Can this Online College Cost Calculator Help You Find the Cheapest College?
If you’d like to spend 15 minutes in a fun way – and maybe find a very inexpensive college at the same time – we’d urge you to spend a little time playing with the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center online calculator.
The calculator generates cost-sorted lists of colleges that fall into different categories. For example, you can generate a list of the most expensive public universities, the least expensive private universities, the most expensive 2-year public colleges, and so on.
You have two essential choices about estimating expenses. You can either find out the colleges with the least or most expensive tuition or those with the lowest or highest estimated costs. (Those “costs” are determined by subtracting the average amount of student aid from tuition and other expenses. So if tuition and living expenses at Skeezix State College add up to $30,000 and the average financial aid package is $10,000, the “cost” would be $20,000 per year according to this calculator.)
So now that we have laid the groundwork, what kind of information can this calculator generate for you? Well, now the fun starts. If you are looking for the 10 private colleges in America with the highest tuition, take out your checkbook. Here they are . . .
- Bates College - $51,300
- Connecticut College - $51,115
- Middlebury College - $50,780
- Union College - $50,439
- Colby College - $50,320
- Sarah Lawrence College - $41,968
- Vassar College - $41,930
- George Washington University - $41,655
- Columbia University - $41,316
- Kenyon College - $40,980
If on the other hand you are looking for public two-year colleges with the lowest tuition in America, here are your 10 cheapest options. Note that they are all in California . . .
- Chabot College - $560
- Cerro Coso Community College - $624
- San Joaquin Delta College - $624
- West Hills College-Coalinga - $624
- West Hills College-Lemoore - $624
- Copper Mountain Community College - $625
- Victor Valley College - $634
- Barstow Community College - $636
- Lassen Community College - $647
- College of the Redwoods - $648
And what if you are looking for the absolutely cheapest college in America? Again, the calculator is happy to oblige. It calculates that the American college with the lowest tuition is Louisiana Technical College, a “less than 2-year” college with eight different locations; tuition ranges from $842-$974 a year.
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