Top 50 Affordable Colleges for In-State Students

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In-state schools offer a host of benefits for students looking for an affordable yet high-quality education. By paying in-state tuition rates and minimizing travel expenses, you can often save on your education by staying in-state.

 

For many families, cost can often become a key factor in deciding where to apply. Consequently, the affordability of in-state schools becomes even more important if you find that you may not qualify for financial aid. Read on to learn what the most affordable colleges are for in-state students.

Why Should You Consider In-State Schools?

With so many options to choose from all over the country, it can be hard deciding where to apply. While out-of-state schools may entice you with the adventure of moving to another part of the country, in-state schools are often a more pragmatic choice for students, as they offer many of the same educational benefits as their out-of-state counterparts. More specifically, here’s what in-state schools have to offer:

 

Affordability. When you choose to attend a school in your home state, you’ll pay the in-state tuition rate, whereas going to an out-of-state school means paying a nonresident or out-of-state fee on top of your tuition, which can often double or even triple this educational cost alone. The in-state tuition rate can help keep your cost of education down and lessen your debt burden after graduation.

 

Familiarity. If out-of-state schools offer novelty, then in-state schools offer the opposite, providing a great alternative to those of us who are not necessarily adventurous thrill-seekers. For some students, staying close to family is a very important factor in selecting your future college. Besides, there is a healthy array of in-state schools which can offer students enough distance to allay any fears around unexpected visits from parents, while making it easy to go back home for a weekend or holiday.

 

Relevance. Most college graduates stay in the same city or region where they graduated from, which makes sense since you’re likely to complete internships in and around your college town. If you like your home state and plan to start your career there, then you may want to choose an in-state school over an out-of-state one. More generally, think about where you want to spend your adult life and consider schools in that region.

Why Do Some Students Not Qualify for Financial Aid?

Most students qualify for some type of financial aid, whether it is need-based or merit-based. Although no one really wants them, student loans are considered a form of financial aid, and virtually all students qualify for a student loan when they plan on attending college.

 

However, there are a few reasons why a student might receive no financial aid at all. Here are a few of the most common ones:

 

Failing to file the FAFSA or other financial aid forms. Some students think that, because it’s unlikely that they will qualify for Pell grants or work-study, there’s no point in filing the FAFSA. However, many schools require the FAFSA, along with other forms like the CSS Profile, in order to administer institution-based aid. When students fail to file these important financial aid forms, they lose out on need-based aid. Don’t let common misconceptions keep you from filing! You can learn more about the importance of these forms in our post FAFSA, CSS Profile, IDOC, Oh My: A Guide to Financial Aid.

 

Filing financial aid forms past the deadline. Financial aid forms like the FAFSA have deadlines late in the academic year, but many schools have their own deadlines that are much earlier in the application cycle. As we mentioned, schools use these financial aid forms to make their own decisions about institution-based aid, so while the Federal Student Aid Office might set the deadline for June 30, many schools want the form completed as early as March.

 

In general, it’s a good idea to complete these forms as soon as possible. Some schools award financial aid on a rolling basis, which means that while there’s no deadline, you might receive less aid the longer you wait. So don’t wait! We’ve broken down the state-by-state deadlines in our post What Are the FAFSA Deadlines for 2018-2019 and 2019-2020?

 

Applying to a school late or accepting a waitlist position. This is similar to filling out your financial aid forms late, except that you are making a college decision late. Some schools, especially state schools, are more willing to consider late applications for admission, but they may not have any more aid to award to late applicants, even if you would have otherwise qualified for it. For previously waitlisted students, your new admissions letter will often explicitly state whether there is any aid available to you; if there is any, don’t expect it to be much.

 

Failing to maintain academic progress. This particular reason affects current college students more than prospective students, but it’s important to keep in mind as you apply for aid. Some grants, scholarships, and other types of aid will require you to be enrolled full-time, to attend in-person classes, or to maintain a certain GPA. If students don’t keep up with requirements and make progress towards graduation, their financial aid can be revoked.

 

Criminal offenses. Not every criminal offense disqualifies a student from receiving aid, but it can be significantly harder to receive aid if a student has a criminal record. Sometimes, students are able to receive aid if they can demonstrate that they followed a rehab program and have not committed crimes since the original infraction. That said, a common reason that college students lose aid they previously were eligible for is because of recent criminal offenses, especially ones that violate the school’s code of conduct or ethics code. 

