Around four out of every ten working American adults are college-degree holders. These degrees come with varying price tags. Ranging from a few grand per year for a low-priced two-year college to around $45,000 for a private, four-year school, according to College Board statistics published on College Data.
College can come with such a heavy price tag that if you were earn the median household income and attend a private college, you’d be spending an astonishing 88% of your income on school alone. 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 roughly 30% 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 ivy league schools, 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 2015 through 2016 school year, students can attend undergraduate classes part-time for $435 per credit and full-time students pay $375 per credit hour. A student taking a full 12-hour course load pays around $5,500 per term in tuition and fees. Liberty also offers discounts for military members. Military personnel can pay block rate, full-time tuition of $2,650.
2. Western Governor’s University
Also a non-profit school, basic tuition at WGU is around $3,000 per six month term. WGU advertises that was founded by 19 governors and is designed for working adults.
The school also states on its website:
“WGU has not raised tuition rates since 2008…[and] tuition is charged at a flat rate each term and covers all coursework completed in that time. The more courses you complete each term, the more affordable your degree becomes. Each WGU term is six months long and can begin on the first of any month. Unlike other schools, you aren’t charged per course or per credit, so if you earn your degree ahead of schedule, you save both time and money.”
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 $210 credit per hour for the 2014 through 2015 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 $2,655 per semester ($4,856 per year) and out-of-state students pay a higher rate of $5,628 ($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 as low as around $6,300. As an out-of-state student, you’d pay around $9,300 per semester.
5. Fort Hays State University
To attend FHSU, students pay as little as $150-185 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.