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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

The Midwest is home to some of the best universities and colleges in the country. These are also some of the most affordable colleges for students, whether they live in the region or beyond. The wide range of offerings for students includes bachelor’s degree programs, graduate programs, associates and certificates, and doctoral programs. 

In this article, we have listed the top 50 affordable colleges in the Midwest. They are not just known for their affordability but also the high quality of education and inclusivity. The universities and colleges listed here offer online programs for global and US students who opt for them because these are among the most affordable colleges for out-of-state students. Schools have been ranked based on their average annual undergraduate tuition rates. 

Top Ten: A Sneak Peek

  1. Peru State College
  2. Bismark State College
  3. Harris-Stowe State University
  4. Fort Hays State University
  5. Wayne State University
  6. Valley City State University
  7. Vincennes University
  8. University of Nebraska-Kearney
  9. Southeast Missouri State University
  10. Missouri Western State University

 

Featured Schools

#50 College of the Ozarks 

Point Lookout, MO

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a Christian liberal arts college that still follows its founding principles of being a no-tuition college. The four-year liberal arts institution seeks to provide the advantages of Christian education for youth, especially for the talented and meritorious students who do not have the financial means to support college education. The college has specific Academic, Christian, Patriotic, Vocational, and Cultural goals to help all students. It aims to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard-working, and patriotic. The PRINCETON REVIEW 2020 Edition has ranked it among the Best 385 Colleges, while the U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT 2020 has ranked it among the No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest among other accolades. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $19,500

#49 University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point 

Stevens Point, WI 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point

The University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point provides a broad-based education, fosters intellectual growth, and prepares students for success in a diverse and sustainable world. It is known for supporting, developing,  and educating students so that they can constructively engage in global communities. The school provides master’s programs in various fields, including business, communicative disorders, communication, health care, natural resources, health promotion, teacher education, and wellness. Along with associate and baccalaureate degree programs, it also offers several doctoral programs. Students learn to value critical thinking, lifelong learning, and sustainable management of natural resources and other resources. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $15,931

#48 Youngstown State University 

Youngstown, OH  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University is a student-centered university that seeks to enhance futures and enrich lives. The mission of the school is to provide innovative lifelong learning opportunities that will inspire individuals. It offers a lot of choices for students, from business to engineering to the creative arts. They can choose from over 115 undergraduate programs and over 40 graduate programs. With an average class size of 21 and a low student-teacher ratio of 14:1, the university fosters meaningful relationships. YSU’s enrichment culture flourishes in diverse, accessible, and quality education with opportunities to graduate with little-to-no debt.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $15,807

#47 Grand Valley State University 

Allendale, MI  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University was established in 1960 and has since served as a comprehensive, coeducational university serving nearly 25,000 students. They can choose from 96 undergraduate degrees and 44 graduate degrees. The school has ranked as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for the last 25 years. Its different colleges include F.E. Seidman College of Business, College of Education, College of Community and Public Services, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, Kirkhof College of Nursing, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing, and Frederik Meijer Honors College.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $13,244

#46 University of Cincinnati 

Cincinnati, OH 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is a public research university that was founded in 1819. It offers students a balance of educational excellence and real-world experience through its 414 degree programs. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked it “Among the top tier of the Best National Universities.” It has small class sizes and has a student: teacher ratio of 16:1. The National Science Foundation places UC at No. 33 among America’s public research universities. It has been the source of many breakthrough contributions, including the oral polio vaccine and the first antihistamine. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $$11,000

#45 Saginaw Valley State University  

University Center, MI   

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Saginaw Valley State University

Saginaw Valley State University delivers high-quality academic programs that lead to student and community success. Ever since its inception, the university has been committed to transforming lives through educational excellence. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest.  The innovative teaching, state-of-the-art facilities, renowned faculty, and experiential learning make it the first choice for students striving for personal and professional success. It ranks among the highly sought-after institutions of higher education in Michigan and surrounding areas. It has formed dynamic partnerships with the regional business community to offer hands-on learning opportunities to all students. Students are encouraged to explore various academic and professional possibilities that will lead to long-term success. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $10,480

