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20 Most Cost Effective Colleges In The US

20 Most Cost Effective Colleges In The US

With more and more complains about the US education system and the meager job prospects offered to fresh grads, making the right educational choice has never seemed more challenging. Fret not! This list features the most cost effective colleges based one the report from

Fret not!

This list features the most cost effective colleges based one the report from Money Magazine and PayScale salary reports to help you make the right investment towards your future.

You will be surprised to know that 50-70% students of these colleges graduate completely debt-free.

1. Babson College, Babson Park, MA.

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    Babson College specialized in business and entrepreneurship and offers just one degree – a B.S. in Business. However, a better half of the course load includes subjects in liberal arts and science.

    Seniors are offered to choose their concentration in various areas ranging from political science and visual arts to sustainable development.

    What makes this college particularly worth its price is that freshmen can obtain practical experience beginning from day one.

    They are set to work in teams, with extensive mentorship, to launch their first business and earn actual profits (which go to charity).

    Hands-on experience brings its results fast. Babson College alumni are reported to earn $60,000 on average within five years of graduation. That is $13,000 more compared to recent grads of comparable schools!

    Did you know that the Gerber (15$ million annual revenue) and Home Depot (78.8$ billion annual revenue) founders graduated from Babson?

    That is $13,000 more compared to recent grads of comparable schools! Did you know that the Gerber (15$ million annual revenue) and Home Depot (78.8$ billion annual revenue) founders graduated from Babson?

    Bottom line: if you plan to become a millionaire in a few years, consider a business degree from Babson as your first successful investment.

    Net price of degree: $198,917

    2. Webb Institute, Glen Cove, NY.

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      Though Webb Institute attracts only 80 undergraduates on average, do not underestimate it by the class size. The perks of getting double major in naval architecture and marine engineering are tremendous.

      First of all, the degree will cost you zero. Yes, you read correct. If you are a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you receive a scholarship covering all tuition fees worth $44,000 this year, thanks to a considerable endowment.

      Secondly, you are expected to have four internships during four years of studies, where you can gain a ton of practical knowledge and prospective connections with possible employers. Lastly, Webb grads tend to land pretty awesome work gigs right after graduation, boasting an annual income of $65,000.

      Possible drawbacks – you have to enjoy guys’ company a lot as 80% of the students are male. Plus, you are required to live on campus.

      Net price of degree: $77,606

      3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

      MIT_Building_10_and_the_Great_Dome,_Cambridge_MA

        MIT is one of the world’s most renowned science schools and is an incredibly competitive place to get in to, with 25% of applicant having perfect scores on their math SAT. The school is famous for notorious workload in physics, biology, calculus and chemistry that are required subjects for all major.

        The school is famous for notorious workload in physics, biology, calculus and chemistry that are required subjects for all major.

        Yet the benefits of getting a degree from MIT are proportional. The academic staff reputation is impeccable and you will be able to attend classes taught by Nobel Prize laureates.

        Straight after graduation students are reported to earn 22% more than graduates of similar elite institutions. While the price of a degree may slightly burn, MIT is still deemed to be one of the less expensive private schools.

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        It is also known for providing extensive tuition aid, covering up to 55% of the expenses, along with special financial aid for accredited online degrees and distance learning.  Alternatively, you can always sign up to

        Alternatively, you can always sign up to MIT’s Open Courseware and gain access to loads of valuable courses and study materials for free.

        Net price of degree: $154,676

        4. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

        Princeton_University_Alexander

          Time Money named Princeton as the most affordable member of the Ivy League, as it is known to offer extremely generous tuition grants to 6 out of 10 families or no cost degrees to those making less than $60,000 annually. Ninety percent of students graduate from Princeton with no debt. However, the competition is tough with an undergraduate

          However, the competition is tough with an undergraduate admission rate of 7.4% in 2014 and middle SAT scores of 700-800 in writing and 710-800 in Math.

          If you got in, you are granted exclusive access to world-class professionals including Joyce Carol Oates – novelist, Pulitzer Price nominee, author of over 40 books, plays and novels; Paul Krugman – winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, author of over 20 books and numerous academic articles in New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography; Daniel Sigman – MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” awardee, with research published in Geological and Geophysical Sciences. The median pay of a recent Princeton grad is 56.000$ which is significantly premium over similar schools.

