In general, public universities tend to offer a wider range of courses, degree programs and activities than private colleges, and they generally are less expensive to attend as well. However, a college education can still be very expensive even at a public university. We’ve put together this 2016 edition list of the 10 lowest cost public universities (and you can also see the private ones, too) in the United States based on the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education. Note that the cost figures quoted are based on in-state tuition and fees. Costs may be considerably higher for out-of-state students.
10. University of Hawaii, West Oahu — Pearl City, Hawaii
University of Hawaii – West Oahu offers several bachelor’s degree options in liberal arts, humanities, professional studies, social sciences, education, applied science and other programs.
While Hawaii is a state known for its relatively high cost of living, once financial aid is taken into account, students at the University of Hawaii – West Oahu only pay an average of $5,200 for tuition, room, board, and books.
9. Middle Georgia College — Cochran, Georgia
Middle Georgia College’s 3,600 students enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 22:1 and pay an average of $4,800 per year for tuition, room and board, books and other costs after applying financial aid.
8. Texas A&M International University — Laredo, Texas
TAMIU’s A.R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business has earned accolades for excellence and is considered one of the best business schools in the country.
Students attending TAMIU pay an average of $4,600 for tuition, room and board, books and other fees after financial aid is applied.
7. Chipola College — Marianna, Florida
The college has received significant funding in the past few years to renovate and upgrade its facilities, resulting in state-of-the-art technology in its classrooms, computer labs, and library system. Cost-wise, students pay an average of $4,600 per year to attend Chipola College after financial aid is applied.
6. Louisiana State University — Shreveport, Louisiana
More than 40 bachelor’s degree programs are offered at the Shreveport campus and students enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 21 to 1 and smaller class sizes to foster individualized instruction. This campus earns a spot on our public university bargain list with an average total cost of attendance of $4,400 after applying financial aid to cover tuition, room and board, books and other fees.
5. CUNY Lehman College — Bronx, New York
The cost of living in the New York City area can be outrageous to say the least, but Lehman College makes our bargain list with a total cost of attendance of $4,300 on average for tuition, room and board, books and other fees after financial aid is applied.
4. Palm Beach State College — Lake Worth, Florida
The college offers bachelor’s degree programs in supervision and management and information management and will soon offer a bachelor’s degree program in nursing. Cost-wise, students pay an average of $3,500 per year after financial aid is taken into consideration to cover tuition, room and board, books, and other costs.
3. Elizabeth City State University — Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Elizabeth City State University’s 200-acre campus is a stone’s throw away from where the Pasquotank River widens into Albemarle Sound. The university offers 37 bachelor’s degrees and boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. When it comes to the cost of attendance, students pay an average of $3,300 for tuition, room and board, books and other fees after financial aid is applied.
2. California State University — Los Angeles, California
This campus makes our list of bargain public universities with students paying an average of $3,300 per year for tuition, room and board, books and other costs after taking financial aid into consideration. With this value pricing, its location in sunny California and the incredible number of degree programs offered, Cal State Los Angeles is a compelling choice among among public universities.
1. South Texas College — McAllen, Texas
Despite the size of its student body, South Texas College offers a reasonable student-to-faculty ratio of 26 to 1 and typical class sizes of 15 to 18 students, along with night and weekend classes for flexibility. The college tops our list of public university bargains with a total cost of attendance of only $1,300 per year for tuition, room and board, books and other fees after taking the average financial aid package into consideration.