#44 University of South Dakota 

Vermillion, SD 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota was founded in 1862 and is the state’s oldest public university and flagship university. It is known for its out-of-class opportunities for students and the world-class academics that it offers. It is a big-time university that offers a small-college feel for its students who develop lifelong friendships here. They also gain from its innovative technology and long-standing tradition. The school offers 202 undergraduate programs and 78 graduate programs. The various fields of study include Nursing, Health Sciences, Business, Elementary Education, Biology/Medical Biology, Kinesiology & Sport Management, Criminal Justice, Accounting, Psychology, and Media & Journalism. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $9,331.50

#43 Chadron State College 

Chadron, NE 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Chadron State College

Chadron State College was founded in 1911 and is nestled in a small rural agricultural community. The college aspires to continue as a learner-centered institution. It offers 49 undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. It has a low teacher-student ratio with an average class size of 14. Chadron State delivers experiences that foster knowledgeable and engaged leaders. Students go on to help the communities in the High Plains region and beyond. The college is committed to students by focusing on continuous improvement and excellence in teaching, applied scholarship, and service.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $4,563.78

#42 South Dakota State University  

Brookings, SD 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University offers its students an environment of inclusion and access, which leads to a rich academic experience for all. Students get all the tools they need to succeed in the future with 80 majors, 97 minors, and an excellent faculty. The university is known for its student-centered education,  innovation, engagement with the community, creative activities, and research. It combines world-class academics with robust student support. They get to explore many internships and project opportunities that prepare them for the real world. They get an academic foundation that is recognized for high value, innovation, and bold impact.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $4,866

#41 Washburn University 

Topeka, KS

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Washburn University

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Washburn University is a premier public university in the Midwest. It offers a superior student-centered, teaching-focused learning experience through its five schools – the School of Law, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Business School, the School of Applied Studies, the School of Nursing, and the Washburn Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech.) The top-notch university is a recognized academic leader in the region that prepares its graduates well for their chosen profession. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. It aims to enrich the lives of students with their industry-standard programs leading to in-demand jobs. They can develop and realize their academic, intellectual, and professional potential.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,762

#40 Dakota State University 

Madison, SD  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Dakota State University

Dakota State University was founded in 1881 as a school for teacher education. It has evolved from training the best professionals in education to the best in the cyber world. It is one of the leading national universities that provide students with the latest technologies they need to excel in any career. Students and faculty alike immerse themselves in the most advanced and innovative technologies. The university integrates technology and innovation to provide learning and help students succeed in their future careers. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $4,371.00

#39 Black Hills State University  

Spearfish, SD

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Black Hills State University

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Black Hills State University is a liberal arts university that offers students varied opportunities to pursue their goals towards success. The 123 acres near the Black Hills allow students to bond with nature as they hike and explore the beautiful outdoors. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. The school offers 5 associate programs, 53 bachelor programs, 24 undergraduate certificates, 8 master’s degree programs, and 2 graduate certificates. Small class sizes and a low teacher-student ratio allow students to develop valuable personal relationships with faculty and staff. The campus prides itself on being a highly sustainable university, increasing renewable energy use, and employing environmentally-friendly practices. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,672 

#38 North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University is a land-grant research university that provides transformational education for its students. The school’s distinctive, student-focused goal is to lead the advancement of land-grant ideals through innovative education, research, and outreach. Students gain knowledge through innovative research and share that knowledge through community engagement. The top-ranked institution aims to provide affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment. NDSU is listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 in several areas and ranks 95 among 404 public universities based on the university’s research expenditures. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,606

#37 Shawnee State University 

Portsmouth, OH 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Shawnee State University

Shawnee State University is a student-focused public university that was founded in 1945. It is dedicated to providing personalized learning in an environment of affordable and accessible education. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. It’s a place where small class sizes allow for more one-on-one interaction, and professors know students by name. They provide the guidance and support students need to succeed across professions and career paths. Students are encouraged to share ideas, ask questions, get involved, and explore fields and discover more about themselves. In doing so, they prepare for future challenges and the rapidly changing world around them. Personal attention and academic excellence make students career-ready.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,604

