The staff at Careers & Colleges gives its picks of schools offering a great value

Great schools at great prices: the staff at Careers & Colleges gives its picks of schools offering a great value

Don Rauf

Some people equate a big sticker price with success and status. Let’s make no mistake: There is not always a connection between price and quality in education. Many schools with low tuitions turn out successful students and have high job and graduate school placement rates. To make our list, public schools had to cost $10,000 or less for in-state tuition, while private schools had to have tuition of less than $22,000 or offer fantastic financial aid. Note: “R&B” stands for “Room & Board” and “Size” refers to number of undergraduates.

ALBERTSON COLLEGE, CALDWELL, ID

WWW.ALBERTSON.EDU

TUITION: $14,550

R&B: $5,250

SIZE: 833

Because Albertson provides an Ivy-League education in rural Idaho, students here turn to the outdoors for fun–volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, and trips to the state’s mountains and hot springs. Dedicated professors and a 13-to-1 student/teacher ratio earn the school high marks. Top students are eligible for the Heritage Scholarship that pays for four years of tuition. Popular majors are business, biology, and psychology.

AUGUSTANA COLLEGE, SIOUX FALLS, SD

WWW.AUGIE.EDU

TUITION: $17,764

R&B: $5,096

SIZE: 1,653

For students who enjoy country living but with a taste of urban excitement, Augustana may be an ideal I choice. Because it’s located in the biggest city in the state (the population is still just 120,000), the school offers internships with local businesses, financial institutions, and two major hospitals. Most popular majors here are nursing, business, and education, and the 13-to-1 student/faculty ratio makes for an intensive academic experience. There are no frats or sororities on this campus. Students often turn to sports for fun.

BELMONT UNIVERSITY, NASHVILLE, TN

WWW.BELMONT.EDU

TUITION: $15,010

R&B: $6,080

SIZE: 863

Going to school in Nashville means more than nights out hearing live country music. This Christian university blends academic study with practical learning experiences. Exercise management, audio and video production, commercial music, and medical imaging technology are among the unique majors. The campus prides itself on its multi-cultural programs and its enormous sports and entertainment complex.

BLACKBURN COLLEGE: CARLINVILE, IL

WWW.BLACKBURN.EDU

TUITION: $14,600

R&B: $3,580

SIZE: 615

As one of six “work colleges” in the country, Blackburn requires all of its resident students to work as a way to gain an experiential education and serve the community. Business administration and education are by far the biggest programs here, followed by biology, social sciences and a unique program in “parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Blackburn soccer program. Go Beavers!

CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY, RIVERSIDE, CA

WWW.CALBAPTIST.EDU

TUITION: $14,950

R&B: $7,630

SIZE: 2,359

Attention all Baptist students: CalBaptist not only offers a beautiful West Coast location and theology courses, but also a solid liberal arts and sciences program. Although its most popular courses are in music, education, and business, CalBaptist trains students in kinesiology, or the scientific study of movement, which is crucial for careers in fitness-related industries and physical therapy. Those who enjoy water sports may sign up for their top-ranked Men’s and Women’s Aquatics program.

COGSWELL POLYTECHNICAL COLLEGE, SUNNYVALE, CA

WWW.COGSWELL.EDU

TUITION: $12,480

R&B: NOT APPLICABLE

SIZE: 1,420

Cogswell is a unique institution linking the arts and engineering to prepare students for professional careers in the full range of digital media, including animation, video games, film, audio, and digital engineering. Cogswell grads have helped create animation for Toy Story I and II, Antz, Bugs Life, The Matrix, and Shrek. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the school is two blocks from Yahoo and has close ties to other companies in the region. There is no campus housing–students live in the Bay area and enjoy the vibrant city life of San Francisco and Oakland.

DOANE COLLEGE, CRETE, NE

WWW.DOANE.EDU

TUITION: $15,620

R&B: $4,720

SIZE: 2,263

Although it has a Christian affiliation, Doane is a private liberal arts college open to all students, especially those interested in business, marketing, communications, and journalism. The teacher certification program is also very strong. Students have opportunities to earn a double major, pursue independent study, take courses abroad, and design their own major.

D’YOUVILLE COLLEGE, BUFFALO, NY

WWW.DYC.EDU

TUITION: $14,690

R&B: $7,340

SIZE: 2,476

Besides its outstanding programs in health care and teacher education, D’Youville has one other very striking feature: 80 percent of the students at this co-ed school are women. The school, however, is eager to recruit more men into its nursing, dietetics, physician assistant, and occupational and physical therapy programs. The rowing, volleyball, and basketball teams are all highly competitive. To take a break, students head to Toronto (a 90-minute drive) or to the nearby ski slopes.

ELON UNIVERSITY, ELON, NC

WWW.ELON.EDU

TUITION: $17,310

R&B: $ $6,010

SIZE: 4,584

Elon is a stimulating, highly academic school that is small enough to give each student personal attention from their professors. The Greek life dominates the on-campus social scene, but Raleigh and Durham are within an hour’s drive. The theater and music programs are especially well-known, and all students have a chance to perform. Some innovative courses are The Business of NASCAR, Sports Psychology, and Contemporary Nature Writers.

