50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South 2021

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The South is a region known for its many affordable colleges and universities, so many in fact, that it can be challenging to choose the best of the best affordable colleges available. Experts advise evaluating a school in terms of not only tuition, but other factors as well, including accreditation, reputation, and of course, academic offerings.

The process can be overwhelming. To help, our editors got to work evaluating the cheapest colleges in the south and probing them for precisely what they had to offer students interested in pursuing a degree. We looked at all types of different schools, including large and small colleges and universities and public and private institutions. Our methodology led us to consider state-sponsored universities, faith-based schools, and historically black colleges. After many hours of research and careful consideration, we present our selection of the top 50 affordable colleges in the south.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Graduate Tuition

  • Under $2,500—5 points
  • Under $5,000—4 points
  • Under $10,000—3 points
  • Under $15,000—2 points
  • Under $20,000—1 point

National Recognition (U.S. News & World Report’s Ranking of Best Colleges)

  • Top 150—1 point
  • Top 100—2 points
  • Top 50—3 points
  • Top 25—4 points

20-Year Net ROI

  • Over $100,000—1 point
  • Over $200,000—2 points
  • Over $300,000—3 points

Here is a sneak peek of the Top Ten

  1. Middle Georgia State University
  2. Western Carolina State University
  3. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
  4. Pensacola State College
  5. Dalton State College
  6. Oklahoma Panhandle State University
  7. McNeese State University
  8. Midwestern State University
  9. South Florida State College
  10. Elizabeth City State University

Rating and Ranking the Top 50 Affordable Colleges in the South

To develop this ranking of the best affordable colleges in the south, our editors began with an initial pool of the 115 best value schools in the region. To ensure that we were providing information on the cheapest colleges available, we then applied a tuition filter that eliminated schools with in-state undergraduate tuition rates of over $20,000 per year. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above, using credible sources like the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), PayScale.com, and each institution’s official website. In the case of a tie, we awarded the most economical school the higher ranking.

#50—Auburn University at Montgomery

Montgomery, Alabama

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Auburn University at Montgomery

One of the most comprehensive affordable colleges in the south, Auburn University at Montgomery offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to its more than 5,000 enrolled students. Most of the school’s student body is comprised of undergraduates who pursue academic majors such as:

  • Psychology
  • Marketing
  • Computer Information Sciences
  • Education
  • Health Sciences

AUM’s graduate degree program in public affairs has been nationally recognized for its excellence. The school has been fully accredited to award undergraduate and graduate degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 20 most innovative schools in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,860

#49—Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Northwestern State University of Louisiana

One of our larger affordable colleges in the south, Northwestern State University of Louisiana enrolls well over 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. As a comprehensive institution of higher learning, the school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer degrees at every level of postsecondary education. NSU’s most popular areas of study include:

  • Marketing
  • Health Professions
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology

Graduate degrees are also available, including top-ranked master’s and doctoral offerings in nursing. The university is particularly well-known for its online master’s in nursing programs as well. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Northwestern State among the top 50 public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,672

#48—West Virginia State University

Institute, West Virginia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South  West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University is not only one of the more affordable colleges in the South; it’s also among the leading historically black colleges and universities in the United States. Established in 1891, the school now enrolls over 4,000 students. Most are undergraduates who regularly pursue majors such as:

  • Education
  • Communications
  • Nursing
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology & Sociology
  • Engineering
  • International Studies

Degree programs are also available to graduate students, including a nationally recognized option in public affairs. WVU is institutionally accredited to confer bachelor’s and master’s degrees by The Higher Learning Commission. It’s been ranked among the top 20 public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,437

#47—Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, Tennessee

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Austin Peay State University

One of the most affordable colleges in the south for both undergraduate and graduate students alike, Austin Peay State University is a comprehensive public university established in 1927. The school currently enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduates who pursue majors in academic disciplines like:

