The 30 Most Affordable Private Colleges in the U.S.

College provides a launch pad for careers, but prospective students can sometimes be put off by certain institution's hefty price tags.

While the cost of college tuition has skyrocketed at many elite establishments, some colleges are far more affordable.

Data analysis by College Raptor has highlighted the most affordable private colleges on the U.S. based on 2020 average net price, which was calculated by subtracting grant and scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance.

Bill Staib, CEO of the college comparison site, tells Newsweek most people pay "less than half" the published tuition rates, but stresses the importance of doing your homework on costs.

"However, each student's actual cost can differ based on their academic credentials and family financial circumstances.

"That's why it's important for families to compare the costs of private colleges before applying."

Methodoloogy

The analysis is based on the U.S. Department of Education's IPEDS data center up to the most recent reporting year (2019-2020).

Researchers used the average net price for full-time, first-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates paying the in-state or in-district tuition rate who were awarded grant or scholarship aid from federal, state or local governments, or the institution. Other sources of grant aid are excluded.

The average net price was generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state or local government, or institutional grant and scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance, which is calculated by the sum of published tuition and required fees, books and supplies and the weighted average room and board plus other expenses.

This applied to private for-profit and private not-for-profit institutions offering at least a bachelor's degree that do not meet the Carnegie classification signifying a specialty school.

Newsweek presents the most affordable private colleges on the mainland U.S. (cost shown is 2020 average net price).

30. Calumet College of Saint Joseph ($13,290)

Founded in 1951, Calumet is a private institution based in Whiting, Indiana, with additional campuses in Chicago and Indiana.

The most popular majors at this college include Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration, Business, and Liberal Arts and Humanities.

29. American InterContinental University ($13,278)

The private, for-profit mid-sized AIU is an online college based in Chandler, Arizona.

Popular majors to take at the American InterContinental University include Business, Criminal Justice and Safety Studies and Healthcare Management.

Most Affordable Private Colleges in the U.S.
Students searching for affordable private colleges should consider these U.S. institutions Lacheev/Getty Images

28. University of Holy Cross ($13,236)

The University of Holy Cross is an above-average private liberal arts college located in New Orleans.

Popular majors at this institution with a fairly completive admission rate include Nursing, Biology and Business.

27. Tennessee Wesleyan University ($13,183)

Founded in 1857, Tennessee Wesleyan is a private college based in Athens, Tennessee.

The most popular majors taken at this small-sized university include Nursing, Business and Accounting.

26. Brigham Young University ($13,150)

Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University ($13,150) DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

This college is a highly rated private research institution in Provo, Utah sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Popular majors with students at this large college include Psychology, Accounting and Exercise Physiology.

25. Tougaloo College ($12,967)

Tougaloo is a private small-sized college based in Jackson, Mississippi.

Popular majors at this somewhat competitive university include Sociology, Economics and Biology.

24. University of Phoenix-Arizona ($12,780)

Founded in 1976, the University of Phoenix is a private for-profit college based primarily in Phoenix.

Popular majors at this large institution with a somewhat competitive admission acceptance include Business, IT and Hospital Management.

23. Oakland City University ($12,481)

Oakland City University is a private university affiliated with the General Baptist Church and based in Indiana.

Popular majors at this mill-sized institution of high education range from Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, and Criminal Justice and Safety Studies.

22. Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies ($12,435)

Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

Central Methodist - Grad Studies is a private, college located in Columbia, Missouri.

The most popular majors at this small institution feature Nursing, Business, and Elementary Education.

21. Monroe College ($12,330)

Monroe College is an affordable private college and graduate school based in New York.

The most popular majors at this mid-sized university include Business, Police and Criminal Science, and Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration.

20. Benedict College ($12,155)

Founded in 1870, Benedict is a private liberal arts college based in Columbia, South Carolina.

Popular majors at this college with a somewhat completive rate of admissions include Sport and Fitness Management, Biology and Business.