          The median pay of a recent Princeton grad is $56,000, which is significantly higher than similar schools.

          Net price of degree: $146,215

          5. Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

          Stanford_University_Main_Quad_May_2011_001

            The numbers say it: 22 Nobel laureates, 5 Pulitzer Prize winners and 27 MacArthur “genius” awardees are among Stanford’s staff. Among Standford alums are the founders of Google, Cisco, Yahoo and a great array of other successful companies.

            As a student, be ready for entrepreneurial encouragement from day one, as one of the school’s main missions is to inspire and bring up future leaders and innovative thinkers.

            Encouragements vary from special research grants offered to undergrads, to creative art projects and summer study camps. Students entering the workforce right after graduation are reported to earn $61,000, which is $12,000 more than similar universities.

            Net price of degree: $168,780

            6. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

            800px-Sever_Hall_(Harvard_University)_-_east_facade

              Harvard is the first school that pops into your mind when you think of the Ivy League and synonymous with a successful future, with a typical early career salary of $57,700 according to PayScale.

              It’s quite unsurprising, as Harvard boasts one of the most impressive faculties including Nobel-prize winning economist Alvin Roth, prominent cognitive scientist Steven Pinker and Naill Ferguson, author of “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.”

              You’d be surprised to know that Harvard can be affordable. Twenty per cent of students coming from families with an income of $65,000 a year receive full tuition aid. Enrollees from families with an income up to $150,000 end up paying less than 10% of their income. As a result, a vast majority of graduates are debt-free.

              Net price of degree: $181,221

              7. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA.

              Hmc-dartmouth_entrance

                It took Harvey Mudd College less than a decade to earn the reputation as the leading engineering and science school US. Ranking #1 on the Liberal Arts school list Mudd only offers BS degrees in the following fields: computer science, engineering, biology, math,

                Ranking #1 on the Liberal Arts school list, Mudd only offers BS degrees in the following fields: computer science, engineering, biology, math, physics and chemistry. However, students in these programs are also required to study an array of subjects in the social sciences and humanities.

                Harvey Mudd is the country’s second largest producer of PhD’s in engineering and science, according to National Science Foundation, with just 800 students!

                The faculty is particularly well known for focusing more on teaching rather than research, and most professors have top scores and loads of flattering reviews on Rate My Professors.

                Moreover, Mudders entering the labor market earn around $70,000 on average within the first five years after graduation. That’s a whopping 18% more than recent grads from other schools with similar specializations.

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                Net price of degree: $187,694

                8. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY.

                800px-Cooper_Union_by_David_Shankbone_crop

                  Cooper is located in the artsy neighborhood of East Village and perfectly represents the programs offered – art, architecture, and engineering. Notoriously famous for its low admission rate, even compared to top Ivy League schools, getting to Cooper is highly profitable.

                  The degree opens up secret doors to the top artistic and creative circles, along with a median pay of $61,000 within the first three years.

                  Famous alumni include Daniel Libeskind, designer of NYC’s new Freedom Tower and Whitfield Lovell, successful installation artist and recent MacArthur “genius” awardee.

                  Yet, one of the best things about Cooper are tuition costs – $19,800 per year introduced in 2014, making it one of the cheapest private-schools in the States.

                  Net price of degree: $146,797

                  9. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

                  BYU_Campus_North

                    BYU private school is most known for two things: providing education for the Church of Latter Day Saints members and  a high-acceptance rate compared to similar schools. Non-Mormons can get admitted as well. However, tuition costs are twice  as high for them. Also, you are expected to follow a certain code of conduct including a modest dress code and abstaining from coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, and living a “virtuous life” on campus.

                    Yet these strict rules seem to bring amazing results. BYU graduates are reported to earn $50,000 a year in their early career stage which is $2,700 higher compared to students with similar test scores and economic background. Plus, the school is known to promote marriage and family values with an active dating scene. For instance, 56% of the graduation class in 2010 were already married.

