By Katy Hopkins

These schools have the lowest total tuition and required fees for state residents

If you're looking to save money on your college education, attending a public school is a potential way to secure a deal on tuition. By choosing a public school in the state in which you live, you can ratchet your bill down further.

Among the 452 public colleges that reported the data to U.S. News in a survey of undergraduate programs, the average tuition and fees for in-state residents was $7,042 for the 2010-11 school year. (In addition, 121 public colleges surveyed did not report tuition data.) But some schools -- and some states -- offer better deals to their residents than others.

In North Carolina, for instance, in-state students can apply to four of the nation's top 10 least expensive schools for state residents, including Fayetteville State University , which places third on the list below. At that school, in-state tuition and fees were $3,637 for the 2010-11 academic year. Even the state's most expensive school for in-staters, the University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill , charged $6,665 in tuition and fees -- a figure still well below the national average.

Further north, Pennsylvania students may have to pay a bit more, as the least expensive package in the state among public schools that reported data was $7,305 at Lock Haven University . In-state students who attend Penn State University -- University Park face the highest in-state package in the nation: $15,250 in tuition and fees for the 2010-11 school year.

[See the 10 most expensive public schools for in-state students.]

Among the 10 schools that offer the lowest sticker prices for tuition and fees to in-state students, only three were ranked in the U.S. News Best Colleges lists. (The others earned a Rank Not Published, or RNP, distinction, designating schools that rank in the bottom one-fourth of their rankings category.) The five military academies, which charge $0 in tuition and $0 in fees in return for postgraduate service, were excluded from this tuition list, as were schools designated as Unranked by U.S. News.

[Considering a private school? These are the 10 least expensive private schools.]

These are the 10 least expensive public schools for in-state students, accounting for tuition and required fees (but not room and board, books, transportation, or other miscellaneous costs):


University Tuition U.S. News Rank
Source: U.S. News & World Report
New Mexico Highlands University$2,952RNP, Regional Universities (West)
Macon State College (GA)$3,082RNP, Regional Colleges (South)
Fayetteville State University (NC)$3,637RNP, Regional Universities (South)
California State University--Northridge$3,70277, Regional Universities (West)
Elizabeth City State University (NC)$3,70722, Regional Colleges (South)
University of Wyoming$3,726153, National Universities
University of North Carolina--Pembroke$3,890RNP, Regional Universities (South)
North Carolina A&T State University$3,899RNP, National Universities
Eastern New Mexico University$3,900RNP, Regional Universities (West)
Fort Hays State University (KS)$3,942RNP, Regional Universities (Midwest)

Available on

The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets


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


10 Least Expensive Public Colleges for In-State Students