Originally posted on Forbes.com
By: Andrew DePietro
Finding schools that are both affordable and offer a quality education is something all college-seekers want, especially these days. College tuition costs have been on a seemingly unending, inexorable rise for the last 30 years. Looking at tuition costs, even after adjusting to inflation, the year-after-year increase since the 1980s is incredible. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition at a four-year institution rose from $12,551 in the 1985-86 academic year ($5,504 in 1985 dollars) to $27,357 in 2017-2018. This means college tuition costs today are more than double what they were in the mid-1980s. And yet incomes, when you adjust to inflation, have simply not kept apace with rising tuition costs. The Covid-19 pandemic has added an entirely new and disruptive layer on top of these financial issues. Many more Americans are now strapped financially and thus the cost of college is a central concern.
Both public college and private college tuition costs have increased constantly over the last three decades and at similar rates. In the face of such inevitability, the best strategy is to find schools that gives you a bargain. A recent study conducted by BrokeScholar analyzed nearly 400 of the best colleges in the United States and evaluated them all in terms of their affordability and academic quality. The study found a variety of colleges, both public and private, that offer cheap tuition without skimping on high-quality education. Geographically, the colleges that made the final list in the study are a good mix, with several from the South, Midwest, Mountain and West Coast states as well as a cluster in the Middle Atlantic states, like New York and New Jersey.
Read on to find out the colleges that give you top-quality education at affordable rates.