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Best Deals on Competitive Small Colleges

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Best Deals on Competitive Small Colleges. The most competitive small institutions with excellent financial assistance programmes are highlighted in this article. The financial assistance sector is continuously changing, according to American Student Assistance (ASA), a nonprofit that serves as a student loan guarantor. The establishment of new financial assistance schemes, which are intended to do away with the burden of student debt after graduation, is at the forefront of change. Even the most costly and competitive universities in the nation today provide generous financial aid awards that either completely eliminate loans or have loan amounts capped. This implies that students can frequently graduate from an institution with a high level of competition with low debt.

1. United States Merchant Marine Academy

  • Average Net Price: $4,422
  • Percentage Admitted: 25%

A U.S. Service Academy is the United States Merchant Marine Academy. It has many parallels to a military academy while not being one. The school’s main objective is to prepare students for careers in maritime-related fields. whether they are serving in the military or the civilian world. The academy’s majority of programmes are maritime-related. Students can major in marine engineering, navigation, ship management, maritime law, human resource management, international law, customs, and pretty much any other field that has anything to do with managing and operating a big ship.

2. Lyon College

  • Average Net Price: $10,537
  • Percentage Admitted: 27%

Private liberal arts institution Lyon College is located in Arkansas. With the Presbyterian Church, it is connected. There are only 665 pupils in the school, and the student to staff ratio is 10:1. The school is ranked in the top 50 for socioeconomic mobility by U.S. News. The university offers a basic liberal arts curriculum. Students can focus their study on subjects like humanities, math and science, business and economics, or social science.

3. University of North Carolina School of the Arts

  • Average Net Price: $12,097
  • Percentage Admitted: 30%

It’s no news that the majority of arts universities charge exorbitant tuition and provide scant financial help. At the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, this is not the case. When average net pricing is taken into account, this could be the most reasonably priced accredited arts institution in the United States. The school is competitive but nevertheless moderately accessible, with a 30% admittance rate. Subjects including dance, design and production, theatre, cinema, music, and more are available for students to learn.

4. College of the Ozarks

  • Average Net Price: $12,611
  • Percentage Admitted: 21%

College of the Ozarks is a Christian college that greatly emphasises the idea of the protestant work ethic. This institution calls itself Hard Work U. The full-time students who complete the requirement of working 15 hours per week at an on-campus work station pay no tuition to the institution. Also, during breaks, students must complete two 40-hour work weeks. A summer job programme exists that can assist students in covering their room and board costs. The institution is intended for students who, even if they maintained the same job schedule, may not be able to finance a traditional education.

5. Williams College

  • Average Net Price: $14,487
  • Percentage Admitted: 9%

It is situated in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and is a private liberal arts institution. It was founded in 1793, making it one of the nation’s oldest institutions. In the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences, the college offers 36 majors. One of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios at a college in the United States is 6:1. Nine Pulitzer Prize winners, a Nobel Prize winner, a Fields medalist, and other alumni who have achieved success in politics are among the alumni.

6. Pomona College

  • Average Net Price: $17,000
  • Percentage Admitted: 7%

The Claremont Colleges’ founding member is Pomona College. These schools are a collection of liberal arts colleges in and near Claremont, California. Every institution is unique. They do, however, pool resources. This implies that students from any of these universities may enrol in courses and utilise the resources at any other college in the consortium. The other universities are Scripps College, Pitzer College, Harvey Mudd College, and Claremont McKenna College. Although each college is modest on its own, together they have more than 8,500 students. This implies that you receive all the advantages of a small institution and a medium college in one.

7. Minerva University

  • Average Net Price: $17,632
  • Percentage Admitted: 1%

The American university with the highest academic standards is Minerva University. Entrance is only based on merit. It’s intended to give kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford equivalent institutions access to an extremely high quality education. It was founded in 2012, making it the youngest school in our ranking. In 2021, it received complete regional accreditation. Seven cities in seven different countries are home to Minerva. 78% of students are from other countries. Minerva is working to transform contemporary education by implementing cutting-edge, scientifically-based learning techniques.

