In this ranking, we present the 100 most affordable small colleges east of the Mississippi. You may also want to check out our ranking of 100 most affordable small colleges west of the Mississippi.
Many people pursuing a higher education purposely seek out large universities for the amenities they can offer–sports teams, networking opportunities, number of degree choices, and more. While all of those amenities are pretty amazing, there’s one thing that could be missing: a family feel, where you’re seen, heard, and noticed.
There are just as many people who don’t want to be a face in a crowd or a number on a page. In a world full of online, digital relationships, more students are considering a smaller campus experience. For some, that small town, “everybody knows your name” feel is more important. In this post, we’ve got you covered. We’re sharing our list of small, affordable colleges east of the Mississippi, tall with a yearly net price of less than $20,000 and a combined student population of 4,000 or less.
On this list, you’ll find schools tucked in the hills of West Virginia, to historic Charleston, SC, all the way to fishing towns in the New England area. So whatever backdrop you are looking for, you’ll find plenty of options here!
To see what lies west of the Mississippi, check out our ranking of the 100 Most Affordable Colleges West of the Mississippi here.
A full list of the most affordable colleges in the U.S. would go on for days, so it’s helpful to think about universities in categories. For this ranking, we limited our selection to small schools (4,000 students or less) East of the Mississippi. We approached this process in stages, first collecting a list of all U.S. colleges (there are thousands!) and then eliminating all but traditional, four-year schools. This means we did not consider community colleges, primarily online colleges, graduate schools, or specialty universities – such as established Seminaries. Next, we used College Navigator to determine each school’s average enrollment, dismissing any school with more than 4,000 students.
We then took on the task of separating this list by location and determining if the colleges lay East or West of the Mississippi River. Finally, we collected information about each school’s net price* and sorted the list accordingly to determine the 100 most affordable universities. You will find each of these 100 options below, ranked according to their average annual cost.
*”Net Price” refers to an adjusted price that considers both annual tuition costs and added fees as well as the average financial aid package per student. College Navigator, a component of the National Center for Education Statistics, calculates these figures primarily from self-reported institutional information. Understandably, the actual cost for your education will depend on the length of your degree program, your personal economic situation, your ability to attain scholarships, school-imposed tuition changes, and other factors.
As a final note, you will see that some of the selections below are listed as “regional campuses.” There were some instances in the original ranking where multiple regional locations of a large state university (which are typically much smaller than the main campus) showed up in the top 100. In order to organize the ranking, we chose to list all regional locations as one school. And although we list the main campus location in the heading, we also mention the specific qualifying regional campuses in the description. Furthermore, the net price and student body we list are averages between all of the small, regional campuses – NOT the main university.
#100 Point University
West Point, GA
Located in West Point, GA, Point University is working hard to equip the next generation of Christian leaders. Point University offers over 60 programs, including degrees in Accounting, Business, Biology, Biblical Studies, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, English, Exercise Science, Marketing, Music, Psychology, and Secondary Education. Students can choose between an on-campus experience or an online distance learning option. For students desiring a fully online degree, Point University offers 40+ entirely online degrees, from Associates all the way to graduate level. Impressively, Point University has an 18:1 student to faculty ratio, and reports that over 92% of students receive at least one type of financial aid. As one of the most affordable small colleges east of the Mississippi River, Point University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $18,348
#99 SUNY Morrisville
Fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, SUNY Morrisville is committed to a hands-on applied education that builds leaders through real-world experiences. In fact, Morrisville has what their website calls “action-oriented” labs and facilities designed to help students learn by doing. The goal is for the students to be extremely prepared to enter the workforce confidently. What began as a school of Agriculture in 1908 has turned into career-oriented institution focusing on both technological and agriculture areas of education. While over 50 Associate and Bachelor degrees are available, popular ones include Agriculture, Automotive, Business, Informatics, Design, Engineering, Environmental and Renewable Resources, Equine, Health and Human Development, Hospitality, and Technology. SUNY Morrisville is a great option for students seeking a small affordable career-driven education in the central New York area.
Net Price: $18,348
#98 Central Penn College
Another school that focuses on providing a hands-on, career-driven education is Central Penn College, located in Summerdale, PA. Founded in 1881, on-campus, online, and blended programs are available, including programs in Accounting, Allied Health, Business, Communications, Computer Information Systems, Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Information Technology, Legal Studies, and Organizational Leadership. One unique feature at Central Penn is that 85% of the faculty donate a portion of their salaries to student scholarships. For the 2018-2019 school year, Central Penn College received national recognition for the 4th year in a row as a Military Friendly School. Central Penn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $17,014
#97 St. Vincent College
With an impressive 11:1 student to faculty ratio, St. Vincent College provides an attractive 200-acre campus in addition to a Catholic Benedictine education and 30+ student clubs and organizations. St. Vincent College offers nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate programs in the following areas: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Business, Economics, and Government; and Natural Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing. In addition, professional certificates, joint programs, and career preparation courses are available. Recently, College Factual ranked St. Vincent College among the top 5% of all colleges nationwide, citing them one of the Best Colleges for the Money. St. Vincent’s College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $18,175
#96 Mercy College of Ohio
Mercy College of Ohio is also a Catholic institution, but it concentrates its education in the healthcare field. The college offers all levels of degrees, including certificates, Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and graduate degrees. Sample Bachelor’s degrees include Biology, RN to BSN, Healthcare Administration, and Medical Imaging. Two graduate degrees are available in Health Administration and Nursing. Traditional on-campus classes, hybrid courses, and fully online programs are available. Because of a recent spike in student enrollment, the college opened a location in Youngstown, Ohio and there, the school offers additional degrees. Mercy College of Ohio is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $18,160
#95 Clarks Summit University
Clarks Summit, PA
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Clarks Summit University is a small and affordable Christian college located in Pennsylvania. The physical campus is located on a beautiful 111-acre area and was named the “Most Beautiful Bible College” in the nation by Christian Universities Online. While many of their educational programs focus on faith-based curriculum and degrees, there are also a large number of other general degrees available. Some of those degrees include Accounting, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Early Childhood Education, Physical Education, Music Education, Secondary Education, Mathematics, Criminal Justice, and Counseling. Specific Christian ministry degrees include Bachelor’s degrees in Worship Studies, Education Ministries, and Pastoral Ministries. Online programs are also available for the student seeking a non-traditional path. Students looking for a small, affordable college that provides beauty and a wide range of degrees should really give Clarks Summit University a good look.
Net Price: $18,157
#94 Claflin University
Are you a visionary? Would you like to be one? If so, Claflin University of Orangeburg, South Carolina is the place for you. Claflin has a strong reputation as a teaching and research university, and the school’s accompanying resources give students a front row seat to advanced study and new discoveries. In the same light, students often choose Claflin for its uncommon degree options, such as Studio Art, Drama, Creative Writing, and African American Studies. Claflin has a rich and long history of embracing and celebrating diversity in the higher education setting. Combine these features with a small student to faculty ratio, extreme college affordability, and close ties to the United Methodist Church, and it’s easy to see how Claflin is synonymous with value in education. Claflin University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $18,089
#93 Johnson C Smith University
A historically black college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Johnson C. Smith University has been enlightening young minds since 1867. This urban university has since made a name for itself by its unique incorporation of liberal arts subjects with pre-professional, technology-based curricula. JCSU prepares students for meaningful careers by developing entrepreneurial, intellectual, and ethical ambitions in a diverse community setting. JCSU also provides continuing education programs for adults in pre-professional and technical fields available both online and on-campus. Students select from over 23 degree programs that guarantee college degrees go hand in hand with college affordability. Areas of study include Sport Management, Social Work, Economics, Community Health, Business Administration, Information Systems Engineering, Chemistry, Spanish, Performing Arts, Music, and Criminology. Johnson C Smith University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $18,087
#92 Charleston Southern University
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is located on a beautiful 300-acre campus setting in historic Charleston, South Carolina. CSU is rooted deeply in its Christian values and prides itself on providing quality education from a faith-based perspective. Through the schools 8 Colleges, there are 50 undergraduate degrees, 15 graduate degrees, 1 doctoral program, and 15 online programs. Popular degree programs include Elementary Education, Project Management, Psychology, Accounting, Marketing, Student Ministry, Graphic Design, English Education, and Music and Worship Leadership. Combined with a rich student campus life, individualized support, and strong faith-centered values, CSU is a solid choice in a lively, southern city. Among its national recognition are spots on Best Christian Colleges, Best Online Programs, and a Military friendly school. Charleston Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $17,858
#91 Hilbert College
Are you looking for a small affordable college that will support you in your educational and career aspirations? Then western New York’s Hilbert College might be a good fit for you. Considered New York’s hidden gem, Hilbert College works hard to create an environment that provides individualized attention to each of its nearly 900 students. Students will also enjoy a unique blend of a small college atmosphere with the benefit of nearby activities like professional sports to Niagara Falls. Among Hilbert’s undergraduate programs include majors like Risk Management, Paralegal Studies, Crime Scene Investigation, Cybersecurity, Small Business Management, and Digital Media and Communication. In addition, graduate programs in Criminal Justice Administration, Public Administration, and Health Administration are also available. Hilbert College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $17,783
#90 Brewton Parker College
Mount Vernon, GA
A small Christian college located in Mount Vernon, GA, Brewton Parker College provides a Biblically-centered atmosphere with quality, individualized education. Among the schools’ 15 Associate and Bachelor’s degrees are popular choices like Middle Grades Education, Business Administration, Worship Studies, History, English, and Behavioral Studies. On-campus students can enjoy amenities like weekly Chapel, student organizations, and athletic teams. Impressively, 98% of students at BPC receive some sort of financial aid. Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Net Price: $17,676
#89 Ohio Valley University
Ohio Valley University is a Christ-centered school based on traditions of faith and biblical understanding. In addition to a low student to faculty ratio, unique programs like the “Freshman Compass” help students feel comfortable and confident in their collegiate experience. Faculty are involved and invested in students’ success, and they will help you achieve your goals whether you pick a major in the Arts & Sciences, Biblical Studies & Behavioral Sciences, Business, or Education. A new degree in Integrated Marketing Communications is now available, as well as many pre-professional degrees like Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, and Pre-Dentistry. You will even find guidance in Residential Life, where students and faculty work together to find the best clubs and organizations for your taste. Lastly, OVU’s Fighting Scots furnish numerous opportunities for athletes and spectators alike at this small, affordable private college.
Net Price: $17,613
#88 Columbia College
Though Columbia College is a liberal arts women’s college started by the United Methodist Church, the school now offers co-ed graduate, online, and evening courses as well. Students can expect a personalized and individualized education with small classes sizes of a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. Undergraduate students can choose a degree from one of many academic areas, including Arts and Humanities, Business and Entrepreneurship, Communication, Education, Health and Sciences, Public Service, Social Sciences, or Technology. Impressively, 30% of Columbia College’s graduates continue on to graduate school. For those students interested, CC provides many online and on-campus graduate degree options across various disciplines. These degrees are designed as one-year programs. Columbia College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $17,550
#87 Rochester College
Rochester Hills, MI
With just over 1,000 students, Rochester College (soon to become Rochester University, is a small, affordable college located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. The school offers about 20 undergraduate degrees, including both common and uncommon options. A few unique degrees include Urban Ministry, Worship Ministry, Social Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Theater Management. Additional special programs are available like the Graduate Department of Theology, the Honors Program, the Study Abroad program, and the Academic Symposium. Along the same lines, the school also offers many on-campus organizations and activities. Students can expect access to campus ministry, theatre improv, weekly chapel, an A Capella chorus, and student government. Rochester College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $17,472
#86 Chowan University
Chowan University has been educating young minds for over 170 years and is proud of its longstanding Christian education and traditions. One unique feature about Chowan is its commitment to what the school calls ‘average’ students, with average standardized testing scores and GPAs. For students concerned about their numbers, Chowan University could be a great option for you. But don’t worry, an Honor’s College is available as well for those students with higher grades and who desire a challenge. Students can choose one of many degrees from the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Fine and Applied Arts, and the School of Graduate Studies. Positioned on a 450 acre campus, CU offers many nearby activities, including a close distance to both North Carolina and Virginia beaches. Chowan University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Net Price: $17,424
#85 Lock Haven University
Lock Haven, PA
Founded in 1870 as a teacher’s college, Lock Haven University now has 2 campus locations in the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania. Even though the student population is almost at the small college max for this ranking, the school works hard to provide small class sizes and individualized, real-world experiences for all 3,800 students. Almost 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available to choose from. Popular undergraduate majors include Accounting, Athletic Training, Business, Biology, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Education, Economics, Healthcare, Nursing, and Physics. The school offers a rich student life and athletic teams for both the athlete and the spectator alike. Lock Haven University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $17,191
#84 Voorhees College
Founded as the first historically black university in the state of South Carolina, Voorhees College offers various degrees across 12 disciplines. Popular degrees include accounting, biology, business administration, criminal justice, computer science, sociology, English, health and recreation, mathematics, mass communication, and organizational management. On-campus students can expect a rich, educational environment, student organizations, athletics, student government, and more. Voorhees College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $17,125
#83 Livingstone College
Originally founded as a school to train ministers, Livingstone College is now located in Salisbury, NC, and awards Bachelor’s degrees across multiple disciplines. The school has now broadened its educational span, but still remains a historically black Christian college affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. While only one Associate’s degree is available in Culinary Arts, students can choose from over a dozen Bachelor degrees, including Criminal Justice, Education, Music, Political Science, Sociology, or Liberal Studies. Livingstone College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $17,061
#82 Judson College
Judson College has one of the smallest student enrollments on this rankings list. But don’t let that stop you from taking a look at Judson. Smaller schools, even as small as this one, tend to provide a solid, individualized education you couldn’t get at a larger school. With a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, you’d be sure to get noticed. Keep in mind that Judson College is a women’s only school, with the goal of educating young women to be faith-filled leaders of today. Academic programs span 4 disciplines, including degrees in Nursing, Education, Accounting, Web Design, and Equine Science. Judson also offers flexible co-ed distance education programs that serve both men and women. Judson College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $17,034
#81 North Greenville University