  • Psychology
  • Health Studies
  • Fitness Studies
  • Humanities
  • Business

Graduate degree programs are also available, including nationally ranked online master’s education and business administration options. Austin Peay State is fully accredited to award postsecondary degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the country’s top 25 public schools.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,303

#46—University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South  University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Among the oldest affordable colleges in the south, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff was founded in 1873. Today, the school enrolls nearly 2,500 students, most of whom are undergraduates. Popular majors offered through the university include:

  • Industrial Technology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Criminal Justice
  • Business Administration

Several different options are also available to graduate students, including programs in:

  • Education
  • Computer Science
  • Addiction Studies
  • Fisheries Science

UAPB is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to confer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university has been ranked among the top 15 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,248

#45—Nicholls State University

Thibodaux, Louisiana

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Nicholls State University

Affiliated with the University of Louisiana System, Nicholls State University is one of our public affordable colleges in the south. Founded in 1948, the school now enrolls roughly 6,500 students. These students pursue associate’s, bachelor’s, and even master’s credentials in a wide array of academic disciplines, including:

  • Finance
  • Mass Communication
  • Teacher Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Engineering Technology

The school’s bachelor’s degrees in business and master’s in nursing programs have been nationally ranked. Nicholls State is fully accredited to award these college degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 35 best public schools in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,946

#44—Fairmont State University

Fairmont, West Virginia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Fairmont State University

Established in 1865, Fairmont University currently serves less than 4,000 total students, making it one of the smaller affordable colleges in the south. Still, the school is academically diverse, offering popular undergraduate majors such as:

  • Psychology
  • Homeland Security
  • Health Sciences
  • Engineering Technologies
  • Business

Fairmont State offers more than a dozen academic programs at the graduate level, most of which are available online. Some of these options include:

  • Online MS in Healthcare Management
  • Online MS in Criminal Justice
  • Online MS in Engineering Management
  • Online MEd in Educational Leadership

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university to confer degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It has also been ranked among the top 50 public schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,738

#43—Bluefield State College

Bluefield, West Virginia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Bluefield State College

One of the smallest affordable colleges in the south, Bluefield State College has a total enrollment of just over 1,200 students. Focusing exclusively on undergraduate education, the school offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in popular academic areas such as:

  • Engineering Technologies
  • Homeland Security
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Management
  • Nursing

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Bluefield State to confer academic credentials at the undergraduate level. It’s been ranked among the 15 best public schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,680

#42—Arkansas Tech University

Russellville, Arkansas

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Arkansas Tech University

Among the most affordable colleges in the south, Arkansas Tech University is known for its outstanding undergraduate programs in engineering and computer science. The school also offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in several other areas of study, including:

  • Education
  • Business Administration
  • Nursing
  • Liberal Arts
  • Emergency Management

Arkansas Tech also began offering doctoral programs in 2015. The Higher Learning Commission institutionally accredits the school, and U.S. News & World Report has called it one of the nation’s top 40 public schools.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,668

#41—Mississippi University for Women

Columbus, Mississippi

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Mississippi University for Women

Established in 1884, Mississippi University for Women was the first public college for women in the United States. Today, the school enrolls a student body of nearly 3,000 women and men and offers over 50 bachelor’s degree programs. Standout options include:

  • BA/BS in Communication
  • BA in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • BA/BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Music Therapy
  • BS in Kinesiology

The school also offers over a dozen graduate degree programs, including:

  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Online MBA
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • MFA in Creative Writing

Mississippi University for Women is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 20 best value schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,525

#40—Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Henderson State University

A top-rated public school, Henderson State University is a member of the Arkansas State University system. Founded in 1890, the school now enrolls more than 4,000 students and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Academic programs are available in a range of disciplines, including:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Biological Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Business

The school’s undergraduate offerings in business have been ranked among some of the best in the country. Henderson State is fully accredited to award bachelor’s and master’s credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among some of the south’s top affordable colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,392

#39—Northeastern State University

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Northeastern State University

Established in 1846, Northeastern State University is one of the oldest and most affordable colleges in our ranking. Today, the school enrolls approximately 7,500 students and awards degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school’s most popular areas of study include:

  • Law Enforcement Administration
  • Nursing
  • Accounting
  • Experimental and Research Psychology
  • General Studies

The school’s graduate degree programs in speech-language pathology and occupational therapy have been nationally ranked. It is also known for its outstanding online programs, including its online bachelor’s degrees and online master’s degrees in criminal justice and nursing. Northeastern State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to confer these credentials. It’s been ranked among the top 50 public schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,915

#38—Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Durant, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Founded in 1909, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is one of the more affordable colleges in the south and a member of the Regional University System of Oklahoma. The school enrolls more than 5,000 students each year, offering both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. For undergraduates, a wide variety of majors are available, including:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Criminal Justice
  • Nursing
  • Finance
  • General Business

Several different graduate degree programs are also available such as:

  • MS in Occupational Safety and Health
  • MEd in School Counseling
  • MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Online MBA

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited SOSU to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among some of the top public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,750

#37—Cameron University

Lawton, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Cameron University

One of the older affordable colleges in the south, Cameron University was founded in 1908. Today, the school offers several nationally ranked bachelor’s and master’s programs both on-campus and online. Other popular majors offered through the university include:

  • Information Technology
  • Corrections and Criminal Justice
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
  • Accounting

Cameron University has been institutionally accredited to confer academic credentials for both undergraduate and graduate students by The Higher Learning Commission. It’s been named one of the nation’s top public schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,450

#36—Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Oklahoma State University- Oklahoma City

Established in 1961, Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City currently awards associate’s and bachelor’s credentials to its 5,000-plus undergraduate students. Programs are available in high-demand areas of study such as:

  • Public Safety Management
  • Human Services
  • Education
  • Health Care Administration
  • General Business
  • Surveying Technology

Many of the school’s degree plans can be completed entirely online. OSU-OKC holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. It has been listed among the top ten public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,070

#35—Georgia Gwinnett College

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Georgia Gwinnett College

One of the youngest and cheapest colleges in our ranking, Georgia Gwinnett College was founded in 2005. Since then, it has grown to be one of the larger affordable colleges in the south, enrolling well over 12,000 students annually.  The school’s most popular majors include:

  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Marketing
  • Education

The school’s undergraduate business programs have been noted for their excellence. GCC has been fully accredited to award bachelor’s degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has recognized it as one of the 20 best public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,948

#34—College of Coastal Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South  College of Coastal Georgia

Among the cheapest colleges in the south, the College of Coastal Georgia was founded in 1961 as a community college and began offering four-year degrees in 2011. Today, the school is home to 20 different bachelor’s degree programs, including popular majors such as:

  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Nursing
  • Biological Sciences

Five distinct options are also available for undergraduates who wish to learn online. These options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Business Administration for Adult Learners
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Workforce Management and Leadership
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Online BS in Public Management

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the College of Coastal Georgia to award undergraduate credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,933

#33—West Virginia University at Parkersburg

Parkersburg, West Virginia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South West Virginia University at Parkersburg

One of the most affordable colleges for out-of-state students in the south, West Virginia University at Parkersburg was first established as a two-year community college. Today, the school offers a variety of bachelor’s degree programs in high-demand areas such as:

  • Accounting
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Nursing
  • Software Engineering

Associate’s degree programs are available in many of the same disciplines. WVU Parkersburg is fully accredited to confer undergraduate credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 30 public schools in the United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,890

#32—Gordon State College

Barnesville, Georgia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South  Gordon State College

One of the cheapest colleges in the south, Gordon State College is a member of the University System of Georgia. Established in 1852, the school currently enrolls approximately 3,500 undergraduate students. These students pursue academic credentials at the associate’s and bachelor’s levels in areas of study such as:

  • Nursing
  • Health Information Management
  • Engineering
  • Criminal Justice
  • Computer Science
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

Gordon State College has been institutionally accredited to award these undergraduate degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has recognized it as one of the 20 best public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,789

#31—Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Tifton, Georgia

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is one of the cheapest colleges in the south and a member of the University System of Georgia. A four-year public college, the school is accredited to award associate’s and bachelor’s degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Majors offered include:

  • Environmental Horticulture
  • Agribusiness
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Agriculture Education
  • Rural Community Development
  • Nursing

U.S. News & World Report has ranked ABAC among the 30 best public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,565

#30—University of North Carolina-Pembroke

Pembroke, North Carolina

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South University of North Carolina- Pembroke

A member of the University of North Carolina system, UNC-Pembroke is one of the most affordable colleges for out of state students in the south. Enrolling mostly undergraduate students, the school offers popular majors such as:

  • Social Sciences
  • Management
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Homeland Security
  • Fitness Studies

Options are also available for graduate students, including top-ranked master’s degree programs in nursing, social work, and public affairs. UNCP holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been ranked among the 35 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,456

#29—Seminole State College of Florida

Sanford, Florida

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Seminole State College of Florida

A member of the Florida College System, Seminole State College of Florida is one of the south’s cheapest colleges. The school currently enrolls nearly 18,000 students and focuses solely on undergraduate education. Its most popular majors include those in:

  • Engineering
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Business
  • Health Sciences

Standout programs include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • BS in Business and Information Management
  • BS in Engineering Technology
  • BS in Information Systems Technology

Seminole State is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It has been ranked among the 30 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,131

#28—St. Petersburg College

Clearwater, Florida

Website

Points: 6

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South St. Petersburg College

One of the cheapest colleges in our ranking, St. Petersburg College is a large public college enrolling nearly 30,000 undergraduate students annually. These students pursue popular majors such as:

  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Homeland Security
  • Education
  • Management
  • Health Professions

The school also offers online programs, including nationally ranked bachelor’s degree options. St. Petersburg College holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It has been ranked among the country’s top 25 public schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,682

#27—Paul Quinn College

Dallas, Texas

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Paul Quinn College

One of the private affordable colleges in the south, Paul Quinn College was founded in 1872 and is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The school has a small student body of just over 500 students, offering undergraduate majors in subjects like:

  • Business Administration
  • Health and Wellness
  • Liberal Arts
  • Legal Studies
  • Religious Studies

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited PQC to award bachelor’s degrees. It’s been named a top regional college by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,992

#26—Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Eastern Kentucky University

Established in 1847, Eastern Kentucky University now enrolls nearly 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The school is among the most affordable colleges in the south and an academic powerhouse, offering nationally ranked undergraduate programs in business and computer science. Other popular majors for bachelor’s degree-seeking students include:

  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Homeland Security
  • Marketing
  • Humanities

EKU is also known for its robust online offerings, including top-rated online bachelor’s programs and online master’s degrees in nursing and education. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the university to award academic credentials both online and on campus. The school has been ranked among the 55 best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,876

#25—University of Tennessee-Martin

Martin, Tennessee

Website

Points: 7

A member of the University of Tennessee system, UT-Martin enrolls over 7,000 students annually. Most of these students are undergraduates who pursue popular majors such as:

  • Recreation and Fitness Studies
  • Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Agriculture
  • Business and Management

The school’s bachelor’s degree options in computer science and engineering have been noted for their excellence. Online programs are also available through the university, including nationally ranked online bachelor’s in business and online master’s in education and business administration offerings. The school holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has called it one of the best affordable colleges in the south.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,748

#24—Murray State University

Murray, Kentucky

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Murray State University

Home to nationally ranked undergraduate programs in business, computer science, and engineering, Murray State University has also garnered a spot in our ranking of the south’s best affordable colleges. The school’s undergraduate population consists of more than 8,000 students who pursue popular majors such as:

  • Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Management
  • Health Professions
  • Education

Graduate students at the university may also take advantage of top-rated public affairs, nursing, and speech-language pathology programs. Murray State is fully accredited to confer these academic credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s one of the 30 best regional universities in the South, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,168

#23—Kentucky State University

Frankfort, Kentucky

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Kentucky State University

A leading historically black institute of higher learning, Kentucky State University is also one of the more affordable colleges in the south. The school enrolls just over 2,100 hundred students, the vast majority of which are undergraduates. Popular majors pursued through the university include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Business Administration
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Physical Education

The school is also home to a nationally ranked graduate degree program in public affairs. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Kentucky State University to award postsecondary degrees. It’s been ranked among the top 40 regional colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,800

#22—West Texas A&M University

Canyon, Texas

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South West Texas A&M University

One of the most affordable colleges in the south and a member of the Texas A&M University system, West Texas A&M is known for its high-quality online programs. The school currently enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Popular majors include:

  • Education
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Agriculture
  • Health Professions
  • Business

West Texas A&M’s online bachelor’s in business and online master’s in computer information technology programs have been ranked among some of the best in the nation. The university is institutionally accredited to confer online and on-campus credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It has been called a top regional university by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,456

#21—Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Weatherford, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Southwestern Oklahoma State

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is not only one of the most affordable colleges in the south, but it is also one of the nation’s best public schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1901, the school currently serves over 4,000 undergraduate students with popular majors such as:

  • Health Sciences
  • Business Administration
  • Education and Teaching
  • Recreation Management
  • Nursing

A few graduate degree options are also available through the university, including a top-rated pharmacy program. The school’s online bachelor’s degree offerings have also been nationally ranked. SWOSU holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,913

#20—University of Central Oklahoma

Edmond, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South University of Central Oklahoma

One of the larger affordable colleges in the south, the University of Central Oklahoma enrolls approximately 15,000 students annually. Still, the school maintains a low student to faculty ratio while offering over a hundred academic programs at the undergraduate level. Some of these programs include:

  • BS in Accounting
  • Online BA in Applied Liberal Arts
  • BS in Biology
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
  • BS in Forensic Science

Graduate programs are also available, including nationally ranked options in nursing, public affairs, and speech-language pathology. UCO is fully accredited to award these academic credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. It has been ranked among the 35 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,817

#19—Texas A&M University-Texarkana

Texarkana, Texas

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Texas A&M University- Texarkana

A small branch of the Texas A&M University system, Texas A&M-Texarkana serves just over 2,000 students and is one of our top affordable colleges in the south. The school emphasizes undergraduate education, and bachelor’s degree-seeking students gravitate towards the school’s majors in disciplines like:

  • Marketing
  • Homeland Security
  • Psychology
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • General Studies

The school’s undergraduate engineering program has been rated among some of the best such programs nationwide. Texas A&M-Texarkana has been accredited to award these postsecondary degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has named it a top regional university.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,764

#18—Rogers State University

Claremore, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Rogers State University

Founded in 1909, Rogers State University is a four-year school serving the Tulsa metro area and has gained attention as one of the more affordable colleges in the south. The school offers both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees; its most popular majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Social Sciences
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Biological Sciences

Rogers State’s online bachelor’s programs have also been nationally ranked. The university is accredited to confer undergraduate credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has recognized it as a top public school and a leading regional university.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,470

#17—University of Houston-Victoria

Victoria, Texas

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South University of Houston- Victoria

Established in 1973, the University of Houston-Victoria remains one of the smaller affordable colleges in the south. The school enrolls roughly 4,500 students, the majority of which are undergraduates. Bachelor’s degree offerings include:

  • BS in Biology
  • Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • RN to BSN
  • BS in Health Studies
  • BS of Digital Gaming and Simulation

UHV is institutionally accredited to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It is a leading regional university, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,313

#16—North Carolina Central University

Durham, North Carolina

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South North Carolina Central University

Established in 1910, North Carolina Central University is one of the most affordable colleges in the South and is a long-standing member of the University of North Carolina system. Today, the school serves just over 6,000 undergraduate students, offering majors in popular subject areas such as:

  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Business Administration and Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Social Sciences

NC Central also offers several top-ranked graduate degree programs, including options in law, public affairs, and social work, for instance. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the university has been listed among U.S. News & World Report’s 50 best regional universities in the South.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,629

#15—University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South  University of West Florida

One of the State University of Florida system’s larger members, the University of West Florida is also one of the more affordable colleges in the south. The school boasts a total enrollment of over 12,500 students, most of them at the undergraduate level. Popular majors include:

  • Psychology
  • Physical Education
  • Nursing
  • Mass Communication
  • Health Sciences

UWF also has a strong online presence, featuring top-rated master’s degree options in business, education, nursing, and computer information technology. The university is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It has been ranked among the top 40 regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,360

#14—Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Winston Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University is not only one of the most affordable colleges in the south, but it is also among the leading historically black colleges and universities in the United States. The school has a relatively small student body of just over 5,000 total students. The majority of these students are undergraduates who pursue one of over 40 available majors such as:

  • Business Administration
  • Healthcare Management
  • Mass Communication
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

WSSU is also home to nationally-ranked online master’s in nursing programs. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited the university to award both undergraduate and graduate degrees. It has been ranked among the 60 best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,941

#13—Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

One of the most affordable colleges in the south and a leading school for applied technology, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology was established in 1946. Today, the school serves more than 2,000 undergraduate students, offering Bachelor of Technology degrees in disciplines such as:

  • Information Technologies
  • Applied Technical Leadership
  • Instrumentation Engineering Technology

Numerous associate’s degrees in STEM areas are also available. OSUIT is fully accredited to award these undergraduate credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has identified it as one of the top 5 public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,774

#12—University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South University of Arkansas- Fort Smith

One of the most affordable colleges for out-of-state students, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith even offers low in-state tuition rates to residents of surrounding states. In terms of academics, the school offers myriad bachelor’s degree programs to its 6,000-plus undergraduate students, including nationally recognized undergraduate business programs. Other popular areas of study include:

  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Nursing
  • Psychology

UAFS is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award undergraduate and graduate credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 65 best regional colleges in the South.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,754

#11—Clayton State University

Morrow, Georgia

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Clayton State University

One of the leading affordable colleges in the south in terms of return on investment, Clayton State University enrolls nearly 7,000 students in the metro Atlanta area. These students pursue popular majors through the university such as:

  • Health Care Management
  • Community Psychology
  • Liberal Studies
  • Nursing
  • Office Management

For graduate students interested in distance education, the university also offers nationally ranked online master’s programs in nursing and business administration. Clayton State holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among some of the best regional universities in the South.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,568

#10—Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Elizabeth City State University

One of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities, Elizabeth City State University, is also one of the south’s cheapest colleges. The school enrolls less than 2,000 students and boasts an impressively low student to faculty ratio. Popular majors for undergraduates include:

  • Law Enforcement
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Public Administration
  • Education
  • Marketing

ECSU holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A member of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, it’s been ranked among the 40 best regional colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,260

#9—South Florida State College

Avon Park, Florida

Website

Points: 7

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South South Florida State College

A Florida College System member, South Florida State College is one of the best affordable colleges in the south. The school enrolls just over 2,000 undergraduate students and offers dozens of academic programs in subject areas such as:

  • Information Technology
  • Health Studies
  • Elementary Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Business

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited South Florida State to confer academic credentials, including bachelor’s degrees. It has been recognized as one of the 35 best regional colleges in the South and a top 10 public school nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,165

#8—Midwestern State University

Wichita Falls, Texas

Website

Points: 8

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Midwestern State University

Midwestern State University is one of the most affordable colleges in the South and the only public institute of higher learning in the state of Texas that emphasizes the liberal arts. With an undergraduate enrollment of just over 5,000 students, the school offers bachelor’s degrees in popular disciplines like:

  • Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Psychology
  • Marketing
  • Health Professions
  • Biological Sciences

