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10 Cheapest States to go to college in the U.S – 2021

Cheapest States to go to college

Getting a proper college degree is necessary for various reasons, including higher earning potential, mastering good skills, and building a solid network. That is why fresh high school graduates seek admission into various colleges to improve themselves. Colleges classify students based on the state in which they live. In-state students live in the college’s state, while out-of-state students live in other states. While some colleges offer different tuition and fees prices for in-state and out-of-state students, others like Brigham Young University-Idaho do not. The national average college tuition and fee cost for the public in-state students is $11,171. It is $26,809 for out-of-state public college students. The national average for private college students is $41,411.

Here’s the list of the cheapest states to go to college in 2021.

10 States With the Cheapest College Tuition

  1. New Mexico – Average in-state tuition and fee is $3,344.
  2. North Carolina – Average in-state tuition and fee is $3,520.
  3. Wyoming – Average in-state tuition and fee is $4,394.
  4. Nevada – Average in-state tuition and fee is $5,237.
  5. Montana – Average in-state tuition and fee is $5,320.
  6. Idaho – Average in-state tuition and fee is $5,684.
  7. Alaska – Average in-state tuition and fee is $6,110.
  8. Utah Average in-state tuition and fee is $6,197.
  9. Florida – Average in-state tuition and fee is $6,540.
  10. Mississippi – The average in-state tuition and fee is $7,410.

Mississippi

  • The average in-state tuition and fees for colleges in Mississippi is $7,410.
  • The average out-of-state tuition and fees for colleges: $20,260.

Cheapest College in Mississippi: East Central Community College

In-state costs including fees, tuition, and other expenses per year: $12,060
Out of state costs including fees, education, and additional costs per year: $14,160

ECCC is a small college that offers comprehensive 2-year degree programs with an average class size of 19 students. It is nationally recognized as the college with one of the best graduation rates for its students; one of the 30 colleges in the US offers a quality education at an affordable price. In 2021, ECCC was nominated for the coveted Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. 

Degrees offered

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • General Studies 
  • Humanities 
  • Registered Nursing 
  • Childcare Provider 
  • Childcare Provider Assistant 
  • Licensed Practical Nurse Training 
  • Vocational Nurse Training 
  • Surgical Technology/Surgical Technologist 

North Carolina

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for North Carolina colleges: $3,520
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for North Carolina colleges: $17,218

Cheapest college in North Carolina: Elizabeth City State University (ECSU)

In-state costs including fees, tuition, and other expenses per year: $13,496
Out of state costs including fees, tuition, and additional costs per year: $17,496

ECCC is ranked the 4th best historically Black College and among the nation’s top colleges for veterans. It also offers the best graphic design program in the US.

Degrees offered 
  • Bachelor of Science 
    • Accounting 
    • Aviation Science 
    • Biology 
    • Business Administration 
    • Chemistry 
    • Criminal Justice 
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering Technology 
    • Graphic Design
    • Kinesiology
    • Pharmaceutical Science 
    • Psychology 
    • Sports Management 
  • Bachelor of Arts 
    • Communication Studies 
    • English 
    • History 
    • Interdisciplinary Studies 
    • Music 
    • Sociology 
  • Bachelor of Social Work 
    • Social Work
  • Bachelor of Science in Education 
    • Birth-Kindergarten 
    • Elementary Education 
  • Bachelor of Science Degree with Teacher Licensure 
    • Biology 
    • Mathematics 
    • Physical Education 
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree with Teacher Licensure 
    • English 
    • History 
    • Music

Alaska

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Alaska colleges: $6,110
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Alaska colleges: $14,622

Cheapest College in Alaska: Alaska Vocational Technical Center

In-state fees and tuition: $3,490
Out of state fees and tuition: $4,413

Alaska Vocational Training Center is a hands-on training center that teaches students good practical skills and grades them based on how well they have mastered these skills. It relies solely on the traditional method of learning and uses clock hours instead of credit hours. Programs last between 90 to 180 days, and it has a 96% graduation rate. Furthermore, it has f 94% and 97% retention rates for full-time and part-time students, respectively.

