The Most Affordable Quality Schools
The Most Affordable Quality Schools
(Photo: elibrody/Flickr)

The cost of going to college conitnues to rise, but quality education can still be had at a reasonable price. StartClass found the 25 best schools under $25K

It's no secret that the cost of a college education has been on the rise for decades. Making matters worse is the always-increasing national student debt, which is set to reach an all-time high this year. Factor in a recent decline in median household income, and paying for a quality college experience starts to feel like an impossible task.

Despite the dire circumstances, there are still viable, affordable options in today's college landscape. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, StartClass found the 25 least expensive quality universities. Only colleges with an out-of-state tuition of $25,000 or less were included. Schools are ranked according to their Smart Rating score, which is based on financial affordability, career readiness, admissions selectivity, expert opinion and academic excellence. The maximum score a college can have is 100.

Nine colleges in New York made the cut, including Stony Brook University and the University at Buffalo, though none of the nine landed in the top spot. All schools on the list had a Smart Rating of 92 or higher.

Note: Both Berea College and the College of the Ozarks were excluded from the list, since neither school charges tuition. We also excluded the United States Coast Guard from consideration, since the school often reports no dollar amount for its annual tuition. In the event of ties, the school with the lowest out-of-state tuition was ranked higher.

U.S. College Tuition vs. Median Income Over Time

25: University of Missouri-Columbia

Smart Rating: 92.52
Out-of-state tuition: $24,460
In-state tuition: $9,433
Acceptance rate: 77.7 percent
Average SAT score: 1770

24: SUNY at Fredonia

Smart Rating: 92.54
Out-of-state tuition: $17,392
In-state tuition: $7,741
Acceptance rate: 53.2 percent
Average SAT score: 1560

23: University of Alabama

Smart Rating: 92.64
Out-of-state tuition: $24,950
In-state tuition: $9,826
Acceptance rate: 51 percent
Average SAT score: 1660

22: Franciscan University of Steubenville

Smart Rating: 92.64
Out-of-state tuition: $23,930
In-state tuition: $23,930
Acceptance rate: 77.9 percent
Average SAT score: 1770

21: Iowa State University

Smart Rating: 92.71
Out-of-state tuition: $20,617
In-state tuition: $7,731
Acceptance rate: 86.9 percent
Average SAT score: 1725

20: SUNY College at Brockport

Smart Rating: 92.71
Out-of-state tuition: $17,212
In-state tuition: $7,562
Acceptance rate: 49 percent
Average SAT score: 1575

19: San Diego State University

Smart Rating: 92.73
Out-of-state tuition: $18,026
In-state tuition: $6,866
Acceptance rate: 34.5 percent
Average SAT score: 1665

18: Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Smart Rating: 92.75
Out-of-state tuition: $22,304
In-state tuition: $7,250
Acceptance rate: 61.6 percent
Average SAT score: 1600

17: State University of New York at New Paltz

Smart Rating: 92.85
Out-of-state tuition: $17,068
In-state tuition: $7,418
Acceptance rate: 41.9 percent
Average SAT score: 1666

16: Truman State University

Smart Rating: 92.99
Out-of-state tuition: $13,438
In-state tuition: $7,374
Acceptance rate: 74.5 percent
Average SAT score: 1858

15: University at Buffalo

Smart Rating: 93.01
Out-of-state tuition: $22,290
In-state tuition: $8,870
Acceptance rate: 57.8 percent
Average SAT score: 1725

14: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Smart Rating: 93.05
Out-of-state tuition: $18,184
In-state tuition: $6,256
Acceptance rate: 36.4 percent
Average SAT score: 1822

13: Thomas Aquinas College

Smart Rating: 93.07
Out-of-state tuition: $24,500
In-state tuition: $24,500
Acceptance rate: 82.7 percent
Average SAT score: 1905

12: James Madison University

Smart Rating: 93.08
Out-of-state tuition: $24,522
In-state tuition: $9,662
Acceptance rate: 65.7 percent
Average SAT score: 1710

11: SUNY College at Geneseo

Smart Rating: 93.11
Out-of-state tuition: $17,424
In-state tuition: $7,774
Acceptance rate: 59.1 percent
Average SAT score: 1830

10: CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

Smart Rating: 93.19
Out-of-state tuition: $13,371
In-state tuition: $6,561
Acceptance rate: 27.9 percent
Average SAT score: 1852

9: University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Smart Rating: 93.2
Out-of-state tuition: $23,733
In-state tuition: $8.363
Acceptance rate: 43.2 percent
Average SAT score: 1675

8: Stony Brook University

Smart Rating: 93.21
Out-of-state tuition: $21,850
In-state tuition: $8,430
Acceptance rate: 41.3 percent
Average SAT score: 1845

7: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Smart Rating: 93.21
Out-of-state tuition: $17,048
In-state tuition: $7,398
Acceptance rate: 51.1 percent
Average SAT score: 1777

6: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

Smart Rating: 93.28
Out-of-state tuition: $20,078
In-state tuition: $8,918
Acceptance rate: 30.9 percent
Average SAT score: 1837

5: North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Smart Rating: 96.4
Out-of-state tuition: $23,551
In-state tuition: $8,296
Acceptance rate: 51.6 percent
Average SAT score: 1830

4: Florida State University

Smart Rating: 96.4
Out-of-state tuition: $21,673
In-state tuition: $6,507
Acceptance rate: 55.4 percent
Average SAT score: 1805

3: Brigham Young University-Provo

Smart Rating: 96.96
Out-of-state tuition: $5,000
In-state tuition: $5,000
Acceptance rate: 47 percent
Average SAT score: 1890

2: SUNY at Binghamton

Smart Rating: 96.99
Out-of-state tuition: $20,260
In-state tuition: $8,620
Acceptance rate: 44.1 percent
Average SAT score: 1915

1: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Smart Rating: 97.01
Out-of-state tuition: $20,810
In-state tuition: $13,560
Acceptance rate: 45.4 percent
Average SAT score: 1935

 

"The Most Affordable Quality Schools"