#36 Purdue University Fort Wayne 

Fort Wayne, IN  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Purdue University Fort Wayne

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne offers a traditional campus experience within a thriving metropolitan setting. Students earn undergraduate and graduate degrees from one of the most trusted and prestigious brands in higher education – the Purdue University system. A major research university, it offers small classes and individualized attention for all its students. They work with their faculty on groundbreaking research and learn to tackle real-world challenges and explore new facets of creative expression. Comprising almost 600 beautiful acres, the campus serves as the epicenter of culture and entertainment for the region.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $4,365

#35 Minnesota State University, Mankato 

Mankato, MN  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato was founded in 1868 and has since maintained its reputation as an institution where big ideas meet real-world thinking. It became Mankato State University in 1975 though it has been granting four-year degrees in a growing number of disciplines since 1927. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. Students get an opportunity to pursue their dreams through high-quality, affordable education. The school offers over 130 undergraduate programs and over 75 graduate areas of study. Students are inspired to turn their big ideas into real-world solutions for the global community. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8566

#34 University of North Dakota 

Grand Forks, ND 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota was founded in 1883, six years before the state of North Dakota was established. Today it is nationally recognized for its academic programs as it continues to build on its record of developing future leaders. The 521-acre campus is the state’s largest and also serves the largest number of exclusively online students. Among all nonprofit, flagship universities in the eight-state region, UND has emerged as a leader in engineering, aviation, medicine, and unmanned aircraft systems. It is a top academic and research institution that prepares students to make a real impact in the world. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,540.40

#33 University of Southern Indiana 

Evansville, IN   

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana is a public higher education institution that was founded in 1965. USI is a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged University that enrolls over 10,000 dual credits. Located on a beautiful 1,400-acre campus in Evansville, Indiana, it offers undergraduate and graduate students in more than 130 areas of study. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. It also offers continuing education and special programs to more than 20,000 participants annually through Outreach and Engagement. These programs are offered via schools like College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Romain College of Business, and the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,346

#32 Wichita State University

Wichita, KS   

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Wichita State University

Wichita State University is a public research university where collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation shape the future. It seeks to be one of the most innovative campuses that provide impactful student experiences and drive prosperity for students and their communities. It provides a supportive learning environment and thus promotes holistic student success so that they can continually thrive and grow. They seek to provide quality educational opportunities and collaborations through advanced industry and community partnerships. The mission of WSU is to be an essential educational and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per credit: $228.09

#31 University of Nebraska Omaha  

Omaha, NE 

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Nebraska Omaha

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The University of Nebraska Omaha is a metropolitan university with strong academic values and significant relationships with Nebraska’s community. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. It trains its students to address real issues and provides relevant learning opportunities that transform and improve all lives. Graduates are uniquely prepared to be successful professionals and active members of their community. It focuses on exceptional education, groundbreaking research, and the life-long success of its students. A welcoming, open, and diverse environment fosters a culture of critical thinking and creativity and rigorous pursuit of knowledge. Students receive an exceptional education at an affordable price. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $8,136

#30 Metropolitan State University

St Paul, MN   

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State is a fully accredited, comprehensive university that was established in 1971. It offers more than 50 undergraduate programs and over 25 graduate programs. It serves more than 10,500 students in the metropolitan area and beyond. Its unique individualized studies programs allow students to design their own bachelor’s or master’s programs. Metropolitan State is a member of the Minnesota State higher education system and is committed to helping students on their journey of lifelong learning. College Net’s Social Mobility Index ranks it first in Minnesota and thirty-ninth in the nation.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per credit: $234.36

