Cheapest colleges: 13 standup schools that cost less than $5,000 a year

A good buy doesn't always end up on your receipt at the register. Sometimes it winds up on your résumé.

According to the College Board, the average college tuition in the United States is $26,273, up more than 4% from last year. But not all universities cost that much, and not all cheap colleges give you junk degrees. Sprinkled across America you'll find some discount degrees that are actually worth just as much as the highest-priced ones.

Tuition at all of these colleges can be had for under $5,000 a year -- and a few are completely free. If your kid's in high school, now is the time to start thinking about how to afford their next big step. Start planning your applications now, because the competition is tight: