Fewer scholarships and more stringent requirements for private student loans are making it difficult for students to get the funding they need to attend pricey schools. As a result, many students are turning to less expensive options, including community colleges, small religious private schools and public state universities. Here are 15 higher education values.
James Madison University
This public state school in Harrisonburg, Va., offers an affordable higher education. James Madison University is close to Washington, and offers a number of opportunities for those interested in civil service and nonprofit work. In-state residents pay about $7,000 for tuition, and out-of-state students pay $18,500.
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They may be called Aggies, but students at Texas A&M are no longer primarily agricultural. Indeed, the school is considered a Senior Military College right now. There are a number of colleges, including engineering and liberal arts and sciences, that draw students each year. There is also a good graduate program. Tuition is in the neighborhood of $8,000 for residents and about $22,000 for out-of-state students.
University of Oklahoma
A large number of National Merit Scholars choose to attend the University of Oklahoma, and that seems to be an indication of its high academic quality, as is the number of Rhodes Scholars that graduate from the school. Add that to the high quality of student life via the football program and other activities, and it's not hard to see why it's considered a good value. In-state tuition: About $8,000. Out-of-state tuition: Close to $18,000.
This school is part of the City University of New York system, offering a good education at a reasonable price right in the heart of the city that never sleeps. There is a good student to faculty ratio, and the school is especially geared toward professionals. In-state tuition runs about $5,000 and out-of-state tuition is near $10,000.
This liberal arts public school, located in Geneseo, N.Y., is part of the State University of New York system. Geneseo offers a good liberal arts education at a good price: about $6,000 for residents and $10,000 for out-of-state students. Many contend that the feel of SUNY Geneseo is very like that of a small private school, but without the private school price.
University of Virginia
Thomas Jefferson established this school more than 200 years ago. Its campus is full of history and beauty, and it regularly ranks high among public universities. However, it does not have the price tag that one would associate with a top school. In-state tuition is close to $10,000 a year, but it's the out-of-state tuition that really becomes expensive at about $30,000.
University of Colorado
Located in the heart of Boulder, Colo., with beautiful mountain vistas surrounding it, this is a great university for research. The University of Colorado is well-ranked in terms of sponsored research, and offers a number of interesting opportunities. In-state tuition is in the neighborhood of $8,000, while out-of-state tuition is about $28,000.
College of the Ozarks
This school is known as "Hard Work U" for a reason. Every student who attends this school pays $0 for tuition. How does that work out? Well, every student at the College of the Ozarks is expected to be involved for 15 hours a week in an on-campus work program, and receive a scholarship.
University of Utah
You can get a quality education at this large research university, nestled in the heart of the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. Located in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah features plenty of activities, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. The school is especially known for its medical research and hospital. In-state tuition is close to $4,000 a year, and non-resident tuition is about $9,000.
Arizona State University
No longer a cow pasture, this campus has grown into a bustling institution of higher learning in the desert. Located in Tempe, Ariz., and not terribly far from Phoenix, ASU offers a good honors college and boasts an entrepreneurship network. In-state tuition is about $6,000, and out-of-state tuition is close to $18,500.
Iowa State University
Surrounded by picturesque cornfields in the college town of Ames, Iowa State offers a solid educational value. ISU is especially known for its veterinary program, and offers a decent undergrad business degree. In-state tuition is close to $6,000, and out-of-state tuition is around $17,000.
University of California Santa Barbara
Located on the Pacific coast, UCSB offers students the chance to enjoy a good education in sunny California for a reasonable price, if you're a California resident. Tuition is about $9,000 for Californians and $32,000 for non-residents. UCSB includes a special emphasis on environmental science and management.
Brigham Young University
If you don't mind living in the heart of Mormon country, BYU can be a good choice, especially in terms of private school value. Many students also enjoy the good international studies program, with educational opportunities at the BYU Jerusalem Center. It's a solid value for a private school. You don't even have to be LDS to attend (although you'll pay less if you are). Tuition for church members is about $4,500 per year and twice that for non-LDS students.
Bellevue Community College
If you're looking for an even better deal, you might try a community college. Bellevue Community College, located near Seattle, offers great opportunities in IT and Microsoft is headquartered just five miles away. Additionally, you can get a solid (and inexpensive) start on a four-year degree here. In-state tuition is about $89 a credit, and out-of-state tuition is $261 a credit.
American University of Beirut
If you are looking for a great value in an international education experience, you might find that you enjoy the "Paris of the Middle East." American University of Beirut offers a variety of programs on its English-language campus and a number of other great educational opportunities. If you are concerned about safety, AUB has great security and a solid evacuation plan.