If you’re looking for a flexible education with many options to choose from, look no further than North Greenville University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school offers a long list of undergraduate degree options, including unique programs like Media Ministry, International Business, Outdoor Leadership, Broadcast Media, Music Worship Studies, Studio Art, and Youth Ministry. Online undergraduate and graduate programs are available as well. In addition, students can choose to augment their education with one-year add-on certificates. Students can expect a rich campus life, full of student organizations, encouraging ministries, and athletic teams. North Greenville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $16,821
#80 Freed-Hardeman University
The history of Freed-Hardeman’s Christian origins dates all the way back to 1869. Today, the school’s mission is to provide a quality education that blends faith-based principles with a strong academic background and a servanthood attitude. After completing their liberal arts core, students can major in subject areas like Computer Science, Child and Family Studies, Business Analytics, Interactive Digital Design, Social Work, or various levels of Education. Interested students can continue their education at the graduate level, pursuing degrees both on-campus or online. Sample graduate degree options include M.A. in Ministry, M.B.A., M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.Ed. in Instructional Technology, and Doctor of Behavioral Health. On-campus students can expect a full campus life experience, enriched by intramural sports, student organizations, and campus ministries. Freed-Hardeman University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Net Price: $16,684
#79 Paine College
Paine College, like a number of others on this list of the best small colleges east of the Mississippi, offers students a chance to excel academically while providing spiritual mentorship. Affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church, Paine is an HBCU in Augusta, Georgia near the scenic banks of the Savannah River. Among the students who attend school here an impressive 95% receive financial aid, which helps squelch its net price to just over $16k annually. And despite its traditional roots, Paine has taken great pains (no pun intended) to be an innovator in education. Rather than offer traditional semesters, the college splits its classes into six yearly segments – two each in the fall and spring, one in the summer, and a particularly unique “Maymester” for elective coursework. Students can choose one of 16 majors, spanning their 6 departments: Humanities; Math, Sciences, and Technology; Social Sciences; Business; Education; and Media Studies. Paine College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Net Price: $16,651
#78 Andrew College
Nestled in rural southwest Georgia, Andrew College is one of the smallest affordable colleges on this rankings list, with a student body of less than 300. But a small population doesn’t mean a small education. Students will benefit from individualized attention and a close-knit community, all while earning a quality education. On-campus amenities include a servant leadership program called AndrewServes, a Focus Program for students with learning disabilities, and a variety of athletic teams. While Andrew College mostly awards two-year Associate degrees, they offer one Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. But, in late 2018, Andrew College and Troy University joined forces in partnership, with the goal of offering more Bachelor degree choices for Andrew College students. In addition, certificates in Cancer Registry Management and Church Music are also available at AC. Andrew College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $16,560
#77 Madonna University
Ranked the #1 most affordable private university in Michigan, Madonna University offers a main campus, 3 satellite campuses, and a fully-online educational experience too. No matter which location you choose, you can complete undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as advanced certifications. Of all the schools on this rankings list, Madonna University has one of the largest number of degrees available. The school offers many of the traditional degrees you would expect, but also some unique options not found at many other schools on this list. Those include Nutrition and Food Service Management, Aging Studies, Sign Language, Dietetics, Occupational Safety and Fire Science, Film Music Scoring. A long list of graduate studies, both on campus and online, are available too. Unique graduate degrees include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Catholic School Leadership, Online Teaching and eLearning, and Senior Living Administration. Madonna University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Net Price: $16,524
#76 Morris College
Morris College, located in Sumter South Carolina, is a liberal arts school focused on a career-oriented education. Degrees span across five academic divisions, and students can choose various degrees in traditional 4-year formats or accelerated at-night programs. Sample degrees include majors in Business Administration, Organizational Management, Elementary Education, Recreation Administration, Christian Education, Criminal Justice, or Biology. The school also has partnerships with Clemson and the University of South Carolina for pre-engineering and nursing. Students at Morris can enjoy rich on-campus activities like the College Choirs and ROTC. In addition, study abroad opportunities are available as well. Morris College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Net Price: $16,472
#75 Martin University
Martin University is one of the newer colleges on this rankings list, formed only in 1977. But, the mission of the university has remained the same since the beginning: to serve minority adult learners. While Martin University isn’t technically a historically black college, it is the only accredited predominately black institution in Indiana offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is also a part of the Consortium for Urban Education, a program that allows students to take classes at other universities that are not offered at Martin. Students can major in the following areas: Addictions Counseling, Applied Sciences, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Liberal Arts, Psychology, Religious Studies, or Teacher Education. In addition, two Master’s degree programs are available in Community Psychology and Urban Ministry. Impressively, 90% of students attending Martin receive some sort of financial aid. Martin University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $16,433
#74 SUNY Maritime College
Throggs Neck, NY
Located just 30 minutes from Manhattan, Maritime College is a higher education institution specializing in the global marine transportation industry. Students can earn either a Bachelor of Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in the following areas: Electrical Engineering, Facilities Engineering, Marine Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture, International Transportation and Trade, Marine Science, and more. In addition, one Associate’s degree is available, as well as graduate degrees in International Transportation and Maritime and Naval Studies. A US Coast Guard certificate is also available. Students can excel socially with more than 60 student clubs and the Regiment of Cadets program. Maine Maritime Academy is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $16,291
#73 Florida Memorial University
Miami Gardens, FL
As the only historically black university in the state of Florida, Florida Memorial University is a Baptist-affiliated higher education institution. FHU offers a comprehensive array of 28 undergraduate degrees and 3 graduate level degrees. Students can choose from various degrees in the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and the School of Education. Popular degree choices include a B.S. in Aeronautical Science, a B.S. in Cybersecurity, a B.S. in Information Systems, or a B.A in English. FMU also offers graduate degrees in Business Administration, Exceptional Student Education, and Reading/ESOL. For students looking for a long list of on-campus activities in addition to academics, FMU is a solid choice. The school offers dozens of student organizations like Gospel Choir, Honors Council, Youth Alive Bible Club, and more.
Net Price: $16,280
#72 Oakland City University
Oakland City, IN
If you’re looking for an extremely safe campus and a school that prides itself on Christian morals, then look no further than Oakland City University. In fact, the school has been voted one of the safest campuses in the state of Indiana. Oakland City University offers various degrees ranging from Associate’s all the way to graduate level. Students can choose from over 20 majors, including options in Education, Business, or Christian Studies. Seminary courses, online programs, and dual credit options are also available. OCU has received national rankings with publications like the US News and World Report, coming in #39 for the 2019 edition of Best Regional Colleges-Midwest. Oakland City University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Net Price: $16,274
#71 Boricua College
New York, NY
Unlike most higher education institutions that use 1 type of learning model, Boricua College stands out among its counterparts for its commitment to varied learning styles. The college appeals to all kinds of learners through Individualized Instruction, a Colloquium, Experiential Studies, Cultural Studies, and Theoretical Studies. Students can choose Associate, Bachelor, or Master level degrees, including interesting programs like a Bachelor of Arts in Inter-American Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Human Services, a Master of Science in TESOL Education, or a Master of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Advanced certifications are also available in Bilingual Education. Boricua College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $16,036
#70 Southern Wesleyan University
Originating in 1906 as the Wesleyan Bible Institute, Southern Wesleyan University now pursues the same mission: to provide affordable, quality education to followers of Christ. Students can choose between a rich on-campus experience or an online distance education. Either way, a generous amount of undergraduate and graduate-level degrees are available. Some Bachelor’s degree options include Physical Education, Church Music, Exercise Science, Forensic Science, Chemistry, or Religion. On-campus students can enjoy intramural sports, college athletics, and other unique features like summer camps and a golf range. In addition, a unique feature of the university is the OneLife gap year, which is a 9-month travel stint, typically taken the year in between high school and college. Students will travel, learn, and serve, all while gaining real-world, practical experiences.
Net Price: $16,008
#69 Lindsey Wilson College
Lindsey Wilson College began as a training junior college for teachers but has since expanded to offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in dozens of areas like Art, Business, Christian Ministry, Education, Media Studies, and Political Science. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, LWC serves non-traditional students through evening and online courses. Almost 25 community campus extensions are located in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. On-campus students will benefit from the extensive student services, including a personal counselor, writing center, and career center.
Net Price: $15,897
#68 Allen University
What makes Allen University stand out on this rankings list is its flat-rate tuition fee for all students, both in state and out of state. Students can choose various degrees within the following fields: Biology, Business, English, Music, Mathematics, Religion, and Social Science. An adult learning program and an honors program are also available. Studies show that students living on campus will have higher GPAs and are more likely to succeed in their collegiate experience. Part of that is due to the friendships made and community built, but at Allen, it also has to do with the campus experience. Students can enjoy many clubs, organizations, and even Greek Life. Allen University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $15,848
#67 Miles College
Located in the heart of Birmingham, AL, Miles College is a Historically Black College and University that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. However, degrees in other disciplines are available, too. Popular degree choices include Accounting, Digital Journalism, Education, Theatre, English, Political Science, Criminal Justice, Biology, and Computer Information Systems. At this small, affordable college, students will receive maximum support from programs like First and Second Year Enrichment, Quality Enhancement Plan, Counseling, Career Services, and an Honors Program. Miles College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $15,837
#66 Lincoln College
Named after Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln College is committed to a diverse environment with a culturally rich experience. Unique Bachelor’s degree options include Contemporary Jazz Studies, Conservation Biology, Exercise Science, Vocal Performance, and Radio, Television, and New Media. Students at Lincoln College can pursue Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees in the traditional on-campus way, or enroll in their unique Adult Accelerated program. Named the Accelerated Bridge to Education, students will be able to attend school one or two nights a week with additional online work. This option is perfect for the non-traditional student located in central Illinois who isn’t looking for a fully online program. Sessions in the ABE are 5 weeks long, and students are able to optimize maximum flexibility by taking time off when life gets in the way without penalty. With a small student to faculty ratio, intramural sports, a shuttle around town, and plenty of clubs and organizations, students are sure to love Lincoln College. Lincoln College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $15,830
#65 Goldey-Beacom College
Odds are in your favor at Goldey-Beacom College, especially if you want to be a governor. Not that GBC guarantees, but 4 governors have graduated from the school, as well as high-up corporate professionals. What began in 1886 is still intact; a mission to provide a quality, small school education that propels graduates to become today’s leaders. Students can pursue various undergraduate degrees in areas like Entrepreneurial Studies, Communications and Media, Economics, Finance, Psychology, and Health Care Management. Five graduate level degrees with 8 concentration options are also available. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the school’s Business School is accredited by the notable Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Net Price: $15,807
#64 Talladega College
Positioned neatly between several booming Alabama towns and Atlanta, GA, Talladega College’s mission is to “equip its graduates for the global community through academic excellence, moral values, community service, and professional development.” The school began as a teaching ground for children of slaves, with the desire to properly provide access to education to all people. Today, the school has grown and evolved but still remains true to its original purpose. Students can obtain a Bachelor degree in one of four areas: Division of Business and Administration, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Division of Social Sciences and Education. One online Masters degrees in Computer Information Systems is available. Talladega College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $15,204
#63 Cambridge College
If you’re looking to pick up where your education left off, Cambridge College may be the best small college for you. Specializing in adult education, Cambridge offers all the resources to succeed in undergraduate or graduate school as a working professional. Between online coursework, flexible scheduling, career services, and affordable tuition, students have the opportunity to make a living while living the life of the mind. Students can either begin or complete their bachelor’s degree, or seek a graduate degree in education, management, or psychology and counseling. Cambridge College is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Net Price: $14,940
#62 University of South Carolina-Aiken
The University of South Carolina at Aiken has a reputation for recognition – over the past several years, this small public college has earned awards from U.S. News, Military Advanced Education, Military Times, and other top publications for its top academic service. USC is a particular favorite among military members, who flock to South Carolina for this university’s supportive resources and steep tuition discounts. To start your studies at Aiken, you can pick a discipline in Biology, Business, Communications, or nearly 20 other undergraduate options – most of which incorporate additional concentrations within their program. Add to that five pre-professional courses; research opportunities in the physical sciences, behavioral science, and education; and scientific seminars, and it’s easy to see why USC Aiken is a smart choice for smart students.
Net Price: $14,821
#61 Lander University
Lander University differentiates itself by offering some pretty unique selling points; as 70% of the student body is female, potential male applicants will enjoy their odds! But despite this “fun fact,” you should know that this small liberal arts school in western South Carolina is committed to serious academics. It has poured substantial resources into its expansion over the past several years and recently implemented a 10-year “master plan” for the campus to accommodate even more growth. Pre-professional programs are available in business, nursing, and education, and regularly attract students from 30 different states and 20 countries. But Lander’s academic breadth is not the only reason students attend – as one of the most affordable colleges in the U.S., the university’s minuscule financial burden makes it hard to pass up.
Net Price: $14,570
#60 Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
If you’re looking for a historically black college that’s affordable and small, then look no further than the Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. With an impressive 12:1 student to faculty ratio, Cheyney is considered the nation’s oldest HBCU. Around 95% of enrolled students receive some sort of financial aid to help with the rising cost of higher education. Students can choose from a variety of undergraduate majors, including options like Pre-Medicine, Aquaculture, Forensics, Graphic Design, and Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. Adventure-seeking students will also have the opportunity for a study abroad experience. Cheyney University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $14,485
#59 Kuyper College
Grand Rapids, MI
Students looking to pursue a career in Christian ministry and leadership won’t break the bank at Kuyper College. Among the most affordable private colleges in Michigan, Kuyper is built on Christ-modeled leadership and service-learning to encourage students to earn their education with faith and goodness rather than just money. While students can pursue over 30 unique degree programs, Kuyper requires at least 21 Bible and Theological credit-hours for graduation—among the highest in the nation. Popular degrees include Audio Production, Business Leadership, Graphic Design, Digital Media, Pastoral Care, and Education. Between grants, scholarships, and online coursework, Kuyper can be a great opportunity to advance your spiritual career without selling out. Kuyper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
Net Price: $14,387
#58 Alice Lloyd College
Pippa Passas, KY
If you’re looking for one of the most affordable colleges in the U.S., you can’t go wrong with Alice Lloyd. Catering primarily to students in the surrounding Appalachian region, ALC goes beyond expectations by guaranteeing tuition costs for all its students. In other words, if you can’t afford a college education, Alice Lloyd will pay your bills for you. The best and brightest from rural Kentucky choose this school not only for its affordability but also for its brilliant professors and reputable programs. Academics emphasize liberal arts and span every major area of study, including Business, Fitness, Nursing, Biology, Teaching, and English. In addition, Alice Lloyd College is one of only seven schools in the nation that is considered a ‘work college.’ Students can not only pay for their education this way but also enhance their education by participating in the Student Work Program. Alice Lloyd College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Net Price: $14,075
#57 Shawnee State University
If a small school environment where everybody knows your name is what you want, Shawnee State University might just be the affordable college for you. Students can expect a challenging academic environment, super low tuition costs, and a forward-focused attitude. Shawnee State University provides almost 75 undergraduate, graduate, and online degrees, including popular choices like Education, Nursing, and Accounting. Other unique choices include Dental Hygiene, Game and Simulation Arts, Digital Simulation and Gaming, Ceramics, Plastics Engineering, and Drawing. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Shawnee State University is a solid, best-value choice for a quality education.
Net Price: $13,882
#56 SUNY College at Potsdam
As a part of the State University of New York system, SUNY College at Potsdam prides itself on helping students find and develop their calling and purpose. And with over 130 degree options, you can probably see how. But the number of degrees offered isn’t the only feature of the school that stands out. An impressively low student to faculty ratio and a commitment to the arts also makes Potsdam stand out. Students can choose various degrees through the school’s 3 colleges: Schools of Arts & Sciences, Crane School of Music, and the School of Education & Professional Studies. Distance Education, both fully online and hybrid courses, are also available. SUNY College at Potsdam is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $13,812
#55 Penn State University Regional Campuses
University Park, PA
Penn State University is another example of an affordable college choice that doesn’t seem small at first glance. And truth be told, Penn State’s main campus at University Park hosts more than 40,000 students each year. But if you’re looking for an intimate campus environment with big-time connections, you might consider one of Penn State’s regional campuses. Several satellite locations – including Abington, Lehigh Valley, Fayette Eberly, Brandywine, Scranton, Wilkes Barre, York, Dubois, and New Kensington – all offer the net price and student enrollment numbers to qualify for this list. And since every campus is in Pennsylvania, local students can pick whatever campus they want to meet their schedule and academic interests.
Net Price: $13,703
#54 Alcorn State University
Known for the Braves, its NCAA Division I men’s football team, Alcorn State is also one of the best small colleges in Mississippi with a big heart. ASU is a historically black college with a long history of providing meaningful opportunities and educational resources for men and women of color. Over 40 student clubs and organizations, ranging from student government and journalism to radio stations and theater and religious groups, allow classmates to make friends and pursue their personal interests right alongside their academic pursuits. And with over 20 degree programs in topics like Accounting, Agricultural Science, and Fine Arts, an education from ASU can be a gateway into the career you deserve.
Net Price: $13,665
#53 Brescia University
Brescia University is one of the most affordable private colleges in Kentucky for Catholic students. This liberal arts college offers personalized, student-centered education, with small class sizes and experiential coursework and internships. Students can pursue a wide variety of majors and concentrations, from Biochemistry and Business to Theology and Social Work. Brescia also has a Student Activities Program Board (SAPB) that brings notable events to campus – including bringing other Catholic universities together to develop conferences and festivals. With low tuition and high academic standards, Brescia makes a great spiritual and professional education available to all. Brescia University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $13,496
#52 Clinton College
Rock Hill, SC
Clinton College might be one of the smallest student populations on this rankings list, coming in at under 200 students, but that fact doesn’t take away from its commitment to a quality education. Accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) to award both Associate and Bachelor’s degrees, students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies or a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Biology. In addition, 5 Associates degrees are also available. To enhance the on-campus experience, students can enjoy an array of clubs, organizations, and student government.
Net Price: $13,448
#51 Mississippi Valley State University
Itta Bena, MS
College life should be about more than just coursework, and MVSU supports this assertion with what it calls a “Valley of Growth.” The university employs professional counselors who work with students to develop their interests, aptitudes, and values, pushing them to explore life outside the classroom as much as in it. Between more than a dozen athletic teams, religious activities, and the student-run “Delta Delta Gazette,” it’s hard to be bored during homework breaks. Speaking of homework, it won’t seem like a chore when you’re studying one of your favorite subjects, whether it’s Electronic Technology, Environmental Health, Music Education, or Painting. For students interested, MVSU offers a rigorous Honors Program. Mississippi Valley State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $13,419
#50 Bryant and Stratton College
Whether you’re looking to get an online or on-campus degree from one of the schools’ many campuses across the East, Bryant and Stratton College offers a flexible, quality, and affordable education for today’s working adult. Providing a career-focused education for almost 160 years, students can earn degrees in areas of study like education, business, technology, criminal justice studies, legal and human services, healthcare, and hospitality. Bryant and Stratton College also offers extensive career services, from resume development, interview prep, job searches, internships, and a personalized career plan. Bryant and Stratton College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $13,360
#49 Edward Waters College
Educating young minds for almost 150 years, Edward Waters College is a historically black college that provides quality education for students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. EWC offers several Bachelor’s degrees in Biology, Business, Criminal Justice, Communications, Education, Mathematics, Music, and Psychology. But, as you know, academics aren’t the only important part of college life—extracurricular activities at Edward Waters College will also prepare students for their future, from Student Government, Class Councils, Rotaract Club, and the Royal Court. Edward Waters College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $13,351
#48 Northern Vermont University
With a forward, future-minded attitude and a fierce commitment to cultivating student purpose, Northern Vermont University offers quality education through its two campuses: Lyndon and Johnson. Enrolled students can take classes at both locations or online. Students can choose degrees in areas of study including Business, Accounting, Management, Communications, Journalism, Education, Health and Wellness, Humanities, Social Sciences, Criminal Justice, Mathematics, or Computer Science. In addition, six graduate degrees are available including a Master of Arts in Counseling, an M.F.A. in Studio Arts, and an M.Ed. in Education. Northern Vermont University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Net Price: $13,304
#47 Hiwassee College
A private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Hiwassee College offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Science degrees, and Associate of Applied Science degrees. Sample degrees include Equine Management, Christian Leadership, Dental Hygiene, or Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts. Students will not only receive an incredible education but also be prepared to become today’s leaders. With small class sizes and individual attention, Hiwassee College also provides flexible options for non-traditional students. Hiwassee College is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
Net Price: $13,071
#46 Virginia University of Lynchburg
Founded by African American Baptist leaders in 1886, Virginia University of Lynchburg began its journey by training pastors, missionaries, and educators. While the mission has expanded, what has remained the same it the college’s dedication to developing today’s Christian leaders. One unique program offered at the Virginia University of Lynchburg is its Summer Fast Track, where freshman can earn up to 10 college credits the summer before their fall term. The program is designed to set incoming freshman up for collegiate success. The Virginia University of Lynchburg is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
Net Price: $12,907
#45 Granite State College
Granite State College has spent its nearly 40 years in existence to offer the most flexible education for working adults. One unique feature is the school offering credit for prior learning like Military Training, Equivalency Testing, and Experiential Learning Portfolios. The school isn’t worried about extra fees; they are focused on providing quality education at affordable prices. In fact, Granite State Colleges the most affordable 4-year institution in New Hampshire. Students can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the following areas: Business, Management, and Finance; Communications and Media; Education; Human Services and Public Safety, Health Care and Nursing, Liberal Arts, and Technology. Featured Master’s degrees programs include Project Management, Leadership, Nursing, and Health Care Management. Granite State College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Net Price: $12,905
#44 Delta State University
Delta State University has over 3,500 students, but the school is one family. If you’re looking for a small, affordable college that’s still big enough to offer over 100 student organizations and 40 majors, take a close look at Delta State University. A few unique programs make DSU stand out among colleges alike:
- Delta Music Institute, a world-class recording studio
- Small Student to Faculty Ratio, 11:1
- Study Abroad opportunities
- Nationally Recognized Nursing Programs
- Aviation School, the only 4-year school in MS to offer both Bachelor and Master’s degrees
Delta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $12,669
#43 Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley, GA
While many schools might just see students as a number on a page, Fort Valley State University is different. The school prides itself on helping students “discover the genius within themselves and explore their extraordinary potential for leadership.” FVSU nationally ranks among Georgia’s best colleges, standing out in areas of engineering, technology, information sciences, and more. But perhaps its most notable recognition is its #8 ranking for Best Value Historically Black Graduate Schools. Potential degree options include Agricultural Education, Animal Science, Chemistry, and Family and Consumer Sciences. Graduate-level degrees and online programs are also available. Fort Valley State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $12,620
#42 Glenville State College
A small, affordable college committed to community, diversity, and innovation, Glenville State College is located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. And with 81% of all students receiving financial aid, getting your degree at GSC won’t break the bank. The school is even ranked #10 in the Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report. Students can pursue various degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some unique options include Natural Resource Management, Land Surveying Technology, Integrated Marketing, Athletic Conditioning and Coaching, Health Promotion, Forest Technology, and Bluegrass Music. Glenville State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $12,591
#41 Georgia Southwestern State University
In 1906, Georgia Southwestern State University began as an agricultural and mechanical school. Throughout the years, the school expanded to offer teacher training and the sciences, and now, it has expanded even more. But maybe more impressive is the list of leaders who have graduated from GSSU: former president and first lady Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and former US Attorney General Griffin Bell. Dozens of degrees are available, including popular choices like Human Resource Management, Dramatic Arts, Political Science, and Biology. A robust campus life and many collegiate athletic teams combined with a quality, affordable education, Georgia Southwestern State University is a viable option in your search.