Programs Offered
  • Maritime Training
  • Business and Office Technology 
  • Construction Technology
  • Culinary Arts  
  • Diesel/Heavy Equipment Technologies 
  • Industrial Electricity 
  • Industrial Welding 
  • Information Technology 
  • Plumbing and Heating 
  • Refrigeration 
  • AVTEC Online/Moodle

Idaho

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Idaho colleges: $5,684
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Idaho colleges: $15,074

Cheapest College in Idaho: Brigham Young University-Idaho

In-state fees and tuition: $4,208
Out of state fees and tuition: $4,208

Brigham Young University-Idaho is a private Christian institution that instills high moral standards and leadership skills. It is found in one of the cheapest states for college in the USA. 

In-state and out-of-state students pay the same amount of tuition. This makes Brigham Young University a  favorite college for out-of-state; it offers high standard theoretical education and allows students to gain practical experience.

Colleges within Brigham Young University-Idaho
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Business and Communication 
  • College of Education and Human Development 
  • College of Language and letters 
  • College of Performing and Visual Arts 
  • College of Physical Sciences and Engineering 

Nevada

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Nevada colleges: $5,237
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Nevada colleges: $15,822

Cheapest College in Nevada: Morrison University 

In-state fees and tuition: $6,549
Out of state fees and tuition: $6,549

The cost of tuition is fixed irrespective of a student’s original residence. 

Morrison University is a high standard yet, low-cost school that uses traditional and online/distance learning methods. It trains students to become highly efficient in whatever field of study they choose through a comprehensive curriculum and professional tracers with a mastery of the subject matter. Additionally, Morrison University offers a flexible schedule for students who prefer day, evening, or weekend classes. 

Degree programs 
  • Associate degree in Computer Science
  • Associate degree in Management 
  • Bachelor degree in Management 
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree 
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Ph.D. in Business Administration
  • Doctor of Business Administration 

New Mexico

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for New Mexico colleges: $3,344
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for New Mexico colleges: $7,074

Cheapest College in New Mexico: Navajo Technical University

In-state fees and tuition: $4,070
Out of state fees and tuition: $4,070

Navajo Technical University is a tribal college that offers 4-year college degrees, and the highest degree program is a Master’s. It provides technical and vocational training, academic degrees, and certificates. It was established in 1979 as the Navajo skill center and has since grown into an institution that provides a delicate balance between culture & tradition, technology & sciences. It offers affordable college tuition that does not affect the quality of education. 

Programs
  • Certification programs 
  • Associate of Applied Science 
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Science 
  • Bachelor of Applied Science 
  • Bachelor of Arts 
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts 
  • Bachelor of Science 
  • Master of Arts 
  • Master of Science 

Utah

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Utah colleges: $6,197
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Utah colleges: $18,291

Cheapest College in Utah: Brigham Young University-Provo

In-state fees and tuition: $5,970
Out of state fees and tuition: $5,970

Brigham Young University-Provo is a private research institution that is rooted in Christian beliefs. It has one of the lowest college tuitions in the US and offers quality education. Brigham Young University-Provo has an acceptance rate of  67%, making it a competitive college to get into. It is ranked the 6th best college for Information Technology out of 129 colleges in the US. 

