Cheap colleges aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. With 94% of parents saying they expect their kids to go to college in a recent Pew Research poll, you’d think everyone out there would be looking for cheap colleges to send their kids to.
You’d also probably think that the inexpensive colleges with good reputations are some of the hardest to get into.
Fortunately parents, this isn’t the way supply and demand work when it comes to a college education.
It turns out there are some cheap colleges out there right under your nose. Schools where you can spend way less to “earn” a degree and get an education worth noting.
15 Cheap Colleges You Didn’t Know Were Cheap
Of course, everyone knows that in-state, public universities are often more affordable for families. But some of these great state schools are actually beyond affordable — they’re cheap colleges. Here’s a run-down of the cheapest in-state schools according to the Princeton Review, along with their average annual in-state tuition costs.
1. University of Massachusetts Boston – $1,714
2. Appalachian State University – $2,961
3. University of North Carolina Wilmington – $3,028
4. University of Oklahoma – $3,079
5. University of North Carolina at Asheville – $3,166
6. Florida State University – $3,397
7. University of South Dakota – $3,429
8. University of North Florida – $3,742
9. SUNY College of Environmental Science – $$4,070
10. James Madison – $4,182
11. University of Mary Washington – $4,462
12. Southern Utah University – $4,658
13. Brooklyn College CUNY – $4,830
14. Hunter College CUNY – $4,830
15. SUNY Genesseo – $4,970
Cheap Colleges Don’t Necessarily Mean Cheap Degrees
One of the problems many students have with going to a cheap college like one of the above, is that cheap colleges can be confused for cheap degrees and a weak shot at a good career. Of course, looking at the list above, I’m sure you can recognize at least a few as being good schools. In fact, most of these are great schools.
The thing about degrees is that the name on the diploma isn’t all that matters. A recent survey by Rutgers University found that 37% of recent graduates wish they had thought more about their majors. Duh! A degree isn’t just a school, it’s a course of study.
And here’s a news flash. Sports marketing majors and ancient languages studies majors are struggling to find jobs directly out of undergraduate school. Studying engineering tracks like biomedical engineering, software engineering or civil engineering can land pretty much anyone completing them a sweet gig these days. Non-engineering degrees like mathematics, statistics and physics are also paying well and in high demand, pretty much regardless of the institution associated with the degree.
Final Thoughts on Cheap Colleges
Next time your son or daughter is doubting whether they’ll be able to get a good job out of the kind of college you can afford, remind him or her that cheap colleges are good deals. They don’t have to be bad degrees. Heck, anyone can take free Stanford courses if they know where to look. But not everyone in the bleak landscape facing young people today can afford to complete a degree. If you can figure that out, you’ve won half the war.
How did you consider your college investment? How did you save money on it? Share your tips below.