Net Price: $12,585
#40 Tennessee Wesleyan University
A close-knit family, students at Tennessee Wesleyan University can expect an extremely supportive environment alongside a quality, affordable education. Students can choose one of 30 majors, including degrees in Fine Arts, Nursing, Natural Sciences, Health and Human Performance, Education, and Business Administration. Additionally, students can pursue graduate level degrees in Business Administration or Occupational Therapy. For non-traditional students desiring maximum flexibility, three fully online programs are available as well. Tennessee Wesleyan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $12,557
#39 Plaza College
Forest Hills, NY
Plaza College is a minority-majority higher education institution located in Forest Hills, NY. With just under 1,000 students, the school is dedicated to propelling workforce-ready graduates into the world. Through the school’s 5 Colleges, students can pursue various undergraduate degrees, including an AAS in Medical Assisting, BBA in Patient Information Management, BBA in Business Administration Management, AAS Information Sciences, BS in Dental Hygiene, and an AAS in Paralegal Studies. Other professional certifications and a High School Honors Program are also available. Students enrolled in the Allied Health degree programs will have clinical externship opportunities. Plaza College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $12,537
#38 Lane College
A private liberal arts higher education institution, Lane College began as a school committed to teaching freed slaves to read and write. In fact, LC greatly contributed to reducing illiteracy rates among freed slaves. Over the last 133 years, the school has changed, but the core belief of developing confident graduates ready to take on the world has remained the same. Undergraduate degrees include Business, Criminal Justice, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Music, Physical Education, and Religion. Additional minors in areas like Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Art, Spanish, or English are also available. On-campus students can enjoy extracurricular activities like intercollegiate athletics, marching band, college choir, pageants, intramural sports, student organizations, Greek organizations, and wellness programs. The school even offers a First Year Experience Program for incoming freshman. Lane College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $12,460
#37 University of North Carolina-Asheville
When most people think of UNC, they picture the university’s primary campus at Chapel Hill. But what some don’t realize is that the system’s regional campuses – such as the Asheville location – offer the same big-time academics and opportunities at a seriously reduced price. UNC Asheville’s net price is a mere $12k annually, and its combination of low cost and high quality makes it one of the best small colleges in the country. The academic programs incorporate a strong liberal core and robust service learning opportunities, as well as research experiences, internships, and international travel. That being said, Asheville doesn’t skimp on the basics – majors include Accounting, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, and Spanish, as well as less common choices in Health and Wellness Promotion and Contemporary Music.
Net Price: $12,235
#36 Lake Superior State University
Sault Sainte Marie, MI
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Lake Superior State University offers a one-of-a-kind campus setting, located on the former U.S. Army’s Fort Brady. Couple that with the view of the St. Mary’s River and the Soo Locks, students are in for a beautiful and historical environment. While the school offers popular degrees like Accounting and Business Administration, more enticing is the amount of unique options available. Some of those specialized degrees include Fire Science, Cannabis Chemistry, Fisheries and Wildlife Management, Forensic Chemistry, Robotics Engineering, and Parks and Recreation. And for students who don’t know what path they want to take yet, an Undecided/Undeclared option is available as well.
Net Price: $12,220
#35 Central State University Ohio
If you’re looking to expedite your college experience, Central State University of Ohio might be a viable option for you. The school offers an impressive 3-year degree program for self-motivated students in good academic standing. Degrees in this program include a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. If this program isn’t for you, you can pursue a traditional 4-year degree through the university’s 4 colleges or complete your degree online. Combined with its low tuition cost, rich campus life, student ministries and organizations, Central State University would be a great choice for any student.
Net Price: $12,135
#34 Piedmont International University
Offering students a Bible-centered Christian education, Piedmont International University offers dozens of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students can choose between degrees in academic areas of the Bible, Ministry, Education, or Religious Studies. Specific degrees include B.A. in Church Music, B.A. in Management and Business Ethics, or a B.S. in Elementary Education. In addition, students can choose a minor in unique areas like Management for Nonprofits, North American Church Planting, Children’s Ministry, or American Sign Language. Both Master’s and Doctoral programs are available as well. Piedmont International University is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
Net Price: $12,054
#33 University of Wisconsin-Superior
Like some of the other large state universities we have mentioned, the University of Wisconsin is typically associated with crowded sporting events, crammed lecture halls, and an almost overwhelming student population. But one regional location in particular – Superior – takes the best features of UW’s main campus and translates them onto a smaller, cheaper stage. Superior is not only one of the most affordable colleges in the U.S.; it’s also a reputable liberal arts school with high caliber academic options. Its connection to such an expansive public system means it has the resources to offer some truly unique degree choices, including Applied Geographic Information Systems, Broad Field Social Studies, Forensic Chemistry, First Nations Studies, Health and Human Performance, and Sustainable Management.
Net Price: $12,023
#32 Medaille College
“College meets career” at Medaille College, where the cornerstone of the curriculum is instruction that is simultaneously experiential, practical, and experimental. Whether you choose to pursue Veterinary Science or Television Broadcasting, Medaille guarantees that its students will graduate with hands-on experience in their field, making career success all but a guarantee. In addition, the surrounding city of Buffalo provides ample career and internship opportunities for students in any department. And with dozens of majors within over fifteen different schools and disciplines, students won’t have a hard time finding what they are looking for at this top small college.
Net Price: $11,980
#31 Calumet College of Saint Joseph
Calumet College of St. Joseph represents a top small private college for its ability to offer a practical, experiential, and varied education for a competitive price. Affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church through the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, CCSJ also offers robust spiritual resources as well as undergraduate degree programs in unique programs such as Forensic Biotechnology, Digital and Studio Arts, and Human Services. But no matter what topic you choose to study, you’ll participate in hands-on learning, from challenging internships to faculty-led research to travel abroad programs. Robust career services and other academic resources round out students’ experiences, promising a comprehensive education that will easily translate to success on the job market.
Net Price: $11,965
#30 Francis Marion University
Francis Marion University just made our cut in terms of its student population. The school comes in just under 4,000 (the website shows enrollment at 3,950), but, if you’re looking for a small, affordable college, don’t let that number steer away. Student to faculty ratios still remain small and on-campus student organizations are plenty, including Baptist College Ministry, Greek life, academic honors societies, and the Young, Gifted and Blessed Choir. In addition, dozens of undergraduate and graduate degree options are available. Sample degrees include Pre-Med, Pre-Veterinary, Forest Resources, Medical Technology, Nonprofit Management, Professional Writing, Music Industry, Painting, Graphic Design, Archeology, and Education. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Francis Marion University is a great option for students who want a small college atmosphere, but not so small that the campus life and networking opportunities are void.
Net Price: $11,935
#29 Atlantis University
If you’re looking for an innovative school that focuses on the fields of business and technology, Atlantis University might be your best choice. In fact, the school offers a feature extremely unique: a language institute that prepares students for a global presence by becoming fluent in foreign languages. This alone would set graduate apart and provide a competitive edge when seeking employment. Combined with extremely flexible course options and small class sizes, the career-focused education at Atlantis University is one-of-a-kind. Students can choose various undergraduate and graduate degrees through the school’s four divisions: School of Business, School of IT, School of Health, and School of Engineering. Atlantis University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Net Price: $11,787
#28 University of Maine at Fort Kent
Fort Kent, ME
Students and parents alike will love this fun fact: the average post-graduate debt for the University of Maine at Fort Kent students is less than $10,000. In fact, a recent study shows that graduates of UMFK programs have the least amount of student debt than any other public university in the nation. However, its affordability isn’t the only enticing feature of UMFK. The school is situated in a rural community, complete with beautiful outdoor views and access to activities across two countries: the US and Canada. Students can choose between degrees like Biology, Business Management, Cybersecurity, Nursing, and Education. Unique concentrations include Park Ranger, Wildlife Conservation Professional, Forest Management, Zoology, and Ecology. Combined with a nationally recognized collegiate sports department and a robust campus life, UMFK is a unique and affordable option for a small college experience.
Net Price: $11,686
#27 Blue Mountain College
Blue Mountain, MS
Blue Mountain College, a Christian Liberal Arts higher learning institution originally founded as a women’s college, is now a fully co-educational university. Enrolled students can pursue undergraduate degrees in areas like Chemistry, Christian Ministry, Sport Ministry, Education, Physics, Worship Leadership, and Theatre. Two graduate degrees are available in Master of Education in Literacy or Elementary Education. In addition, students can pursue one of two fully online programs in Psychology and Business Administration. With 6 starts dates per year, all online classes only last 8 weeks, which makes for an accelerated, flexible education. Blue Mountain College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $11,504
#26 The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
When it comes to both college affordability and value, the University of Virginia College at Wise is an important mention. This four-year college is one of the top public liberal arts institutions in the region, offering an impressive selection of academics, research opportunities, and experiential learning. Students flock from all over the country to the lush countryside of Southwest Virginia and COW’s unbeatable campus facilities. From the $8 million Wellness Center to the expansive Carl Smith Stadium, this university offers nothing but the best to its students. And on the academic side, you’ll have the opportunity to combine one of 30 different majors with the Peake Honors Program, international study, or undergraduate symposiums.