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The 50 Most Affordable Colleges for In-state Students Who Don’t Qualify for Financial Aid

If you find that you do not qualify for financial aid, don’t fret! There are plenty of public institutions across the country which offer affordable tuition for in-state students, including the following:

 

1. CUNY Brooklyn College

State: New York

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $6,586.58

 

2. University of Colorado Denver–Anschutz Medical Campus

State: Colorado

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $8,602.28

 

3. University of Michigan–Dearborn

State: Michigan

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $10,246.08

 

4. Mississippi University for Women

State: Mississippi

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $10,406.50

 

5. Pennsylvania State University–New Kensington

State: Pennsylvania

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $12,122.64

 

6. National University

State: California

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $13,032.00

 

7. Shepherd University

State: West Virginia

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $13,304.55

 

8. Pennsylvania State University–Abington

State: Pennsylvania

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $13,516.03

 

9. Pennsylvania State University–York

State: Pennsylvania

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $13,554.00

 

10. Pennsylvania State University–Lehigh Valley

State: Pennsylvania

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $13,867.21

 

11. University of New Hampshire at Manchester

State: New Hampshire

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $14,113.16

 

12. College of the Ozarks

State: Missouri

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $14,500.00

 

13. Truman State University

State: Missouri

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $15,413.57

 

14. Brigham Young University–Provo

State: Utah

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $15,652.98

 

15. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

State: New Mexico

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $15,718.90

 

16. University of Utah

State: Utah

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $15,791.14

 

17. Louisiana Tech University

State: Louisiana

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,480.15

 

18. University of Montevallo

State: Alabama

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,569.83

 

19. Tennessee Technological University

State: Tennessee

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,589.08

 

20. Wayne State College

State: Nebraska

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,591.90

 

21. University of Idaho

State: Idaho

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,604.11

 

22. University of Central Missouri

State: Missouri

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,619.42

 

23. Iowa State University

State: Iowa

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,650.82

 

24. St. Joseph’s College–New York

State: New York

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,837.96

 

25. The University of Montana–Western

State: Montana

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,844.88

 

26. University of Wisconsin–La Crosse

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $16,947.16

 

27. Morehead State University

State: Kentucky

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,129.71

 

28. University of Alabama in Huntsville

State: Alabama

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,180.84

 

29. The University of Montana

State: Montana

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,194.17

 

30. Southern Wesleyan University

State: South Carolina

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,253.00

 

31. Northwest Missouri State University

State: Missouri

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,268.90

 

32. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

State: North Carolina

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,279.96

 

33. University of Wyoming

State: Wyoming

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,284.47

 

34. University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,333.36

 

35. Oklahoma Panhandle State University

State: Oklahoma

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,335.00

 

36. Emporia State University

State: Kansas

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,534.45

 

37. Southeast Missouri State University

State: Missouri

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,541.62

 

38. Western Kentucky University

State: Kentucky

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $17,626.63

 

39. University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,018.14

 

40. University of Wisconsin–Platteville

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,035.89

 

41. Winston-Salem State University

State: North Carolina

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,081.56

 

42. University of Maine

State: Maine

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,194.21

 

43. University of Wisconsin–River Falls

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,264.34

 

44. University of Southern Mississippi

State: Mississippi

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,417.31

 

45. University of Illinois at Springfield

State: Illinois

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,440.25

 

46. University of Mississippi

State: Mississippi

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,442.53

 

47. University of Iowa

State: Iowa

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,446.00

 

48. New College of Florida

State: Florida

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,462.51

 

49. University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,564.43

 

50. University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

State: Wisconsin

Average Net Price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid: $18,634.44

How Can You Find the Right College for You?

Affordability is an important factor that every student should consider when deciding which college to attend, but there are a lot of others too: location and size of school, majors and extracurriculars offered, and competitiveness or selectivity. It’s important to do your research and create your own criteria for your college decision.

 

Working with a consultation company like CollegeVine can make this process a lot easier for students and parents. We’ve worked with 10,000 students and compiled unmatched data for hundreds of schools. Using our data and tools, we can help you find the right schools for you. Find out if working with our College Applications Program fits your academic needs!

 

Check out some of our other posts on affording college:

Which Colleges Give Out the Most Merit Aid? A List of the Top 50

Does the Ivy League Offer Scholarships?

50 Colleges with Full Ride Scholarships

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Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.