                    Net price of degree: $82,037

                    10. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

                    Beckman_Institute_Reflection

                      Getting admitted to Caltech is tough. You will have to compete with peers having a 1490 average on their SATs (higher than Harvard, Stanford and MIT). Expect no easy A’s if you get in either. CIT professors are known to be fair, but hard graders.

                      The opportunities you get in return, however, are pretty incredible. Think internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as one of the possible prospects. Or you may have a chance to conduct your research with one of the five Nobel Prize winners on the faculty. Moreover, if you plan to join the workforce straight after graduation, you can expect to earn over $68,000 within five years.

                      Moreover, if you plan to join the workforce straight after graduation, you can expect to earn over $68,000 within five years.

                      Net price of degree: $174,825

                      11. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

                      Penn_campus_2

                        Although having the largest first-year classes of up to 2,400 students, Penn State is still among the top selective schools with an acceptance rate of 13%. Business and economic departments are known to be particularly demanding. Expect to spend a bunch of over-nighters before midterms and a heavy workload through most of the courses.

                        However, Wharton business degrees literary pay off as graduates are reported to earn $67,000 within five years which is among top-5 incomes for undergraduate business programs. In general, Penn State graduates typically earn at least 20% more than the average with similar degrees.

                        Expect to spend a bunch of overnighters before midterms and a heavy workload through most of the courses. However, Wharton business degrees literary pay off as graduates are reported to earn $67,000 within five years which is among the top-5 incomes for undergraduate business programs. In general, Penn State graduates typically earn at least 20% more than the average with similar degrees.

                        In general, Penn State graduates typically earn at least 20% more than the average with similar degrees.

                        Net price of degree: $201,611

                        12. Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, ME

                        Maine_Maritime_Academy

                          Maine Marine Academy attracts only a certain type of student with particular interest in engineering and marine science, thus boasting a high acceptance rate of 66%.

                          Well-known perks include loads of actual practical experience with trainings offered on actual ships and a solid career path afterwards with an estimated pay of $64,000 within five years after graduation.

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                          However, there are certain drawbacks as well. Only 14% of the students are female and their is a lack of ethnic diversity, with just 3% of students being nonwhite.

                          You’ll have to get used to a military-style regiments including standing watch, wearing a uniform and other duties.

                          Net price of degree: $104,958

                          13. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

                          Wheeler Hall

                            Berkley is known to be one of the most selective public colleges in the US, with an admission rate of 22%.

                            However, you get exclusive access to world-class research facilities and an outstanding faculty including a number of MacArthur “geniuses,” Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates.

                            Berkley is not all study and no play, as the school offers a huge variety of choices for non-academic pursuits – over 50 sororities and fraternities, plus hundreds of clubs featuring nearly any possible interest imaginable.

                            Moreover, sports are highly encouraged at Berkley with over 45 athletes sent to the 2012 Olympics.

                            Recent graduates can expect to earn $54,700 on average within five years. Steve Wozniak (Apple Co-founder) and Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) are among the most famous Cal alumni.

                            Net price of degree: $126,824

                            14. Williams College, Williamstown, MA

                            Chapin_Hall,_Williams_College_-_Williamstown,_Massachusetts

                              Williams College ranks #1 among liberal arts colleges according to Time Money. Having a huge faculty (the ratio is a low 7 to 1), students receive plenty of personalized attention and private consultations.

                              Williams is the only other college to adopt and enhance the Oxford tutoring system, which brings extra collaboration into the study process.

                              Students are usually paired in twos and are required to critique each other’s papers during the weekly sessions with their professor.

                              This method gives pretty solid results. Williams grads typically earn over $50,000 a year in the first five years.

                              Net price of degree: $168,573

                              15. Yale University,  New Haven, CT

                              Yale_Environmental_Science_Center

                                Yale’s impeccable reputation was created by the master minds at the faculty – Robert Shiller (Nobel Prize laureate in Economy), Pulitzer price awardee in poetry Louise Glück and one of most influential historians of our times Paul Kennedy.

                                The school allows students to have extra academic freedom and does not set any specific course requirements. However, all undergrads are required to take courses in a wide range of general subjects, plus demonstrate strong writing skills. They are further expected to master a foreign language.