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY, SPOKANE, WA

WWW.GONZAGA.EDU

TUITION: $21,730

R&B: $6,430

SIZE: 5,778

Go Zags! Jesuit schools are known for their top-notch academics, and Gonzaga is no exception. Biology, political science, and business are the top majors, and the theater program is widely respected. This growing campus provides countless activities from yoga to movies to lectures. Basketball is hugely popular. Those looking for escape can head to the nearby ski slopes.

GROVE CITY COLLEGE, GROVE CITY, PA

WWW.GCC.EDU

TUITION: $9,952

R&B: $5,094

SIZE: 2,314

Respected for its rigorous academic programs, Grove City is also a Christian school that brings theology into almost all of it courses. Top majors are elementary education and teaching, English/language arts, teacher education, and business administration. The school has grown to become more selective over the past few years. Fun is of the old-fashioned sort: bowling, snowball fights, square dancing, and movie nights.

HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY, HONOLULU, HI

WWW.HPU.EDU

TUITION: $10,922

R&B: $9,020

SIZE: 7,900

Can a college combine a paradise-like atmosphere with an urban setting and provide a quality higher education? HPU sure comes close. Most students at this diverse campus study business, health care, and computer science. The school also has a unique aquaculture program that educates students on fish farming. Surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing are among the most popular activities.

LORAS COLLEGE, DUBUQUE, IA

WWW.LORAS.EDU

TUITION: $18,670

R&B: $5,845

SIZE: 1,764

Biology, chemistry, education, marketing, and sports fitness and management are the academic strong points at this Catholic liberal arts institution. The school also teaches cutting-edge courses in nuclear medicine, medical technology, and criminal justice. There is definitely an emphasis on ethics and theology. Outside the classroom, students turn to sports with 80 intramural possibilities, and all are encouraged to perform community service.

FISK UNIVERSITY, NASHVILLE, TN

WWW.FISK.EDU

TUITION: $11,770

R&B: $6,230

SIZE: 881

Founded in 1866 as a liberal arts institution committed to educating newly freed slaves, Fisk has become one of the country’s most respected historically black colleges. The hot majors are psychology, business, and social sciences. Students have a close rapport with their professors, and lab facilities get high marks. For entertainment, students rely on the frats and sororities or the great barbecue and music in Nashville.

SUNY ALBANY, ALBANY, NY

WWW.ALBANY.EDU

IN-STATE TUITION: $6,900 OUT-OF-STATE: $10,500

R&B: $7,181

SIZE: 16,998

If a big school at a low cost matches your style, SUNY Albany is worth considering. This state university offers a solid education in a number of subjects, including English language and literature, psychology, and business administration. The size makes the campus very ethnically diverse and social–Albany is often ranked as a top party school. Located in a major city and only three hours from New York City, the school offers many internships and career connections.

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY, LEXINGTON, KY

WWW.UKY.EDU

IN-STATE TUITION: $4,602 OUT-OF-STATE: $11,382

R&B: $4,735

SIZE: 25,397

Like many state schools, UK is large and affordable. Unlike some though, UK gives students a sense of community and a well-regarded education with an emphasis on math and science and a student/teacher ratio of 16 to 1. Regarded as one of the best public research universities, UK has outstanding labs and computer facilities. The “Bluegrass Area” is a beautiful setting and students all rally behind the school team, The Wildcats.

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS, NV

WWW.UNLV.EDU

IN-STATE TUITION: $3,020

OUT-OF-STATE: $8,670

R&B: $9,140

SIZE: $25,749

UNLV is a learning oasis in the desert valley in the southern tip of Nevada. The university has been expanding rapidly as the city has been booming. Students here say they enjoy a great quality of life, and they can plug into a diverse number of the city’s internships and career opportunities. Sports is big with 20 intramurals and 16 NCAA/Division I teams. Being in Las Vegas, it’s no surprise that hotel/motel management is one of the top majors and “field work” for these students is done on the Vegas Strip.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE, GORHAM, ME

WWW.USM.MAINE.EDU

IN-STATE TUITION: $4,590

OUT-OF-STATE: $12,720

R&B: $6,502

SIZE: $11,007

Situated near Portland, this state school educates students in a variety of subjects from law to economics to sports medicine. The school takes advantage of its natural setting, offering courses about the environment. For example, students may map the rock fabric of the Maine coastline using digital surveying gear, radio transmitters, and GPS satellite receivers. “Mainiacs,” as they’re known, love their Huskies–sports teams include field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse.

VIRGINIA TECH, BLACKSBURG, VA

WWW.VT.EDU

IN-STATE TUITION: $4,513

OUT-OF-STATE: $10,500

R&B: $5,787

SIZE: $27,755

Officially called Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, VT is a low-cost state school that specializes in engineering, biology, veterinary medicine, and communications. Research reigns in projects ranging from biotechnology to the environment to food and health. The school has more career options than any other Virginia university. Blacksburg doesn’t offer too much in the way of entertainment, so students make their own fun on campus. Sports is a consuming passion, especially football, volleyball, and basketball.

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, FULTON, MO

WWW.WCMO.EDU

IN-STATE TUITION: $12,900

R&B: $5,650

SIZE: 821

Westminster gives its students the flexibility to design their own majors in areas such as advertising, communications, public administration, and sports management. The Blue Blazers is an interesting on-campus club that gives students hands-on experience investing college money in the stock market. The Greek life is fairly dominant, but there are plenty of other extracurricular activities

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