Net Price: $11,418
#25 College of Coastal Georgia
The most impressive feature of the College of Coastal Georgia is its low tuition rates for out-of-state students taking classes online. In fact, the US News and World Report named the school as the #1 spot as the Most Affordable College in the U.S. for Online Out-of-State Students. Enrolled students can choose degrees among the school’s 3 divisions: Arts & Sciences; Business & Public Management; and Education, Health Sciences, and Nursing. Eligible students can pursue an Honors College education as well. Sample degrees include a B.S in Homeland Security, B.B.A in Health Care Administration, B.S.N. in RN to BSN, and B.S in Non-Profit Management and Leadership. Five online BAchelor’s degrees are available as well. The College of Coastal Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $11,014
#24 Maria College
The driving force behind Maria College is its commitment to help others, students and the community alike. Rooted in its Mercy Catholic tradition, the school offers degrees in the Health Care field, Nursing, and Liberal Arts. Specific degrees include Healthcare Management, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Nursing, Nursing Faculty, Psychology, or Liberal Arts. In addition, students can expect strong academic and spiritual support to guide students on their journey to graduation. A member of The Conference for Mercy Higher Education, Maria College is accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $10,084
#23 University of Maine at Presque Isle
Presque Isle, ME
With over 65 majors, minors, and certificate options, the University of Maine at Presque Isle utilizes what the school calls “personalized learning.” This way of teaching puts the students first, allowing them to work at their own pace and experience a hands-on learning environment. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop work-ready professionals. Students can earn undergraduate degrees in areas like Women’s Studies, Recreation, Mental Health Rehabilitation, Project Management, Film Studies, Journalism, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Medical Lab Technology, Athletic Training, Cybersecurity, and Education. The University of Maine at Presque Isle is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Net Price: $9,647
#22 Kentucky State University
Established in 1886 from a land grant, Kentucky State University is beautifully situated on 882 acres in the state’s capital of Frankfort. This historically black college prides itself on providing an excellent, innovative, and student-centered education, including three Associate’s degrees, twenty-four Bachelor’s degrees, and five Master’s degrees. Specific degrees include a B.S in Biology, a B.A. in English, a B.A. in Music, a B.A. in Political Science, a B.S. in Computer Science, or a B.A. in Social Work. In addition, the school has some unique features, including an agricultural research farm over 300 acres. With yearly net price tuition under $10,000 and a large array of degree choices, you won’t go wrong with a school like Kentucky State University.
Net Price: $9,561
#21 Simmons College of Kentucky
Another historically black college in Kentucky, though much smaller in student enrollment, is Simmons College of Kentucky. Located in the vibrant city of Louisville, the college’s primary purpose post-Civil War was providing members of the Kentucky State Convention of Colored Baptist Churches a solid education. While some religious studies still remain, the school has since added other programs as well. Some Bachelor’s degrees include Music, Religious Studies, Sociology, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Business Entrepreneurship. Simmons College of Kentucky is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation.
Net Price: $9,481
#20 Rust College
Holly Springs, MS
Established in 1866, Rust College is a historically black liberal arts college in Mississippi, located just 35 miles from Memphis, TN. Unlike most higher institutions, Rust College operates on an 8-week class schedule. The school offers over a dozen degrees within its five academic divisions: Business, Education, Humanities, Science and Math, and Social Sciences. With a small student to faculty ratio, a low tuition rate, various collegiate sports, student organizations, online programs, and an honors college, Rust College is a great fit for students looking for a small, affordable college east of the Mississippi River. Rust College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges
Net Price: $9,358
#19 Shepherd University
Shepherd University was established in 1871, and by 1930 it had become the training ground for future educators. Since that time, the school has expanded to offer over 90 academic programs to its 3,700+ student population. The school’s top programs include Nursing Education, Business Administration, Secondary Education, Biology, Recreation and Sport Studies, Elementary Education, Psychology, Art, and Computer Information Sciences. Situated with a beautiful view of the Potomac River, Shepherd University is only 90 minutes from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., positioning the campus in a prime location. The school is also home to the Contemporary American Theater Festival, an annual festival that celebrates the works of American playwrights. Combined with low tuition, small class size and student/faculty ratio, and vibrant campus life, Shepherd University is a solid choice for a small, affordable college.
Net Price: $9,352
#18 Wright State University-Lake Campus
Beginning in 1964 as a branch campus for Ohio State University, Wright State University has emerged as a premier public research university in Ohio since that time. Students enrolled at the Wright State University-Lake Campus can choose between 11 Bachelor degrees, 20 Associate’s degrees, and the MBA graduate program. Students can also take the general core coursework and transfer to the larger campus in Dayton, OH, where the school offers over 100 degrees. Popular degree choices at the Lake Campus include agriculture, electrical engineering, multimedia design, psychology, nursing, mechanical engineering, or integrated science studies. With just under 1,500 students, the campus offers many ways for students to get involved outside of the classroom complete with a fitness membership, on-campus housing, student organizations, and student services.
Net Price: $9,155
#17 Gordon State College
Gordon State College rolls in with just under a 4,000 student population, barely making our requirement for this rankings list. So if an extremely small school of a few hundred students isn’t your thing, but you still want a small school atmosphere, you should seriously consider Gordon State College. Established in the mid-19th century as a church-sponsored military based institution, Gordon State College is now a part of the University System of Georgia and offers both Associate and Bachelor degree programs in many areas. Some undergraduate degrees include A.A. in Mass Communications, A.A. in Foreign Language, A.S in Criminal Justice, and an A.S. in Engineering. Popular Bachelor’s degrees include Secondary Education, Biology, Health Information Management, Nursing, and Middle Grades Education. Gordon State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Net Price: $9,127
#16 Concord University
No matter what your interest, Concord University can provide the right career path for you. With more than seven different levels of degree and four separate academic accreditations, CU offers a variety uncharacteristic of such a small school. Not only does U.S. News rank Concord one of the best colleges in the South, but the university has also been labeled one of the most “cost-conscious.” Touting one of the lowest student loan debt rates in the region, Concord is undoubtedly one of the most affordable colleges in West Virginia. And for such a low price, CU doesn’t skimp on options: course selections cover Business, Education, the Fine Arts, Mathematics, Health, the Physical Sciences, and much more.
