The idea of an “affordable college” may seem oxymoronic in a time when some schools charge more than $50,000 annually for tuition, but there are good schools out there that come with a reasonable price tag.
The Department of Education is ranking American colleges and universities by affordability for the first time ever using a new interactive tool based on published tuition prices and each school’s “net price,” which is the average cost after tuition, room and board, book fees and financial aid are taken into consideration.
The College Affordability and Transparency Center exists as a result of mandated education reforms passed by Congress in 2008.
Here’s a list of the 10 cheapest schools (“cheapest” being relative, of course) in the United States with enrollments of 5,000 students or more as they ranked by the “net price” in the 2008-2009 academic years:
South Texas College 1 of 10Net price: $1,317 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 26,388 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 86% â€¢ Location: McAllen Texas
University of Texas, Pan American 2 of 10Net price: $1,646 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 18,337 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 87% â€¢ Location: Edinburg, Texas
Indian River State College 3 of 10Net price: $2,138 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 17,110 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 66% â€¢ Location: Fort Pierce, Fla.
California State University, Dominguez Hills 4 of 10Net price: $2,451 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 14,477 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 76% â€¢ Location: Carson, Calif
California State University, Los Angeles 5 of 10Net price: $3,263 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 20,619 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 77% â€¢ Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Palm Beach State College 6 of 10Net price: $3,490 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 28,017 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 56% â€¢ Location: Lake Worth, Fla.
CUNY Lehman College 7 of 10Net price: $4,335 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 12,195 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 90% â€¢ Location: Bronx, N.Y.
CUNY John Jay College Criminal Justice 8 of 10Net price: $4,590 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 15,330 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 79% â€¢ Location: New York, N.Y.
Texas A&M International University 9 of 10Net price: $4,594 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 6,419 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 96% â€¢ Location: Laredo, Texas
Bellevue College 10 of 10Net price: $4,749 â€¢ Undergrad enrollment: 14,010 â€¢ Freshmen with financial aid: 40% â€¢ Location: Bellevue, Wash.
Images: Wikipedia + Creative Commons
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