8. Colby College

  • Average Net Price: $17,912
  • Percentage Admitted: 9%

A liberal arts college called Colby College was founded in Maine 210 years ago. The institution provides 30 minors in addition to 54 majors. Colby University places an emphasis on global experiences. Throughout their bachelor’s degree programme, more than two thirds of its students go to 60 different countries to study. Because Colby is a liberal arts institution, prospective engineering students shouldn’t give up hope. Colby participates in engineering dual degree programmes run in conjunction with the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University.

9. Rice University

  • Average Net Price: $18,521
  • Percentage Admitted: 9%

Houston’s Rice University is a unique institution. With 4,200 students, it is on the bigger side among tiny institutions. A research university is also part of it. Smaller student populations and a high level of research activity create more opportunities for students who desire to participate in research. The ratio of 6:1 between students and professors is also uncommon outside of the most prestigious research institutes.

10. Amherst College

  • Average Net Price: $18,809
  • Percentage Admitted: 9%

Amherst College has an open curriculum and offers 41 majors. 74 academics with more than 20 years of experience at Amherst will help students. additionally gaining from the 110 tenure-track professor hires since 2010. Due to the 7:1 student to faculty ratio, you have easy access to these academics and may tailor your educational experience by collaborating directly with them. The open curriculum excludes both core content and criteria for dissemination.

Students pick the classes they believe to be the most significant or fascinating. Every college student will likely lament having to take classes they believe are superfluous. Such issue is resolved by the open curriculum experiment, which has existed since 1971. While you will be selecting your own courses among 850 options, this could sound overwhelming. Nonetheless, the professors are there to provide you with guidance and provide the best learning environment so you may succeed.

11. Curtis Institute of Music

  • Average Net Price: $19,002
  • Percentage Admitted: 5%

One of the most prestigious music conservatories in the world is Curtis Institute of Music. There are just 153 pupils in the school. Since 1928, Curtis has not charged tuition to students, hence it is probable that additional educational expenses are reflected in the net price. Over the years, Curtis has employed a number of distinguished professors, including Eleanor Sokoloff, who taught piano. Philadelphia, where Curtis is situated, has a flourishing music culture of its own and is near to New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.

12. Webb Institute

  • Average Net Price: $19,231
  • Percentage Admitted: 20%

An engineering-focused private college is called The Webb Institute. Glen Cove, New York, is where the college is situated. This little institution only offers one major. Both naval architecture and marine engineering are the students’ majors, which total 98. All students receive complete tuition for four years, which accounts for the low net price. The emphasis at the school is on ship design and systems engineering. The teachers alternate the classrooms instead of the students due to the small class size and everyone attending the same course.

For eight weeks in January and February, all students are required to work in certain sectors of the marine industry. Students are prepared to begin their professional professions after graduation thanks to this practical, hands-on training. This gives students the chance to get acquainted with the places they will probably work after graduation because the industry and the institution are both very small.

13. Swarthmore College

  • Average Net Price: $19,733
  • Percentage Admitted: 8%

One of the earliest co-educational universities in the United States, Swarthmore College was established by Quakers. Early in the 20th century, the institution renounced its religious ties and transitioned to becoming completely nonsectarian. Swarthmore has an engineering programme, in contrast to many liberal arts universities. The STEM fields of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics are all included. There are, of course, also classic liberal arts degrees in areas like philosophy, political science, linguistics, comparative literature, and a number of languages.

14. St. Andrews University

  • Average Net Price: $19,862
  • Percentage Admitted: 12%

A small Presbyterian university in North Carolina is called St. Andrews. Students can major in business, education, health sciences, liberal and creative arts, science, and sports studies at St. Andrews in addition to a liberal arts core. With the launch of its initial online programmes in 2007, St. Andrews entered the market quite early. The majority of the school’s programmes are available online.