Net Price: $9,000
#15 Peirce College
Peirce College, originally founded as Union Business College to educate post-Civil War workers, has a rich 150+ year history. Today, the school focuses on providing an innovative, flexible, and affordable collegiate experience. Enrolled students can choose from various undergraduate and graduate level degrees in the areas of General Studies, Business, Information Technology, Legal Studies, Health, Organizational Leadership & Management, and Healthcare Administration. For students looking to cut time off their education, Peirce College gives college credit for prior learning, military experience, and work experience. In addition, online learning is also available, making PC an excellent choice for the non-traditional learner. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $8,932
#14 Coppin State University
Another HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) on this list with a rich history, Coppin State University began as an African-American teacher training institute dating back to 1900. Now the school has expanded to offer programs in the arts and sciences, teacher education, nursing, graduate studies, and continuing education. CSU offers traditional day classes, but non-traditional flexibility like night and weekend courses and distance learning opportunities. Options seem endless at CSU, as students can choose between 53 undergraduate majors and 9 graduate majors. Unique options include Dance, Entertainment Management, Urban Arts, Urban Recreation, and Non-profit Leadership. Likewise, the vibrant campus life isn’t short on options either, from the Royal Court to mentoring services to the ROTC. CSU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $8,685
#13 Northwestern Michigan College
Traverse City, MI
Though Northwestern Michigan College offers undergraduate, graduate, and advanced certificates on its own, the school is also 1 of 8 schools in the University System, designed to offer more opportunities to students. Currently, the school and its University System offers an impressive 103 degree and certificate options. NMC also offers non-credit courses through its Extended Education programs. While the campus itself houses just under 4,000 students, the college services 50,000+ learners in the region. Enrolled students can choose Associate degrees in Applied Science, Nursing, General Studies, or Science and Arts. Bachelor’s degrees are available in Maritime Technology and Marine Technology. Additional degrees, both undergraduate and graduate, are offered through the school’s partnerships. Northwestern Michigan College is fully accredited by the North Central Association and The Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $8,630
#12 Bluefield State College
Just because Bluefield State College offers one of the lowest tuitions in West Virginia, that doesn’t mean it skimps on education. In fact, the school focuses on a student-centered, career-oriented education that is both high quality and practical for today’s job market demands. But education isn’t the only important part of BSC; it also prides itself on creating a family-like atmosphere. The school is big enough to offer a rich campus life and academic options, but small enough to make students feel right at home. With a focus on the STEM disciplines, students can pursue undergraduate degrees in Civil, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering Technology; Nursing; Radiologic Technology; Accounting; Education; Imaging Science; Health Services Management; or Criminal Justice. Bluefield State College is by the Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $8,604
#11 South Georgia State College
A part of the University System of Georgia, South Georgia State College is a regional college that services 22 states and 13 countries through its two campus locations, online courses, and degree partnerships with other institutions. Students can pursue 3 Bachelor’s degrees: the Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences (BSBS), the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) and the Bachelor of Science in Management (BSM). If you’re looking for a small, affordable college located in the GA area, look further into SGSU. As its website says, “class sizes [are] small enough to make you feel like you belong to a community of learners, [but] campuses [are] large enough to give you a true college experience.” South Georgia State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $8,522
#10 St. Augustine College
St. Augustine College is a unique higher education institution on this ranking for several reasons. First, it is the only school on this list that is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. In fact, 87% of its student population is Hispanic. Secondly, the student population is comprised of 79% women with an average age of 31. Lastly, the school provides workforce development and support through its Career & Transfer Center and the Institute for Workforce Education, including help with resumes and interview skills. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, enrolled students can pursue undergraduate degrees in over 15 areas. Popular choices include a BSW in Social Work, BA in Hospitality Management, BS in Computer Information Systems, AAS in Accounting, AAS in Culinary Arts, AAS in Respiratory Therapy, and AA in Child Development.
Net Price: $8,373
#9 University of Fort Lauderdale
The University of Fort Lauderdale is a small, affordable college located in Lauderhill, FL that desires to develop leaders who will ‘reach people for Christ.’ While the University of Fort Lauderdale has the smallest student population on this rankings list, there is no shortage of degree options for the 77 enrolled students. Students can choose Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Masters, and Doctorate degrees. Options include an AS in Ministry, BBA in Construction Management or Marketing, or a BS in Christian Counseling, Theology, or Christian Education. Graduate degree options are available in Business Administration and Divinity. The University of Fort Lauderdale is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
Net Price: $8,218
#8 LeMoyne-Owen College
LeMoyne-Owen College, located in Memphis, TN, is a historically black college that services both non-traditional and traditional urban students with a quality, liberal arts education. If you’ve been out of school for a while, and are nervous about getting back to your education, take a look at LeMoyne-Owen College. They specialize in helping students make that transition seamlessly. But no matter if you are fresh out of high school or coming back to school after some time off, you will have dozens of programs to pick from. Sample degree offerings include BA in Art, BS in Child Development and Family Studies, BS in Social Work, BA in Criminal Justice, BA in Urban Leadership and Social Justice, and an array of choices in the Education field. Enhance your degree with a minor in accounting, African and African American Studies, Economics, Psychology, or public health. LeMoyne-Owen College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $7,950
#7 Potomac State College of West Virginia University
Situated on over 900 acres in the beautiful hills of West Virginia University, Potomac State College offers 2 and 4-year programs, online courses, and an honors program. Unique two-year programs include Advertising, Biometric Systems Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Animal Science, Equine Production and Management, Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship, Wildlife and Fisheries Resources, Wood Science and Technology, and Agribusiness Management. And if you’re worried about the course load or the transition to your collegiate program, PSC offers academic support for students through the Academic Success Center. Students will have access to both professional tutors and trained peer tutors. WVU Potomac State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $7,827
#6 San Ignacio University
An innovative, research-focused university in Miami, San Ignacio University is known for its entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to improving the lives of people in low-income areas, and its global vision to develop leaders for today’s workforce. One feature that makes SIU stand out on this ranking is that it is a bilingual institution belonging to the San Ignacio de Loyola Corporation. SIU offers Associate, Bachelor, and Master degree programs in the following areas: Marketing, Hospitality Management, and International Business, among others. What makes San Ignacio University’s programs unique is that essentially a student could start from the ground level and get 3 consecutive degrees in the same discipline, i.e. an A.A. in Marketing, a B.A. in Marketing, and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management. San Ignacio University is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Net Price: $7,504
#5 East Georgia State College
East Georgia State College, a higher education institution a part of the University System of Georgia, is a 4-year institution that services both the traditional and non-traditional student. EGSC’s main campus is in Swainsboro, but two satellite campuses are available in Statesboro and Augusta in collaboration with other institutions. For students still in high school, EGSC offers a dual enrollment program where you can take college courses in conjunction with your high school program. Academic programs include degrees in Fire and Emergency Services, Recreation, Education, Nursing, and Business Administration. Between the financial aid opportunities, low tuition, various degree options, and athletics, East Georgia State College is sure to be a wise choice for your college experience.
Net Price: $5,021
#4 Chipola College
Though Chipola College began in 1947 as a Junior College, since 2003 the school has offered Bachelor’s degrees as well. An array of Associate degrees are available, as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Education, Business, and Nursing. Chipola is also home to a 56,000 square foot center for the arts, including two theaters. As a student at Chipola, support is not something you will be lacking. Available resources include extensive student services, workforce development programs, and personal attention only a small school can offer. With a net price tuition at less than $5,000 and a low student to faculty ratio, you definitely won’t break the bank to get the quality education you desire.
Net Price: $4,208
#3 Atlanta Metropolitan State College
Atlanta Metropolitan State College has been a predominately African-American two-year junior college since 1965, all the way until 2012 when the school started offering 4-year Bachelor’s degrees. Some of those degrees include Applied Mathematics, Biological Science, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Digital Media & Entertainment, Organizational Leadership, and Teacher Education. Recreational activities and various student clubs and organizations make living on campus fun. As a member of the University System of Georgia, Atlanta Metropolitan State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $3,938
#2 Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City, NC
Great Value Colleges isn’t the only source to recognize ECSU’s outstanding combination of quality and affordability. Washington Monthly also recognizes this top small college as a best “bang for its buck” institution. Elizabeth City State University is a constituent of the University of North Carolina, making it the perfect choice for students who want big-time academics on a small-time campus. Guided by the values of accountability, diversity, and excellence, ECSU has developed a strong curriculum that spans both undergraduate and graduate levels. Students who choose to attend this U.S. News top-ranked regional university can major in Physical Education, Computer Science, Economics, or Military Sciences, to name but a few. Elizabeth City also offers a unique “E-Mentoring Program” to help new students make the transition to this top affordable college in North Carolina.
Net Price: $2,304
#1 Berea College
Affordable tuition won’t be the only highlight of your time at Berea College; this school has received praise from CNBC, The New York Times, the International Living Future Institute, and Charity Navigator for its high performance. From environmentally friendly buildings to unusual financial transparency, Berea more than earns its stripes as one of the best small colleges in America. Major options include African American Studies, Health and Human Performance, Physics, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Technology and Applied Design, and more than a dozen others. You also have the freedom to construct an independent major and participate in such programs as “Entrepreneurship for the Public Good,” which establishes leadership opportunities and commercial enterprises for students in nearby rural communities.
Net Price: $1,680
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