Ryan Lytle

These private institutions offer the least expensive tuition and fees in the country

Strategizing a way to effectively finance a college education can be even more challenging than selecting a school to attend. While many private colleges and universities may have high sticker prices, freshmen that began attending a private institution in fall 2010 received a nearly 50 percent tuition discount, on average, through financial grants, according to a recent survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

While some private colleges help students manage pricey tuition and fees, other institutions simply provide a more manageable price from the start. Among the 817 ranked private colleges -- and schools whose rank is not published -- that provided data to U.S. News in a 2010 survey of undergraduate programs, the average cost of tuition and required fees for the 2010-11 school year was $26,079. Comparatively, the 10 least expensive private colleges in the country each cost an average of $7,200 annually, for tuition and fees. Note, though, that this does not include room and board costs at these institutions.

Berea College in Kentucky is the least expensive private college in the country, offering students a tuition and fees package of $910. Relying on endowment income, gifts, and financial aid, Berea does not charge its students tuition. In exchange, students are required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week in campus-approved jobs.

Among the top 10 schools on the list, five are ranked within U.S. News's Best Colleges rankings. Below is a list of the 10 private colleges that offer the least expensive tuition and fees (this figure does not include room and board, books, and other miscellaneous costs):


University Tuition U.S. News Rank
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Berea College$91067, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Brigham Young University - Hawaii$4,330RNP*, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Brigham Young University - Provo$4,42075, National Universities
Lane College$8,000RNP, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Life University$8,622RNP, Regional Universities (South)
Blue Mountain College$8,87025, Regional Colleges (South)
Park University$8,898RNP, Regional Universities (Midwest)
Mountain State University$9,000RNP, Regional Universities (South)
Philander Smith College$9,45071, Regional Colleges (South)
Alice Lloyd College$9,50035, Regional Colleges (South)

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its rankings category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.

Available on Amazon.com:

The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets


Copyright © U.S. News & World Report. All rights reserved.


10 Least Expensive Private Colleges