Kiplinger's 10 Top Private Colleges With the Lowest Sticker Price

Kiplinger's 10 Top Private Colleges With the Lowest Sticker Price

Total annual cost: $17,280

Cost after need-based-aid: $11,789

Average need-based-aid: $5,491

Average non-need-based aid: $3,436

Average debt at graduation: $13,354

This 136-year-old institution is open to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) as well as non-members. In fact, BYU's total cost of $17,280, the lowest on Kiplinger's private-school list, applies to students who are not LDS church members; members pay about half the tuition. BYU attracts academically gifted students: 91% of incoming freshman scored 24 or higher on the ACT standardized test.

Total annual cost: $27,900

Cost after need-based-aid: $15,268

Average need-based-aid: $12,632

Average non-need-based aid: $18,887

Average debt at graduation: $20,896

Wesleyan earns plaudits as Kiplinger's lowest-cost liberal arts college. Founded in 1836, Wesleyan was the first college in the world to grant degrees to women. Today, Wesleyan has 31 major and 26 minor academic programs, as well as eight pre-professional programs, including engineering, medicine and law.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $28,790

Cost after need-based-aid: $21,465

Average need-based-aid: $7,325

Average non-need-based aid: $7,700

Average debt at graduation: $26,614

In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, overlooking the Shenandoah River, this Catholic liberal arts college, founded in 1977, attracts its 400-plus students from 45 states and seven countries. Undergraduates are required to take a core curriculum that covers literature, history, natural sciences and theology.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $29,490

Cost after need-based-aid: $22,605

Average need-based-aid: $6,885

Average non-need-based aid: $4,150

Average debt at graduation: $20,500

With a focus on global education through its numerous study-abroad programs, Drury provides the opportunity to explore diverse cultures and international issues firsthand. Its Global Perspectives 21 program includes such subjects as Asian ethics, Russian cultures (with travel to St. Petersburg, Russia) and Mediterranean cultures (via travel to Volos, Greece).

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $29,520

Cost after need-based-aid: $20,994

Average need-based-aid: $8,526

Average non-need-based aid: $4,366

Average debt at graduation: $32,380

This private Catholic university, founded more than 60 years ago, attracts a high-achieving student body (65% of incoming freshman scored in the top tier of the ACT) and keeps them coming back. The freshman retention rate is a solid 88%. The university offers 42 undergraduate majors and 32 minors, plus seven graduate programs.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $30,370

Cost after need-based-aid: $17,647

Average need-based-aid: $12,723

Average non-need-based aid: $7,388

Average debt at graduation: $28,657

Established in 1920 as Marion College, Indiana Wesleyan is one of the fastest-growing Christian colleges in the country. The school’s main Marion campus has 3,200 students, and more than 12,000 adult students attend classes at regional campuses in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $30,410

Cost after need-based-aid: $23,580

Average need-based-aid: $6,830

Average non-need-based aid: $9,873

Average debt at graduation: $18,850

Hillsdale’s campus stretches over 200 acres in southern Michigan. The liberal arts college prides itself on offering high-quality academics without accepting federal or state taxpayer subsidies. An impressive 90% of incoming freshmen scored in the top tier of the ACT, and a low student-faculty ratio (10-to-1) helps keep students engaged with professors.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $30,850

Cost after need-based-aid: $16,300

Average need-based-aid: $14,550

Average non-need-based aid: $0

Average debt at graduation: $16,311

Only 355 students are enrolled at this Catholic liberal arts college, and the 11-to-1 student-faculty ratio helps keep class sizes small. Founded in 1971 and located 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Thomas Aquinas provides grants and loans through its financial aid program, but it accepts no government or archdiocesan subsidies.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $31,678

Cost after need-based-aid: $25,051

Average need-based-aid: $6,627

Average non-need-based aid: $11,833

Average debt at graduation: $23,404

Located near Boise, the College of Idaho stresses the importance of off-campus experiences, from internships and community service to study-abroad programs. Students are also encouraged to become leaders, through the college’s leadership program. Under this hands-on, freshman-to-senior program, students develop skills in communication, problem solving, decision-making and team development, enabling them to become mentors to younger classmates by the time they graduate.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

Total annual cost: $31,830

Cost after need-based-aid: $19,890

Average need-based-aid: $11,940

Average non-need-based aid: $10,445

Average debt at graduation: $23,500

This liberal arts university, less than 50 miles southeast of Topeka, offers more than 40 fields of study and more than 70 extracurricular and co-curricular activities, from honor societies to varsity athletics. Fewer than 1,000 undergraduates attend the school, whose alumni include four Rhodes Scholars and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Compare All 200 Private Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION