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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.

    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

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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 August 15, 2018

                                          30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

                                          30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

                                          Summertime can be a real strain on your wallet. The sun is out, there are people to see, places to be; it’s no wonder you might be short of funds during these sunny months. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg.

                                          Take some time to go through this list of 20 cheap summer activities and make some realistic goals to complete as many as you can.

                                          Video Summary

                                          1. Visit a strawberry festival

                                          Summer is prime time for tasting strawberries. More often than not, an area that grows strawberries will have a strawberry festival. Indulge yourself in strawberry pies, jams, cakes and more!

                                          2. Have a picnic

                                          Take your partner or your family to the local park and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Designate each person to bring one food item of their choice to add to the fun.

                                          3. Camp in your back yard

                                            The summer heat can sometimes make it hard to sleep. Why not enjoy the heat outside in the yard? Pitch a tent or gaze into the night sky.

                                            4. Take long walks

                                            Discover something new where you live. Take the afternoon off from your chores and go for a long walk. You may be surprised by what you discover.

                                            5. Break a world record

                                            Breaking a world record doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You could even break one on your lunch hour. Give it a go!

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                                            6. Go on a bike ride

                                            The number of bike paths on roads in big cities has increased dramatically over the years. Take advantage, and enjoy the summer breeze.

                                            7. Join a gym class

                                              The gym is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but why not go with a friend a join a class? Spinning, yoga and step classes are always more fun with friends, and a lot of gyms allow you to pay-as-you-go.

                                              8. Find a new hobby

                                              The summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Serotonin (our body’s natural “happy” hormone) is produced by the sunshine and will be at a yearly high, which is great for when we want to tackle something new.

                                              9. Join a sports team

                                              Not all sports teams are competitive and require huge amounts of your time. Join in the fun with like-minded people, get fit, stay healthy and make some friends along the way.

                                              10. Make a slip ‘n slide

                                                Gather your friends, some plastic sheeting, a hose, washing up liquid if desired, and make a huge slip ‘n slide just like these guys. Granted, yours won’t be as big, but you get the idea… it’s fun!

                                                11. Make a treasure hunt for your kids

                                                Today’s digital world sees our children more often than not playing inside than outside. Why not create a sense of adventure by making a treasure hunt? Only rule? It has to be outside.

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                                                12. Visit a free festival

                                                Towns and cities are awash with free festivals, with themes from film to science. Scout your local area and discover something new.

                                                13. Visit the zoo

                                                  Let’s face it: we love animals. While browsing news websites and social media networks you’re bound to come across a few pictures of cats. Take a trip to your local zoo for a better experience.

                                                  14. Take a road trip

                                                  Enjoy the open road with a few friends and take a road trip somewhere–anywhere. Just go out and enjoy the sunshine!

                                                  15. Play ultimate frisbee in the park

                                                    Frisbee is always great fun down the park, but why not turn it into more of a competitive sport by playing ultimate frisbee?

                                                    16. Make your own ice cream

                                                    Ice cream is a very versatile dessert. Make a sandwich, enjoy a cone, or simply just enjoy a bowl full. Better yet, making your own ice cream allows you to create any flavor you want.

                                                    17. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ

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                                                      When was the last time you invited your neighbors over? Do you even know them? Now’s your chance. Just ask each person to bring a food item so costs don’t mount up for you.

                                                      18. Get a summer job

                                                      For many students, summer is the time for relaxation and fun. But who said earning money and being productive isn’t fun? You only get out what you put into a situation.

                                                      19. Attend a charity event

                                                      Attending a charity event is a great way to raise funds and awareness for a cause, meet new people, and generally have a good time. Search for your local charity event today.

                                                      20. Visit a national park

                                                      National parks are a great way to explore nature and learn something new. You could even volunteer and make a difference in helping restore natural habitats.

                                                      21. Visit your local comedy club

                                                        Local comedy clubs are extremely underrated. They are cheap to attend and no doubt you’ll have a barrel of laughs.

                                                        22. Make your own hammock

                                                          Hammocks are very relaxing, are perfect for summer afternoons and are surprisingly easy to make.

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                                                          23. Read in your new hammock

                                                          Now you have your very own hammock, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Grab your favorite book and read to your heart’s content.

                                                          24. Watch a movie outside

                                                          Movies are great. Relaxing outside in the evening is great. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect combination. In D.C, Maryland and Virginia this summer, for example, you can enjoy a huge number of movies outside.

                                                          25. Take a hike

                                                            Hikes are a great way to keep fit and see more of Mother Nature. There are countless trails available for you to explore. Why not try some this summer?

                                                            26. Learn how to fly a kite

                                                            As a child, you probably had a kite and haven’t touched it since. Why not dust it off and attempt to fly it? It’s tricky, but well worth the challenge.

                                                            27. Work out at the park

                                                            American cities are full of parks with ample space for a work out session. No doubt you’ll be happier to work out in the sun rather than a crowded gym.

                                                            28. Take your dog to the beach

                                                              One of the many joys of owning a dog is taking him or her for long walks during the summertime. This joy is enhanced when visiting the beach, for both you and your dog.

                                                              29. Make a summer smoothie

                                                              Healthy, delicious and perfect for the summer. Not only that, there are countless recipes ready for you to try.

                                                              30. Attend a free yoga session at the beach

                                                              No experience needed and all skill levels are welcome. Take yourself and a buddy down to the beach and try some yoga. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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