The 10 Biggest Public University Bargains for 2014

Top Online SchoolsIn 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 2014 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

The University of Hawaii – West Oahu is one of the 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system.

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

Part of the University System of Georgia, Middle Georgia College is–as you probably guessed from its name– smack dab in the middle of the state of Georgia in the small town of Cochran. Along with multiple associates degrees, the college currently offers only a handful of bachelor’s degrees in aviation management and social sciences education and is working on expanding these offerings in the near future.

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

Not to be confused with the larger Texas A&M University in the town of College Station, Texas A&M International University, which is known as TAMIU for short, has nearly 7,000 students on its 300-acre campus in Laredo. TAMIU offers nearly 50 bachelor’s degrees through four colleges as well as several graduates degrees, and students can get personalized attention with its student-to-faculty ratio of 21 to 1.

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

Named for the river that flows less than a mile from its 120-acre campus, Chipola College is located in the small town of Marianna in northern Florida. The college has more than 2,200 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 20 to 1 and ten bachelor’s degree programs.

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

The Louisiana State University system has nearly 30,000 students spread across several campuses. The Shreveport branch has more than 4,600 of these students on a 258-acre campus in northwest Louisiana within easy driving distance of Dallas, Texas, and other large cities (Shreveport itself is nothing to sneeze at itself with over 400,000 residents).

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

Lehman College is part of the City University of New York system and is located in the Bronx, the northernmost borough of New York City. Out of the more than 400,000 students in the City University of New York system, Lehman College has 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students and an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. Students have their pick of degree programs in more than 100 areas at Lehman College.

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

Palm State Beach College has a total of four campuses, with its main and largest campus at 114 acres in size in Lake Worth, just south of Palm Springs in the Sunshine State. There are 28,000 students at the Lake Worth campus with enough faculty to yield a 23 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio.

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 is part of the University of North Carolina system, which includes 16 campuses in total serving over 180,000 students. Elizabeth City State University has around 3,000 students and is a historically black college, though enrollment is open to any applicant regardless of ethnicity.

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

The California State University system is enormous with 23 campuses across the state and over 400,000 students in total. The 175-acre Los Angeles campus has over 16,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students. Commensurate with the size of its campus and student body, Cal State Los Angeles offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in hundreds of programs.

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

South Texas College has several campuses, with its main campus in McAllen in the southern tip of Texas. The college has more than 28,000 students in total and offers bachelor’s degrees in applied technology, technology management and information technologies, as well as more than 100 associate’s degree and certificate programs.

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.

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