Advertising

20 Most Cost Effective Colleges In The US

Advertising
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.

        Advertising

        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.

                Advertising

                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.

                          Advertising

                          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

                                  Advertising

                                  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

                                          More by this author

                                          Elena Prokopets

                                          Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

                                          7 Ways To Learn a New Language Faster (Backed by Science) 22 Amazing Pineapple Health Benefits (With Simple Pineapple Recipes) 15 Cool And Practical Apps For Couples 14 Things No One Tells You About Being in a Long-Distance Relationship 9 Tips to Prepare For Your First Multi Day Hike

                                          Trending in Money

                                          1 Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There 2 40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5 3 Life Insurance: A Secure Way To Protect Your Future. 4 How To Save Money On Groceries: 13 Quick Tips 5 10 Investment Tips For Beginners

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                          Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

                                          Advertising
                                          Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

                                          Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

                                          Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

                                          Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

                                          In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

                                          Break Free of Your Finances

                                          Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

                                          When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

                                          Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

                                          Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

                                          To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

                                          While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

                                          Advertising

                                          Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

                                          1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

                                          We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

                                          For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

                                          To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

                                          Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

                                          This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

                                          2. Plan a Monthly Budget

                                          This is a great opportunity to get serious.

                                          Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

                                          Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

                                          3. Cut-up Credit Cards

                                          Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

                                          Advertising

                                          If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

                                          Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

                                          Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

                                          4. Increase Savings

                                          There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

                                          It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

                                          Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

                                          Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

                                          5. Invest Wisely

                                          Consider investing in funds.

                                          Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

                                          To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

                                          Advertising

                                          Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

                                          6. Invest in Gold

                                          There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

                                          You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

                                          Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

                                          These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

                                          With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

                                          7. Stash Emergency Funds

                                          Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

                                          If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

                                          Make it hard to get your cash.

                                          Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

                                          Advertising

                                          8. Find Fabulous Mentors

                                          Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

                                          If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

                                          There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

                                          9. Be Extra Patient

                                          Patience is the key of financial success.

                                          Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

                                          So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

                                          Financial Freedom for All

                                          Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

                                          Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

                                          Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

                                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                                          Advertising

                                          Reference

                                          [1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

                                          Read Next