19. Wesleyan College ($12,117)

Wesleyan is a private liberal arts college located in Middletown, Connecticut and founded in 1831.

Popular majors at this small-sized institution include Business, Economics and Psychology.

18. Baker College ($12,112)

Established in 1911, Baker is a private institution of higher education with its main campus in Owosso, Michigan.

The most popular majors on offer at Baker College include Business, Nursing and Healthcare Management.

17. Aspen University ($11,779)

Aspen is a private, for-profit, nationally accredited distance-learning college established in 1987.

This above-average small institution is recognized for its popular majors such as Nursing, Early Childhood Education and Business.

16. American Public University System ($11,503)

APUS is a private, for-profit, online university system made up of American Military University and the American Public University.

Popular majors include Business, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Homeland Security and Disaster Management.

15. Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts ($11,245)

Magdalen College is a private liberal arts college based in Warner, New Hampshire.

The sole major offered at this very small-sized educational institution is Liberal Arts and Humanities.

14. Columbia Southern University ($11,241)

Columbia Southern University is a private for-profit online college located in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Popular majors at this mid-sized university range from Business, Occupational Safety and Health Technician, and Fire Science and Fire Fighting.

13. University of Management and Technology (£11,207)

Founded in 1998, UMT is a private for-profit college based in Arlington, Virginia.

Popular majors at this college range from Business, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration, and Liberal Arts and Humanities.

12. University of the West ($10,834)

Established in 1990, the University of the West is a private Buddhist college located in Rosemead, California.

The most popular majors at this small-sized university include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business and English.

11. Humphreys University-Stockton and Modesto Campuses ($10,240)

Founded in 1896, Humphreys University is a private college based in Stockton, California.

Some of the most popular majors include Business, Early Childhood Education, and Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration.

10. North American University ($9,886)

North American University is a private university located in Stafford, Texas in the Houston Area.

This small-scale educational institution includes majors such as Business, Computer Science and Education.

9. Grantham University ($9,303)

Grantham is a private for-profit online college based in Lenexa, Kansas and established in 1951.

The most popular majors at Grantham include Business, Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration, and Liberal Arts and Humanities.

8. Peirce College ($8,993)

Peirce is a private college focussing on adult learners, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Popular majors at this institution with a 100 percent acceptance rate include Business, Paralegal, and Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration.

7. Western Governors University ($8,786)

Western Governors is a private, online college located in Millcreek, Utah.

Popular majors at this large university include Nursing, Business and Elementary Education.

6. Rust College ($8,644)

Founded in 1866, Rust College is a liberal arts college located in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

Popular majors at this mill-sized institution with a fairly competitive acceptance rate include Biology, Broadcast Journalism, and Kindergarten and Preschool Education.

5. Le Moyne-Owen College ($7,721)

LeMoyne–Owen is a private college affiliated with the United Church of Christ and based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Popular majors at this non-denominational college include Business, Liberal Arts and Humanities, and Criminal Justice and Safety Studies.

4. College of the Ozarks ($7,505)

College of the Ozarks is a private place of higher education based in Point Lookout, Missouri.

Popular majors at this highly rated small-sized college include Business, Nursing, and Psychology.

3. Heritage University ($7,356)

Heritage University is a private college in Toppenish, Washington, on the Yakama Indian Reservation.

Popular majors at this small institution range from Social Work and Youth Services, Elementary Education and Psychology.

2. Brigham Young University-Idaho ($6,871)

most affordable private colleges in us
Brigham Young University is a highly rated private research institution in Provo, Utah sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chinnapong/Getty Images

Founded in 1888, Brigham Young University–Idaho is a private university in Rexburg, Idaho.

The most popular majors studied at Brigham Youn include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business and Human Development.

1. Berea College ($4,938)

Berea is a private liberal arts college based in Berea, Kentucky.

Founded in 1855, Berea College was the first college in the Southern United States to be coeducational and racially integrate

Popular majors at this small-sized, above-average institute of higher education include Information Science, Business and Communications.