15. North Carolina Wesleyan University

  • Average Net Price: $20,208
  • Percentage Admitted: 28%

Both liberal arts and professional degrees are available at this small institution in North Carolina. The National Association of Schools and Colleges of The United Methodist Church includes North Carolina Wesleyan. There are roughly 2,000 pupils in the school. The institution does provide religious studies, but it also offers a wide range of other courses. Business, several Scientific areas, nursing, teacher education, and other majors are available to students.

16. Kettering College

  • Average Net Price: $20,366
  • Percentage Admitted: 25%

A minor Adventist university with a concentration on healthcare is Kettering. Several undergraduate degrees are meant to get students ready for graduate school. This includes degrees in human biology and health care administration. Both a prelicensure programme and an RN to BSN programme are available for the bachelor’s in nursing degree. A bachelor’s in medical sonography and an associate’s in radiologic technology are also offered. It is a small institution with a specific concentration, making it a fantastic option for those who are certain of their career goals.

17. Wesleyan University

  • Average Net Price: $20,535
  • Percentage Admitted: 19%

Although the Methodist Episcopal Church created Wesleyan University, it has subsequently severed its connections to religion and has become a non-sectarian institution of higher learning. Middletown, Connecticut is home to the modest liberal arts college. Wesleyan has a long list of notable graduates. There are also 14 Rhodes Scholars, three Truman Scholars, three Guggenheim Fellows, 156 Fulbright Scholars, seven MacArthur Fellows, and four Nobel Laureates within the group, in addition to 13 Pulitzer Prize winners. Several alumni have also achieved success in American politics.

18. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

  • Average Net Price: $20,757
  • Percentage Admitted: 15%

Since 1859, The Cooper Union has provided top-tier education in engineering, architecture, and the arts. The university is in New York City. The creator believed that everyone should have access to education, including members of the working class, women, and individuals of all races. One of the most forward-thinking universities at the time may have been Cooper Union, and it still upholds that devotion. Cooper gave the working class unfettered access to his school. Cooper Union’s average net price for students making under $30,000 a year is under $5,000, which isn’t quite free these days. To graduate with just $20,000 or less in student debt is extraordinary in today’s world.

19. Claremont McKenna College

  • Average Net Price: $21,663
  • Percentage Admitted: 11%

Another one of the Claremont, California, area’s liberal arts universities. Claremont McKenna is dedicated to the challenging task of trying to mend societal differences that jeopardise understanding. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, it is ranked sixth in the nation for free expression. All of the courses that students study should be viewed through the prism of how they affect contemporary society, according to the campus culture. The school is dedicated to promoting variety of thought, freedom of expression, and productive debate. This strategy is known as The Open Academy.

20. Wellesley College

  • Average Net Price: $21,862
  • Percentage Admitted: 16%

One of the few remaining private women’s institutions in the country is Wellesley College. It is in the Massachusetts town of Wellesley. Male pupils are not accepted at the school. Transgender women and AFAB non-binary persons are admitted to the school. From 2015, this admissions policy has been in effect. One of the best liberal arts institutions in the country is Wellesley.

21. Thomas University

  • Average Net Price: $22,972
  • Percentage Admitted: 29%

A modest university called Thomas University has a large number of online courses. Administration, computer systems management, human resource management, RN-BSN, social work, and supply chain management are among the subjects covered by online programmes. The university provides many degrees with a focus on law enforcement.

22. Dallas Christian College

  • Average Net Price: $23,422
  • Percentage Admitted: 17%

The online courses offered by Dallas Christian College are exceptionally inexpensive and will greatly reduce expenditures. For majors with a religious bent, tuition for online schools works out to around $8,000 annually. $12,000 annually for additional programmes. This implies that it will probably be simple for students who live at home to pay the whole cost of tuition through financial assistance, grants, merit-based scholarships, and other ways.

23. Hillsdale College

  • Average Net Price: $24,057
  • Percentage Admitted: 24%

Southern Michigan’s Hillsdale College is a small, evangelical Christian liberal arts institution. The college is home to students from more than a dozen foreign countries and all 50 states despite its tiny size. The baptist church laid the foundation for the college. The institution nonetheless upholds a conservative evangelical set of principles on campus and in the classroom even though it is no longer associated with any particular denomination.

