The number of people saving for college has hit an all-time high. So, naturally, there was a collective sigh of relief after news broke that New York would begin to offer tuition-free public college education.
However, before you blow your college savings on a new car, know the stipulations are steep. For instance, you must make less than $100,000 to qualify for assistance during the first year, students must agree to live and work in the state for the same number of years they attended college, and you must still foot the bill for other college-related expenses, such as room and board or book fees.
New York isn’t the only state hopping on board the assistance bandwagon. Other states and cities, such as San Francisco, have also proposed similar plans for assistance at community colleges. But what if your state doesn’t have an assistance plan? Could you swing college on your budget? A study from College Board ranked in-state and out-of-state tuition at public universities in all 50 states. The results? College is expensive — about $9,650 a year nationally for in-state students.
The good news is some states are more affordable than others. Let’s dive into the 15 states with the cheapest college tuition, based on 2016-17 rates.
- Average in-state tuition and fees: $8,030
- Average out-of-state tuition and fees: $20,500
Oklahoma is a very affordable option for families on a tight college budget. With 15 public universities to choose from, students will have no problem finding somewhere to cash in on the college experience. This state is home to the University of Oklahoma, a school known for its competitive sports teams and affordable degree programs.
Next: This state offers in-state tuition for under $8,000 and one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates.