Around four out of every ten working American adults are college-degree holders. These degrees come with a price tag of around $23,000 per year for a moderately-priced in-state college, and around $45,000 for a private college, according to College Board statistics published on College Data.
With degrees having such a hefty price tag, if you earn the median household income, you’d be spending 45 percent of your income on in-state tuition and an astonishing 88 percent of your income on a private college. Even if you work in one of the highest paying jobs, paying for a college degree out-of-pocket will cost a substantial portion of your income. An oral surgeon who earns the median pay for his occupation would have to put out 30 percent of his annual income to pay for tuition, room, board, and books at a private college.
When preparing for college, students often choose a school based on its reputation. It is a common thought that schools with big names, like the big ten schools or an ivy league school, will definitely lead a degree holder’s resume straight to the top of a pile. But is there any truth to this? Some recruiters and other experts say no. According to a publication by the College Solution, employers seek out candidates from a variety of schools – large, small, known, and unknown. The publication adds that what you do during your time in school matters. Your achievements, credentials, and activities will set you apart from competition in the job market.
Considering school choice will not make or break your career opportunities and the cost of tuition is so incredibly high, why not go to an affordable college? Here is a list of some of the most inexpensive colleges and Universities in the U.S., based on publications by Online U and The Best Colleges.
1. Liberty University Online
This is a non-profit school with accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. For the 2013 through 2014 school year, students can attend undergraduate classes part-time for $385 per credit and full-time students pay $340 per credit hour. A student taking a full 12-hour course load pays around $4,300 per term in tuition and fees. Liberty also offers a discount for military members and for emergency response personnel.
2. Western Governor’s University
Also a non-profit school, basic tuition at WGU is $2,890 per six month term. WGU advertises that was founded by 19 governors and is “designed for working adults.” It offers online degree programs in many areas such as information technology, teaching licensing programs, business degree programs, and health and nursing.
3. Columbia Southern University
Undergraduate tuition at Columbia Southern is $200 credit per hour for the 2013 through 2014 school year. Offering bachelor’s degree programs in basic areas like business, finance, criminal justice, and information technology, CSU is accredited by the Distance Education Training Council and is a member of the American Council on Education.
4. Eastern New Mexico University
For the 2014 through 2015 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state students is $2,428 per semester ($4,856 per year) and out-of-state students pay a higher rate of $5,316 ($10,632 annually.) If you decide to live on campus as an in-state resident, you can get the whole package (ID card, room, and board, as well as books included) for around $6,375. As an out-of-state student, you pay around $9,262 per semester.
5. Fort Hays State University
To attend FHSU, students pay only $182 per credit hour for undergraduate programs. This school has an 18 to 1 student to faculty ratio and it offers bachelor’s degree programs in many areas, including business education, teaching, information technology, management and marketing, and healthcare.