1. California State University-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
CSU Los Angeles unites its diverse campus and academic community with an unparalleled commitment to affordable scholarly inquiry. And considering its annual net price lands just north of $3,000, it stands to reason that CSULA has also earned the number one spot on Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang For the Buck” ranking. But affordability is just one perk of attending this multifaceted institution, where you can major in anything from Civil Engineering to Music, Theatre, and Dance. Enrolling almost 25,000 students annually, CSULA’s affordable, accredited degree programs continue to enjoy record growth and national recognition for their accessibility.
Average Net Price: $3,160/yr
Student Body: : 24,156
3. University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley
The Texas Legislature formed UT Rio Grande in 2013 after consolidating several other nearby universities into a single unit. Officially, UTRG now unites eleven colleges and schools that span across the Rio Grande Valley. By combining so many different resources, this affordable, accredited university is able to offer unheard-of learning options that cater directly to its 90% Hispanic student population. Degree choices range from Mexican American Studies and Marine Biology to Spanish Translation and Interpreting. Plus, you can supplement your major with unique minors like Folklore and Latin American Studies.
Average Net Price: $4,335/yr
Student Body: : 27,811
4. Fayetteville State University
Whether you’re more book smart or practically career-oriented, you’ll find the tools you need to succeed at Fayetteville State University. With the motto “Academics that Work,” this HBCU attracts students who ranked well above average on a national test to assess higher order reasoning abilities. With this knowledge, undergraduates can feel confident in their decision to earn an affordable, accredited degree from FSU. But whether they opt for a program in communications, business administration, or education, all FSU grads will leave with a strong set of critical thinking and writing skills that will serve them well in any number of career fields.
Average Net Price: $5,170/yr
Student Body: : 6,633
5. University of Texas-El Paso
El Paso, TX
El Paso’s proximity to Ciudad Juarez makes it the largest bi-national metro location in the country. Indeed, visitors to campus will find the university practically overflowing with diversity at every point on the academic spectrum. You’ll find plenty of quality, too, from UTEP’s award-winning graduate programs in business and engineering to its School of Nursing, considered one of the best in the Southwest region. But that’s not all. The cosmopolitan perspective of this top affordable university’s primarily Mexican-American student body has also earned UTEP acclaim for its humanities department, which offers the only bilingual MFA program in the country.
Average Net Price: $5,433/yr
Student Body: : 23,771
6. California State University-Bakersfield
CSU Bakersfield earns its top affordable college ranking with an astonishingly low price tag of just over $6k per semester. With a state-of-the art research and media center, theaters, galleries, and a recreation center devoted to the schools Division I athletic teams, CSUB plays a pivotal role amidst Central California’s rural communities by tackling its mission to develop the intellectual and personal potential of each undergrad. This respect for its students’ diverse interests and goals is most evident in the university’s list of 50+ degree programs, which range from Electrical Engineering to Marketing.
Average Net Price: $6,376/yr
Student Body: : 9,
7. Utah Valley University
Located within view of the Wasatch Mountains, UVU certainly offers great scenery. And it’s also one of the safest campuses in the country. But these are just two of the factors that likely influenced the more than 40,000 undergrads who enroll each year. Need another reason to attend Utah’s largest public institution? How about UVU’s exceptionally tailored degree paths. Not only does the university offer some of the region’s most affordable degrees, but most of its programs come with multiple emphasis options that allow participants to customize their studies. Some even offer up to eight different specializations! Poli Sci majors, for example, can choose from concentrations like American Government, Indian Affairs, and World Politics.
Average Net Price: $6,565/yr
Student Body: : 43,017
8. East Central University
With just over 4,000 undergrads, East Central University has the smallest student body of any of the top ten schools on our list. But despite its small size, this top cheap college offers an impressive variety of degree programs – nearly 70, in fact! What’s more, it’s the only university in Oklahoma where students can go to earn a degree in subjects like environmental health science, medical physics, and cartography. And when compared with other regional public institutions of its size, ECU has received the second highest number of government grants in the country. If that’s not impressive, consider that several of ECU’s alumni have gone on to serve as members of the state senate – and even as the governor!
Average Net Price: $6,590/yr
Student Body: : 4,367
9. CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
New York, NY
Established in the 1950s, CUNY John Jay first emerged as a training ground for a liberal arts-educated, ethics-oriented police force. And though the school has since expanded its reach, it has stayed true to its goal of educating advocates for justice. To this day, the school offers 31 specialized majors in subjects that range from Culture and Deviance Studies to Toxicology. And impressively, an astounding 41% of graduates continue the school’s original legacy by earning John Jay’s top affordable degree in Criminal Justice. But regardless of their specific field, nearly all graduates share at least one goal in common: a desire to work at either a governmental or nonprofit organization.
Average Net Price: $6,641/yr
Student Body: : 15,452
10. CUNY New York City College of Technology
An affordable liberal arts education has its benefits, but so does attending a school that places a strong emphasis on applied skills. Students interested in fields ranging from architectural technology to industrial design might consider CUNY City Tech, which offers an exceptional experience for those seeking technology-oriented careers. Comprised of innovative observatories and labs, this affordable, accredited college represents a haven of hands-on learning for students in each of its 26 baccalaureate programs. But educational opportunities aren’t limited to campus. In fact, the school encourages students to apply for exciting internships and learning opportunities through its partnerships with organizations like Idealist, Microsoft, and NYC’s own Tech Talent Pipeline.
Average Net Price: $6,671/yr
Student Body: : 21,064