#29 Truman State University 

Kirksville, MO

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Truman State University

Truman State University was founded in 1867 and has since continued its tradition of providing a high-quality education to diverse student groups. The university boasts a unique liberal arts & sciences curriculum where rigorous academics meets a close-knit and inclusive learning environment. Here, small class sizes mean that professors know their students by name, and active learning environments meet intellectually curious students. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. The dedicated and dynamic faculty guide students to broaden their perspectives, open their minds, and accomplish their goals. By doing so, they help develop the next generation of problem solvers and leaders.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,975

#28 University of Wisconsin-Platteville 

Platteville, WI

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Wisconsin-Platteville

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville offers a diverse range of academic programs designed to help every student succeed professionally and personally. It has a rich 150+ years of history of academic excellence. It was founded in 1866 as the first teacher preparatory institution and has since offered students many opportunities for success. The school offers over 40 academic programs through its three colleges – College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science (EMS), College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture (BILSA), and College of Liberal Arts and Education (LAE). Students learn in a small, supportive, and safe environment. The tuition ranks among the lowest in the UW System. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,923

#27 Lincoln University 

Jefferson City, MO

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Lincoln University

Lincoln University was founded in 1866  and has a rich social and educational history. It was founded for the special benefit of freed African Americans by the 62nd and 65th United States Colored Infantries and their white officers. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. Today, the university is recognized as a leading academic institution that offers innovative programs to make the college experience special. It provides 50 learner-centered undergraduate degree programs and continues to serve the needs of its diverse student body. It also offers master’s degree programs in business, education, social sciences, and global-reaching research. Students also enjoy internship opportunities with local and national employers. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $3,360

#26 Minot State University  

Minot, ND  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Minot State University

Minot State University is a public university that delivers high-quality education for a diverse, multi-generational student population. It is dedicated to scholarship, excellence in education, and community engagement. Students enjoy rigorous academic experiences in an active learning environment and a vibrant campus life. The University prepares students for the evolving business and technological world. It inspires creativity and scholarship and creativity among students, faculty, and staff. Graduates are empowered to succeed in their careers and lead productive lives with the aid of professional expertise and broad-based education.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7896

#25 Purdue University Northwest 

Hammond, IN

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Purdue University Northwest (PNW)

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a premier metropolitan university dedicated to Northwest Indiana and beyond. It has been consistently recognized among the best regional universities in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. The flexible, diverse, student-centered educational environment is dedicated to empowering transformational change in students. It produces talented, hard-working, and driven graduates who succeed in their communities and the world. PNW values academic excellence, supports growth, and celebrates diversity, thereby offering high-quality education for the real world. It places a strong emphasis on research and applied learning opportunities through its five colleges. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per credit: $238.79

#24 Indiana University Kokomo

Kokomo, IN 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Indiana University Kokomo

Indiana University Kokomo offers students a prestigious IU degree while preparing them with the skills and real-world experience for a lifetime of success. Students receive one-on-one support and instruction from a dedicated faculty and perform research side-by-side with peers. They learn to apply what they learn through on-campus experiences, internships, and their KEY trips. They are equipped with life skills to take on the world and succeed in whatever they do. The university interns assist hosting companies with special projects and show them their real skills and talent. They show employers the depth of their knowledge, their willingness to work hard, and a thirst for learning new skills.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,800

#23 Pittsburg State University 

Pittsburg, KS

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University aims to provide transformational experiences for its students who hail from all over the world. It offers a wide range of academic programs grounded in its founding principle of “By doing learn”. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. Students can explore opportunities by engaging in real-world activities. It is the school of choice for students seeking a quality education through nationally recognized programs. The university partners with communities, organizations, and businesses in the region to provide students with internship opportunities. The high-quality education that the university provides ensures exemplary outcomes for all. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $3,872

#22 Donnelly College 

Kansas City, KS

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Donnelly College

Donnelly College is a Catholic independent, coeducational college which offers affordable bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and nursing programs. The college was established in 1949 and has since served the most diverse student body in the Midwest. It ranks among the top 100 most affordable colleges in the US and is the region’s only federally serving Minority Serving Institution and Hispanic Serving Institution. The strong liberal arts curriculum is integrated with career-oriented majors. The US Department of Education nationally recognizes Donnelly as a school that offers affordable Catholic higher education to urban immigrants and the working class.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,740

