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These figures are for four year, undergraduate programs. The average cost of a two year Associate degree, accordingto the same source, was $8,734 a year. We focus on affordability and value in education. For example, seeour top 10cheap online degreesandreviews of the cheapest online degrees by major. For further exploration by major study area, spend sometime exploring these pages:
Public Schools:$16,789

Average annual tuition, fees, and room and board for in-state undergraduate students at 4-year publicinstitutions.

Private Schools:$33,716

Average annual tuition, fees, and room and board for undergraduate students at private not-for-profitand for-profit institutions.

Trend

$5,045: 10-year increase, public institutions (30%)
$4,476: 10-year increase, private institutions (13%)
* Source: NCES, 2011-2012 school year

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Defining the value of a college degree is in some ways a subjective process. What is valuable to one personmay not be the same for someone else. Nonetheless, there are some objective measures that can be used indefining value in a college education.

In surveys of students, the ratio of faculty to students at a college often ranks high in terms of what theyconsider valuable. Most students also agree that a low price tag is not really the best indicator of valuein a degree. Many students also say that the school environment, student clubs and organizations, and availabilityof financial aid are important factors in what they consider valuable in their education.

Another way to determine the value of a college education is by examining the Return on Investment (ROI) ofthe earned education-comparing the cost of obtaining the degree against the amount of income the degreeholder can expect during his or her working life, as well as the projected job market for the profession.If you find an inexpensive program, get a degree, but then find that there are few jobs in the field, youhave probably not really received good value for your educational investment.?On the other hand, ifyou get a degree that costs a lot but gets you into a profession that has high demand and high salaries,you will be getting good value for the money you spent, even though it was costly. Of course, choosing acollege major should also always include a consideration of your personal interests and talents. Gettinga degree that lands you a high paying job that you hate is not really a good value either. If researchinga university's ROI is a tool you would find useful in your college search, these links will be of great help.

Examples of High Value

Forbes magazine has investigated value in education using the criteria of the cost of different degrees andcomparing it to the average salaries and job opportunities available to people with those degrees, usinginformation from PayScale.com and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of what they determine to bethe most valuable degrees are in the sciences with biomedical engineering coming in at the top of the list.

Other degree types that Forbes found to be good value are as follows:

Education
Software engineering
Environmental engineering
Petroleum engineering
Biochemistry
Applied Mathematics
Statistics

All of these fields are experiencing job growth rates far above average, and this trend is expected tocontinue over the next decade. Most of these professions also have more jobs available than there aregraduates, giving degree holders a wide range of employment opportunities and high salaries.

Each year, U.S. News ranks colleges and universities on a wide range of factors related to value in education.Amongst the top ten in this year's rankings include the three below.

Amherst

Amherst College, Amherst, MA was at the top of the list with 57.1 percent of students receiving need-basedfinancial aid and an average tuition cost of $15,557 per year after aid.

Cal Tech

California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA had 53.8 percent of students getting degrees withthe help of financial assistance. The average cost after aid at Cal Tech was $21,732 per year.

Vassar

Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY had 66.4 percent of students
getting degrees with the help of financial aid. It had average tuition after aid of $19,640 annually.

Value in Online Learning

Online learning is expanding rapidly. Online, or distance learning, has many advantages over campus based,brick and mortar degree programs for many students when it comes to value. One advantage is that many onlineprograms charge the same tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. Check out our picks for toponline colleges.

If you study from home, you also save money on transportation, room and board, and some of the fees that areassociated with campus learning. There is also considerable flexibility about when to study: You can listento lectures and do course work on your own schedule without being restricted to the same time-slots thatare part of taking classes at a campus, and online degree programs can often be entered at any time of theyear without having to wait for the beginning of a semester or term to start. Distance learning also makesit easier for students to have a job while attaining a degrees. All of these factors make distance learninga good value for getting a college education. Here are a few examples of online colleges and their tuitionrates.

Walden University

$580 per credit hour regardless of residency.

Colorado State University

$289 for in-state resident students and $1243 for out-of-state students per credit hour.

To make looking for online degrees easier, we've assembled a collection of?Cheap Online Colleges and DegreePrograms:

Example include:

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A college or university degree is a sizable investment, and you want to be sure that you are getting yourmoney's worth when deciding which degree to get and which school to attend. How much a college educationwill cost depends on the type of degree, the specific college or university, and, at public institutions,whether you are an in-state resident student or attending an institution out-of-state. Generally, the tuitioncost for in-state students at public colleges is about one-half as much as the cost of attending an institutionout-of-state.

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Professional & Doctoral Programs

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20 Cheap Online Master's in General Studies
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