Public and Private Colleges That Offer Great Value
Send your child to an excellent college you can afford
If the thought of sending your child to college is stressing you out, you're not alone. The cost of tuition, textbooks, meals, housing, and traveling to and from college can seem daunting. In a 2010 study, Forbes.com reported that Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, still holds the reputation for being among the priciest colleges in America, with a sticker price of nearly $59,000 per year. If such an amount is beyond your reach, don't worry - there are thousands of affordable, quality public and private colleges that provide a solid education without breaking the bank.
When choosing a college, it's important to note that there may be considerable need-based and non-need-based financial aid available to you, depending on your situation. This can help save you thousands of dollars in annual college costs. Also, choosing a public college in your home state can save you a bundle. For example, if your family resides in Massachusetts and your teen is a full-time undergrad at University of Massachusetts Amherst, expect a tuition bill of about $857 as opposed to the out-of-state tuition of almost $5,000.
Kiplinger.com ranked the top 100 public colleges and universities that offer excellent value. Here are some of the top schools for the 2010-2011 school year and their in-state yearly tuition costs followed by their out-of-state tuition per year:
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: $17,000 / $35,614
- University of Florida, Gainesville: $14,684 / $36,961
- University of Virginia, Charlottesville: $20,647 / $43,593
- The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va.: $21,972 / $42,996
- University of Maryland, College Park: $19,040 / $35,455
If your student has a private school in mind, Kiplinger.com also ranks great yearly values at private U.S. colleges. While in-state tuition may not be an option and the initial sticker price may at the higher end of your budget, these schools are great values because of the amount of need-based aid they offer. In fact, seven of the 10 top schools on Kiplinger.com's list offer enough financial aid to bring the annual total cost to less than $20,000. Here are some standouts from the recently released 2011-2012 ranking:
Princeton University (N.J.)
Total annual cost: $50,269
Average annual need-based aid: $34,719
California Institute of Technology
Total annual cost: $50,703
Average annual need-based aid: $31,030
Rice University (Texas)
Total annual cost: $48,621
Average annual need-based aid: $27,671
While finding the right college for your student depends on a variety of factors, financial considerations often rise to the top. Start saving as soon as you're financially able, and when the time comes, research financial aid or scholarships that might be available for your student. And don't forget to visit with us to see how we can help you with your college saving plan.