#21 Indiana University East 

Richmond, IN 

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Indiana University East is a public university that provides its students the opportunity to earn a prestigious and globally recognized degree. As part of the Indiana University system, it offers over 60 academic programs. It provides all the services and opportunities of a large university combined with the advantages and atmosphere of a small college. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. Students can conduct independent research and creative projects as a part of the region’s leader in baccalaureate and master’s degree programs. They enjoy experiential learning before heading out into their career of choice. State & nationwide internship opportunities allow students to work on projects that inspire and educate them for the future.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,714

#20 Northern State University  

Aberdeen, SD 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Northern State University

Northern State University was founded in 1901 and since then has been committed to academic and extracurricular excellence. The school is known for its affordability and for offering the largest guaranteed scholarship in the Midwest. Among its nationally accredited academic programs are 59 majors, 46 minors, and six pre-professional programs—these span across fields like arts and sciences, fine arts, business, and teacher education. Small class size and with a 20 to 1 student-faculty ratio, students have in-depth interaction with their professors who are committed to helping them succeed. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,540

#19 Governors State University

University Park, IL

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Governors State University

Governors State University (GSU) was founded in 1969 and is committed to offering an exceptional and accessible education. It has evolved from an upper-division institution whose primary focus is to serve community college graduates to become a regional, public university in Chicago’s south suburban area. It offers an affordable undergraduate tuition rate along with quality education, serving students with excellence. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. Students can choose from 85 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs. The school and its teachers guide students to choose the right career path and prepare them in various fields for the next level of academic achievement. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7512

#18 Dickinson State University

Dickinson, ND  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University was founded in 1916 and continues to lead the region in high-quality, affordable education. With small classes and a low student-faculty ratio, DSU students enjoy an innovative and personalized education. They have access to new technology in laboratories and classrooms across campus. The university has a strong connection to the community around it. It remains a cultural hub for community programs and outreach. The high-quality, accessible, affordable education provides students the skills they need to ensure success in the corporate world. The DSU Heritage Foundation develops student scholarships to support the mission of Dickinson State University.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $3,735

#17 University of Wisconsin–Parkside 

Kenosha, WI  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Wisconsin–Parkside

The University of Wisconsin–Parkside was founded in 1968 and has a rich legacy of enriching minds and changing the lives of all its students. Students can choose interdisciplinary courses by combining academic disciplines to suits their interests and energize new pursuits and discoveries. One-on-one faculty attention and small class sizes allow intensive teacher-student interaction. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. The school follows a student-centric approach and allows them to gain custom-tailored degree programs that meet their unique interests and today’s demanding job market needs. Students gain affordable, high-quality education and the knowledge and practical skills for personal and professional success. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,443

#16 Mayville State University

Mayville, ND   

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Mayville State University

Mayville State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in teaching, service, and scholarship. It offers quality undergraduate and master’s programs enriched with practical experiences to prepare all learners for a global economy. Students learn in a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive learning environment. The school seeks to provide academic programs and services that address contemporary career and workforce opportunities. It cultivates an environment that supports creativity, intellectual curiosity, lifelong learning, and an appreciation of diversity. The affordable, accessible collegiate option gives students the opportunity to become productive and successful in their careers. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,281.21

#15 Indiana University South Bend

South Bend, IN

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Indiana University South Bend

Indiana University South Bend first started operating around 1916 and then moved to the current campus in 1961. It is the largest regional campus of Indiana University and continues to be a center for academic excellence. The school has a rich history of mixing tradition and innovation and setting up students for success. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. The campus is a welcoming and inclusive community. It offers nearly 100 degree programs and provides every student with the opportunity to succeed and experience college life to the fullest. They get help from their professors and support from fellow students to build their reputation and credentials for a bright future. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $3,533.68

#14 Indiana University Southeast

New Albany, IN

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Indiana University Southeast

Indiana University Southeast is a four-year public university and one of the top regional campuses of Indiana University. Founded in 1941, it is home to a diverse and eclectic student community. It provides high-quality educational programs and services that lead to comprehensive education. The school promotes student learning for the core of traditional students who arrive out of high school or homeschool and for nontraditional students such as adult learners and veterans.  It prepares students for productive citizenship in a diverse society. There are ample opportunities for internships and post-graduation employment in Fortune 500 companies.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online/Hybrid
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $7,067.36

#13 Central State University

Wilberforce, OH 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Central State University

Central State University was founded in 1856 and is one of the oldest Black-administered higher education institutions. It has a history of providing teacher training and vocational education. Established at Tawawa Springs, it is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. The University has grown steadily over the years and now has several colleges to administer high-quality education. These include Education; Business; School of Agricultural Education and Food Science; Engineering, Science, Technology, and Agriculture; and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. It is committed to providing an excellent, affordable education to residents of Ohio and beyond. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Hybrid  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $3498

#12 Emporia State University

Emporia, KS

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Emporia State University

Emporia State University was founded in 1863. It has become a model for diversity, equity, and inclusion. It prepares students for lifelong leadership and success and rewarding careers. It is focused on the common good, is attentive to the interests and well-being of others. The education it offers provides the basis for the continued pursuit of knowledge to enrich personal and professional life. It provides an atmosphere of sustainable innovation and growth. It seeks to enhance the competitive role of Kansas by enrolling, retaining, and graduating students ready for life and career.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per semester: $3,485

#11 Missouri Southern State University 

Joplin, MO 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Missouri Southern State University

Missouri Southern State University offers students the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary fields of study and discover their passions. The college values the art of learning and challenges students towards growth and personal development. They receive essential skills for future careers, expand their horizons and strengthen their specific area of academic interest. The four-year university provides them with access to helpful internships, along with over 140 programs to set them on the right path to achieving their goals. MSSU graduates work in their communities as leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and innovators. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $6,964

#10 Missouri Western State University 

St Joseph, MO  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Missouri Western State University

Missouri Western State University is a public university that was founded in 1915. It offers high-quality, affordable education to students in the state of Missouri and beyond. The four-year, state-supported institution welcomes students from throughout the United States and more than 30 countries. It provides various degree programs that include professional master’s degrees, four-year baccalaureate degrees, two-year associate degrees, pre-professional transfer programs, and one-year certificates. The college also has the American Chemical Society curriculum approval, the All-Steinway School designation, and the American Bar Association approval. Missouri Western continues to deepen its impact on the community around it and the world.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $6,909

#9 Southeast Missouri State University 

Cape Girardeau, MO 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University is a center for academic excellence and welcomes students from all over the country and more than 40 countries worldwide. It is one of the most affordable colleges in the Midwest. The comprehensive university boasts numerous national and international academic accreditations and offers more than 75 graduate programs, over 145 undergraduate majors, and 100 minors. Besides critical learning and extracurricular opportunities, students also enjoy internships, experiential learning, and study-abroad opportunities. It focuses on staying ahead of changing market demands and, to this effect, offers state-of-the-art programs in agriculture, cybersecurity, more than 60 healthcare programs. Its cooperative program with Apple offers P-12 educators comprehensive training to integrate technology in classrooms. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $6,779

#8 University of Nebraska at Kearney 

Kearney, NE

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + University of Nebraska at Kearney

The University of Nebraska at Kearney started operation in 1905 and, for over a century, has been the hallmark of excellent education in the region. It is known for blending academics with hands-on learning and for creating ideas. Students are taught to turn their ideas into action and build results. It offers 170 majors and 20 pre-professional programs through its three colleges. The school focuses on the undergraduate experience with increased opportunities for education and practical experience. Its online programs and international students programs have become an international destination for some key graduate and online programs. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $6,270

#7 Vincennes University

Vincennes, IN 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Vincennes University

Vincennes University offers high-quality, accessible educational programs which help develop people and enhance communities. It is a premier learning institution that offers a broad range of programs. It is widely recognized for leadership in innovation and delivery of successful educational experiences. The university is committed to personal growth and academic excellence for its diverse student body. As one of the cheapest colleges in the Midwest, it seeks to create collaborative relationships with students, stakeholders, and communities. Students can enjoy a rich environment of Cultural enrichment, diversity, and individual freedom. It is an environment that encourages open dialogue and cooperation and leads to continuous improvement.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $6,250

#6 Valley City State University

Valley City, ND

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0 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Valley City State University

Valley City State University was founded in 1890 as a teachers’ college and is still considered one of the leading schools for producing outstanding K-12 educators in the region. It seeks to provide students access to excellence and innovation in education and ranks among the most affordable colleges for out-of-state students. A student-faculty ratio of 13:1 and small class size gives students one-to-one access to faculty. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top public regional colleges in the Midwest and one of America’s “Best Colleges” for 23 consecutive years. It offers over 65 undergraduate programs, an online Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree programs.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $6,119

#5 Wayne State University 

Detroit, MI 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Wayne State University

Wayne State University was founded in 1891 as a  teacher’s college and was originally called Nebraska Normal College. It is still one of the best teacher education schools in the region. 1 out of 10 Nebraska teachers holds at least one degree from Wayne State. It is nationally ranked and devoted to student success and regional service. Wayne State has received recognition for affordability and academic excellence. It is known for its affordability, exceptional academic reputation, friendly atmosphere, and the success of its graduates who become successful and productive members of society.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $5580

#4 Fort Hays State University 

Hays, KS 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is one of the Midwest’s leading state institutions that provides groundbreaking higher education. Since 1902, it has held its roots in the heart of education as the pioneers of innovation. It seeks to unlock the untapped potential in its students and empower them to greater successes. Its highly accessible, award-winning programs are offered to students around the world. It stands at the forefront of innovation and education with a close-knit community of engaged individuals from diverse backgrounds. The college helps to produce and provide opportunities to excel within the classroom and far beyond. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $5,449.20

#3 Harris–Stowe State University

St. Louis, MO 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Harris–Stowe State University

Harris–Stowe State University is a historically black public university and a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. It was also the first public teacher education institution west of the Mississippi River and traced its origin back to 1857. The university offers 50 majors, minors, and certificate programs in education, business, and arts & sciences. The school’s primary mission is to address the higher education needs of the metropolitan St. Louis region. As one of the cheapest colleges in the Midwest, it has continued its quest for excellence in all of its offerings ever since its inception. It offers programs in business, education, and arts and sciences.

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $5,040

#2 Bismarck State College 

Bismarck, ND 

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Bismarck State College

Bismarck State College was founded in 1939 and has remained an innovative community college. It offers high-quality education, enrichment programs, and workforce training for local and global communities. It third largest college in the ND University System with close to approximately 4,000 students and one of the most affordable colleges for out-of-state students. It offers associate degrees, diploma and certificate programs, and two bachelor’s degrees. Students can transfer seamlessly to a 4-year college or finish their degree on campus through flexible degree programs or online. It always centered its energy and efforts on the students. It provides a smart, affordable education for students in all life stages, both on-campus and online. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $4732

 #1 Peru State College

Peru, NE  

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50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest  + Peru State College

Peru State College was founded by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865. Nestled in the hills of historic southeast Nebraska on the Missouri River, it is a member of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.  As one of the cheapest colleges in the Midwest, it provides students from diverse backgrounds access to engaging educational experiences through a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs. Academic here is a blend of engagement in the classroom and beyond through practicum and internships. Students are empowered to strengthen and enrich communities in Nebraska and the world. The College also offers online graduate degrees in education and organizational management. 

Fast facts: 

  • Format: Campus-based/Online  
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Undergrad tuition per year: $4,512

Sources

U.S. News & World Report
Niche
Forbes

Related Rankings

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Sources:

College Navigator
Princeton Review
U.S. News and World Report
Wikipedia
Forbes