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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.

800px-Van_Winkle_Hall,_Babson_College_-_IMG_0441

    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.

    header-gates

      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

                                    Defense.gov_News_Photo_110516-N-TT977-133_-_Cadets_celebrate_their_graduation_after_Virginia_Military_Institute_s_commencement_ceremony_in_Lexington,_Va.,_on_May_16,_2011

                                      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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                                          Elena Prokopets

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                                          Last Updated on June 6, 2019

                                          The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

                                          The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

                                          Are you on track for retirement?

                                          If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

                                          Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

                                          But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

                                          If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

                                          What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

                                          Saving for retirement is tricky.

                                          Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

                                          Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

                                          Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

                                          Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

                                          20’s – $16,000

                                          During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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                                          Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

                                          30’s – $45,000

                                          At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

                                          Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

                                          40’s – $63,000

                                          This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

                                          50’s – $115,000

                                          During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

                                          60’s – $172,000

                                          By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

                                          Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

                                          The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

                                          Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

                                          First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

                                          Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

                                          Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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                                          How to Save Money Each Month

                                          By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

                                          But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

                                          Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

                                          Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

                                          Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

                                          Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

                                          Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

                                          To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

                                          How?

                                          By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

                                          Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

                                          If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

                                          Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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                                          Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

                                          Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

                                          When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

                                          Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

                                          Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

                                          If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

                                          Why?

                                          You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

                                          Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

                                          Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

                                          Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

                                          After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

                                          You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

                                          By starting a side-business.

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                                          This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

                                          The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

                                          So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

                                          Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

                                          Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

                                          What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

                                          My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

                                          Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

                                          For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

                                          If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

                                          Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

                                          Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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