                                The more unknown fact about Yale, however, is that the school offers more than generous tuition aid and grants. As the board states, “we meet the full demonstrated financial need.” Therefore, over 50% of student’s graduate without any debt.

                                Net price of degree: $182,795

                                16. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

                                Rotunda_UVa_from_the_south_east

                                  The University of Virginia receives high of praises like most of the Ivy League members, yet it offers one of the lowest tuition fees among the country’s public universities. Plus, getting to Virginia State University means four years of living and studying at a stunning UNESCO world heritage sight. The campus was designed by Thomas Jefferson, the university founder.

                                  With a great array of courses to choose from, the programs in History, Business, Astronomy and English being particularly well regarded, the University of Virginia introduced the first highly popular course based on the Game of Thrones series.

                                  Net price of degree: $94,139

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                                  17. Amherst College, Amherst, MA

                                  800px-Amherst_College_buildings_-_IMG_6512

                                    Amhest College boasts that there are no required courses for undergraduates to take, except for a first-year seminar in writing and critical thinking which got excellent reviews among all students.

                                    Further, Amhest encourages taking extra classes from the nearby colleges of Hampshire, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst at no cost.

                                    The Generosity does not end there, as the school tries to meet nearly 100% of all students’ demonstrated financial need. As a result, 70% graduates have no loans to pay off for decades.

                                    Employment prospects are rather lucrative too, with an average reported income of $53,000 within five years after graduation.

                                    Net price of degree: $156,651

                                    18. Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA

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                                      Virginia Military Institute boasts a long lasting reputation as the top military school in the country, as well as being the oldest state-supported military institution in the country.

                                      VMI offers BA degrees in engineering, liberal arts and the sciences and charges affordable tuition fees. Also, the school does not require a military service commitment after graduation making it significantly stand out among other similar institutions that do.

                                      The first semesters are reported to be really tough, as freshmen have to get used to wearing a tidy uniform all day long, undergo strict military-style training and get accustomed to the regimentation.

                                      Those who make it until the end, however, are rewarded with luxurious salaries averaging about $54,000 within five years which is $16,000 more compared to grads from similar schools.

                                      Net price of degree: $89,134

                                      19. Brown University, Providence, RI

                                      Brown_university_robinson_hall_2009a

                                        Brown gives great creative and academic freedom to the students, asking them to take just one required writing course by the end of their sophomore year.

                                        Other than that, undergrads can choose any subjects they like and even design their own majors. G

                                        Grades are optional as well! Any class may be taken with a pass-fail credit.

                                        The system does produce results, as Brown grads are reported to earn $52,300 within 5 years of graduation. which is $8,000 per year more compared to grads with similar degrees from other institutions.

                                        Net price of degree: $192,028

                                        20. Rice University, Houston, TX

                                        Lovett_Hall

                                          Last, but not least, comes Rice, one of the most exclusive private colleges at the Southwest.

                                          Most praised majors include biology, engineering and economics due to small classes and prominent faculty staff, including world-renowned researches you will have a chance to work with side by side.

                                          After graduation, Rice students are reported to earn about $55,700 within five years, 8% over the median pay offered to recent graduates with similar majors.

                                          Net price of degree: $149,851

                                          Featured photo credit: Clint Mickel via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on January 2, 2019

                                          How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                                          How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                                          Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

                                          Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

                                          Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

                                          This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

                                          Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

                                          What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

                                          Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

                                          When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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                                          How It Leads to Financial Improvement

                                          It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

                                          Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

                                          Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

                                          It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

                                          Types of Personal Finance Software

                                          When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

                                          Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

                                          For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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                                          Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

                                          When to Use Personal Finance Software

                                          So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

                                          Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

                                          1. You Have Multiple Accounts

                                          There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

                                          If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

                                          Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

                                          2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

                                          Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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                                          There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

                                          With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

                                          3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

                                          Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

                                          Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

                                          Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

                                          4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

                                          Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

                                          You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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                                          How to Get Started

                                          From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

                                          Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

                                          It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

                                          When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

                                          Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

                                          In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

                                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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