Graduate students at MSU Texas also have access to nationally recognized master’s degree programs in nursing and business administration. The school holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been ranked a top 75 regional university by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,796

#7—McNeese State University

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Website

Points: 8

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South McNeese State University

Known for its leading undergraduate programs in engineering and computer science, McNeese State University is one of our top choices for the south’s best affordable colleges. The school also offers a wide variety of other majors for its 6,500-plus undergraduate students, however, including:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Family Sciences
  • General Business
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Liberal Arts

At the graduate level, McNeese State also offers top-ranked programs in nursing and business administration. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the university to offer these academic programs. It’s been ranked among the top 100 regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,382

#6—Oklahoma Panhandle State University

Goodwell, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 8

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South  Oklahoma Panhandle State University

One of the smaller affordable colleges in the south, Oklahoma Panhandle State University enrolls just over 1,200 undergraduate students. Still, the school offers a wide range of academic programs, including popular bachelor’s degree options in academic disciplines such as:

  • Business Administration
  • Animal Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Nursing

Oklahoma Panhandle State is fully accredited to award undergraduate degrees by The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has called the school a top regional college and ranked it among the 10 best public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,384

#5—Dalton State College

Dalton, Georgia

Website

Points: 8

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Dalton State College

A member of the University System of Georgia, Dalton State College is one of the South’s most affordable colleges for out-of-state students. The school enrolls nearly 5,000 undergraduate students per year, offering bachelor’s degrees in high-demand academic areas such as:

  • Technology Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Psychology
  • Communication

The school’s undergraduate business programs, in particular, have been nationally ranked. A variety of undergraduate certificates and minors are also available. Dalton State is institutionally accredited to award these academic credentials at the undergraduate level by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 100 regional colleges in the Southern United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,683

#4—Pensacola State College

Pensacola, Florida

Website

Points: 8

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Pensacola State College

First established in 1948, Pensacola State College is now one of the leading affordable colleges in the south. The school serves just under 10,000 students, all of which are undergraduates. Both associates and bachelor’s credentials are available with popular majors, including:

  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Health Professions
  • Education
  • Humanities
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Business

The school also has a strong online presence; its online bachelor’s degree programs have been rated as some of the best in the nation. Pensacola State is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 30 best regional colleges in the South.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,364

#3—University of Texas Permian Basin

Odessa, Texas

Website

Points: 9

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South University of Texas Permian Basin

A member of the University of Texas System, the University of Texas Permian Basin is one of the most affordable colleges for out-of-state students and one of the south’s cheapest colleges. Founded in 1973, the school now serves over 5,000 students, most of them undergraduates. Popular majors for these students include:

  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
  • Nursing

UTPB also has an impressive online division, which offers top-ranked online bachelor’s degrees in business and nationally recognized online master’s programs in education and business administration. The university holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is one of U.S. News & World Report’s top regional universities.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,837

#2—Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Points: 9

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Western Colorado University

A long-established public university and one of the leading affordable colleges in the south, Western Carolina University was founded in 1889 and is a member of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system. The school currently boasts a total undergraduate enrollment of over 10,000 students and offers majors in popular fields of study such as:

  • Management
  • Homeland Security
  • Health Sciences
  • Public Administration
  • Education

WCU’s undergraduate engineering programs have also received national recognition. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited the university to award postsecondary academic degrees. It has been ranked among the top 25 regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,285

#1—Middle Georgia State University

Macon, Georgia

Website

Points: 9

50 Great Affordable Colleges in the South Middle Georgia State University

One of the newer affordable colleges in the south, Middle Georgia State University was founded in 2013. Since then, it has become a leading regional college in the Southern United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school enrolls just over $8,000 students annually, the vast majority of which are undergraduates. Its most popular majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Aviation Management and Operations
  • Psychology
  • Business Administration

Middle Georgia State also offers several programs available via distance education, including top-ranked online master’s in nursing and computer information technology. The school is fully accredited to award both undergraduate and graduate credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,060

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