expensive side, in comparison to other cheap schools, at a tuition of $7,933 per year, PRCC is still way below the national average of tuition ($15,000). 91% of student receive financial aid support and the small school has a 100% acceptance rate. With this rate, students often sway towards one of three popular programs of study: Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing, and Electrical Engineering Technician. The school offers a student-faculty ratio of 16:1. PRCC was founded in 1909 as an Agricultural High School and became the very first junior college in the state of Mississippi in 1921.

45. George C Wallace Community College-Dothan

Score: 76.4

Average Net Price: $2,664
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 22%
Salary After Attending: $24,700

The George C Wallace Community College-Dothan (GWCC-D) is an accredited institution that enrolls nearly 4,000 students. The school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1969. GWCC-D is a community college located in Dothan, Alabama. The school offers a wide general education selection and awards associate degrees and certificates at a low cost. The average cost of attendance is $3,321 per year for students after aid is applied. By 2017, the school formed three campuses: the Wallace Campus, Sparks Campus in Eufaula, and the Center for Economic and Workforce Development in Dothan. The school was established in 1947 under the Alabama Regional Trade School Act of 1947 and has since grown tremendously. The GWCC-D was the very first comprehensive community college in Southern Alabama. In the department of athletics, GWCC maintains an affiliation with the Southern Conference and women’s softball team to the men’s junior college baseball team.

46. Atlanta Technical College

Score: 75.6

Average Net Price: $3,082
Retention Rate: 56%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Salary After Attending: $22,000

Committed to changing and transforming the lives and communities through the growth and development of the workforce, the Atlanta Technical College (ATC) offers 94% of their students financial aid packages. The average cost of attendance is at a low $2,882 per year per student after aid is applied. ATC holds a 100% acceptance rate and has received an overall grade ranking of ‘C-‘ by Niche.com. Automotive Mechanics, Medical Assistant, and Health Service Preparatory Studies are the three most favored programs of study. An 18:1 student-faculty ratio is observed at ATC. The school is a small public college located in Atlanta, Georgia and hosts an enrollment of 1,405 students. Interestingly, the Atlanta Technical College was originally formed in 1945 after the end of World War II as an adult vocational school. The school was initially named the Smith-Hughes Vocational School but was renamed in 1997 to gain its current name.

47. Central Georgia Technical College

Score: 75.2

Average Net Price: $2,721
Retention Rate: 54%
Graduation Rate: 30%
Salary After Attending: $21,500

Ranked #6 in Best Community Colleges in Georgia and an overall grade rank of ‘B-‘ (with an ‘A’ in Safety) by Niche.com, the Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) is a small public school that offers small classes and hands-on experiences. CGTC has a student-faculty ratio of 14:1 which is very low. The school is located in Warner Robins, Georgia in the Macon region. 92% of students that attend Central Georgia Technical College receive financial aid support leading to an overall tuition rate of $2,568 per year after aid is applied. This small college enrolls 2,256 undergraduate students annually. Cosmetology, Data Processing, and Business Support Services are the three top areas of study selected by attending students. CGTC offers programs that relate to at least four of the six industries that the Commission for a New Georgia identified as needed in order to increase and maintain competitiveness in the global economy.

48. Fort Peck Community College

Score: 74

Average Net Price: $1,460
Retention Rate: 46%
Graduation Rate: 8%
Salary After Attending: $16,500

With one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios of just 10:1, the Fort Peck Community College is one of seven tribal community colleges in the state of Montana. Fort Peck Community College (FPCC) offers an associate of arts, an associate of science, an associate of applied science, and a one-year learning certificate. 100% of students that apply are accepted by the school and can select one of many degree programs. The top choices for majors at FPCC include Data Processing, Accounting Technician and Bookkeeping, and Business. The median rate of tuition for attending this school is $3,573 of each individual student each year. 78% of attending students receive financial aid packages. FPCC is located in the small city of Poplar, Montana and offers an extremely low enrollment of 232 undergraduate students. Located on the Fort Peck Sioux and Assiniboine Reservation in northeast Montana, the school encompasses more than two million acres. FPCC also has a satellite campus located in Wolf Point.

49. Halifax Community College

Score: 73

Average Net Price: $3,150
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 27%
Salary After Attending: $24,100

Located in rural Weldon, North Carolina and hosting a small enrollment of 438 undergraduate students, the Halifax Community College offers affordable higher education for local students. The median cost of attendance is $3,413 per year with more than 70% of students receiving a financial aid package. Niche.com assigned Halifax an overall grade of ‘C+’ and the school accepts 100% of all students who apply. The three most majored programs of study include Business, Instrumentation Technician, and Liberal Arts and Humanities. An extremely low student-faculty ratio of 11:1 is adhered to at Halifax Community College (HCC) and evening degree programs are also available. HCC was established in 1967 and offers numerous associate degree programs and means of continuing education. The college strives on being a catalyst for cultural, economic, and educational progress. They desire to anticipate the learning needs of the community and seek to respond appropriately to those needs so that collaborative growth may become the outcome.

50. Eastern Gateway Community College

Score: 70.4

Average Net Price: $2,758
Retention Rate: 38%
Graduation Rate: 7%
Salary After Attending: $25,700

Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) is a state, public, and accredited institution. The school offers degree programs, certificates, and all courses in an effort to prepare students in their transfer to a four-year college, to enter the workforce, to enrich your life, or all other educational or personal endeavors. EGCC offers a 100% acceptance rate and an average 21:1 student-faculty ratio. Greater than 35 programs are available to help you pursue higher education the way you wanted to. The overall grade given to the school by Niche.com is a grade rank of ‘C’ but the average cost of tuition is low at around $3,192 per year. 93% of students attending Eastern Gateway Community College receive some kind of financial aid support. This small school has an open admissions policy and offers students the opportunity to gain school credit for life experiences. EGCC utilizes a semester-based academic schedule that aims to provide a flexible means of education and self-improvement.

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