Colleges
  • Agriculture & Agriculture Operations 
  • Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business, Management, & Management 
  • Computer and Information Studies 
  • Communication & Journalism
  • Education 
  • Engineering 
  • Foreign Languages & Linguistics 
  • Health Professions 
  • Liberal Arts/Sciences & Humanities 
  • Military Technologies & Applied Sciences 
  • Philosophy & Religious Studies 
  • Psychology 
  • Social Sciences 
  • Visual & Performing Sciences 

Montana

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Montana colleges: $5,320
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Montana colleges: $11,297

Cheapest College in Montana: Stone Child College 

In-state fees and tuition: $2,645
Out of state fees and tuition: $2,645

Stone Child College is a public Tribal college with one of the lowest college tuition. It was established in 1984 by the Chippewa Cree Business Committee after tribal leaders decided it would help preserve their culture and promote pride in their heritage. It offers 4-year programs, and students can receive an average scholarship and aid amount of $3,564. A bachelor’s degree is the highest level of education it provides, and it is home to 444 enrolled students studying various courses. 

Courses 

Accounting/Information Management 

Building Trades 

Pre-Engineering 

Hospitality/Customer Relations 

Pre-Nursing 

Rural Health 

Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (K-8)

Florida

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Florida colleges: $6,540
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Florida colleges: $17,871

Cheapest College in Florida:  Broward College 

In-state fees and tuition: $2,830
Out of state fees and tuition: $8,952

Broward College is one of the most acclaimed business colleges for accounting, marketing, office administration, finance, and hospitality in the US. Broward College partners with top industries to offer students great apprenticeships, internships, and job opportunities to polish their skills. Graduates from Broward College have profitable skills, a strong foundation, and a high earning power. Students can apply for financial aid such as scholarships, loans, and grants. However, they must be currently enrolled in an acceptable certificate program of study or degree. 

Programs 

Arts, Humanities, Communication, Design 

Business 

Education 

Health Science 

Industry, Manufacturing, Construction, Transportation 

Public Safety 

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics 

Social Behavioral Sciences, Human Services 

Wyoming

  • Average in-state tuition and fees for Wyoming colleges: $4,394
  • Average out of state tuition and fees for Wyoming colleges: $11,115

Cheapest College in Wyoming:  University of Wyoming 

In-state fees and tuition: $5,791
Out of state fees and tuition: $19,531

The University of Wyoming is a public college with the cheapest college tuition compared to other colleges in different states. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1, and students are trained by professionals who have vast experience in their sector of interest. Eligible students can study any of their 80 undergraduate programs or enroll in any 90+ graduate programs that the University of Wyoming offers. 

Colleges in the University of Wyoming 
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 
  • College of Arts and Sciences 
  • College of Business 
  • College of Education 
  • College of Engineering and Applied Sciences 
  • College of Health Sciences 
  • College of Law 
  • Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources 
  • Honors College 
  • School of Energy Resources 

Conclusion 

Contrary to popular belief, the cheapest state colleges also provide quality education and internship opportunities to their students. They may be smaller and less popular than Ivy League institutions, but that does not make them less effective. These colleges give students from all backgrounds and income levels room to gain an education and reduce illiteracy, unemployment, and crime. Students in such colleges have a smaller student-to-teacher ratio and hands-on experience in practical work.  Students who go to schools with the lowest college tuition also have opportunities to get good jobs and live a good life depending on how seriously they took their studies. Furthermore, the cheapest state colleges let students gain high moral standards, instills in them a community spirit, and builds their character and leadership skills. 

References 

https://www.eccc.edu/sites/default/files/tuition_and_fees_2021-2022.pdf

http://www.ecsu.edu/about/points-of-pride.html

https://www.collegecalc.org/colleges/mississippi/east-central-community-college/

https://www.eccc.edu/why-choose-east-central-community-college

https://avtec.edu/training-program-summary

https://www.collegetuitioncompare.com/career/alaska-vocational-technical-center/

https://www.collegesimply.com/colleges/idaho/brigham-young-university-idaho/price/

https://www.collegecalc.org/colleges/nevada/morrison-university/

http://www.navajotech.edu/about

https://www.collegefactual.com/colleges/brigham-young-university-provo/academic-life/academic-majors/

https://stonechild.edu/WP/history/

https://www.broward.edu/admissions/financial-aid/index.html

http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/academics/explore-colleges.html

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