24. Dartmouth College

  • Average Net Price: $24,078
  • Percentage Admitted: 6%

The only Ivy League institution that is small enough to be included in our list is Dartmouth. Dartmouth is quite selective, but if you get accepted, you may anticipate receiving pretty significant financial help. For families making between $0 and $30,001 annually, the net cost is just $6,300. It only costs $7,100 annually for persons making $30,001–48,000 each year. The university is among the greatest in the world and boasts a 7:1 student to professor ratio.

25. Haverford College

  • Average Net Price: $24,462
  • Percentage Admitted: 18%

Although being founded by Quakers, Haverford College is no longer associated with any particular religion. The university is a member of the tri-college consortium together with Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr. In the Quaker Consortium, which also includes the University of Pennsylvania, it is included. Students from Haverford can enrol in classes at the other consortium members as a member. As a result, there are now much more courses offered to Haverford students. The consortium’s colleges are all among the top schools in their respective fields.

26. Colgate University

  • Average Net Price: $24,500
  • Percentage Admitted: 17%

Early in the 19th century, the Baptist Community in New York created Colgate University. The school is no longer associated with any religion. The bachelor’s degree offerings are essentially entirely what the little liberal arts college provides. On the other hand, graduate-level programmes in teaching provide a master of arts degree. Even though it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, Colgate offers various opportunities for students to participate in athletics. 25% of students participate in varsity athletics. Eighty percent of students take part in varsity, club, or intramural sports.

27. Davidson College

  • Average Net Price: $25,794
  • Percentage Admitted: 18%

More than 180 years ago, the Presbyterian Church established Davidson College. Even now, it remains connected to the Presbyterian Church in America. Although though Davidson only accepts about 18% of candidates, early applications have acceptance rates of almost 30%. Therefore if you’re interested in this institution, think about applying early to increase your chances. Davidson has about 27 majors available. If they want to customise their undergraduate degree to meet their own requirements or interests, students can also create their own major.

28. Washington and Lee University

  • Average Net Price: $26,063
  • Percentage Admitted: 19%

Washington & Lee University offers a distinguished undergraduate curriculum in addition to a reputable law school. This makes it a wonderful option for students thinking about a career in law because they can easily transfer if they decide to remain at the school after graduation. One of the first universities established in the American South is Washington and Lee University. The second-oldest college in Virginia, behind William & Mary, and the second-oldest in the entire US, behind Harvard University

29. Bates College

  • Average Net Price: $26,231
  • Percentage Admitted: 17%

After Bowdoin College and Colby College, Bates College is the third-oldest institution in Maine. It was one of the first colleges in the US to accept minority students and was founded by an abolitionist. The humanities, social sciences, engineering, and scientific sciences are all offered at Bates. Moreover, the institution provides combined undergraduate programmes with Dartmouth College and Columbia University. both ivy league schools.

30. Bowdoin College

  • Average Net Price: $26,727
  • Percentage Admitted: 9%

Bowdoin and its sister school are ranked fairly similarly. Nevertheless it should be noted that Bowdoin’s acceptance percentage is just slightly higher than Bates’. Bowdoin adds CalTech to that list in addition to its collaborative engineering programmes with Columbia and Dartmouth. Before Maine ever became a state, Bowdoin was established 26 years earlier. 97% of the academic members are terminally educated. In its aid packages for students, Bowdoin also substituted grants for loans in 2008.

FAQs on Best Deals on Competitive Small Colleges

Which Ivy is most affordable?

This immense financial support results in equivalently low tuition rates, and Yale offers the lowest average net cost among Ivy League schools, at under $18,000 per year.

How much does it cost to study in USA from Nigeria?

On average, you will be required to pay USD 8000 to USD 55,000 per year on tuition fees. An MBA degree can cost you around USD 35,000

What college has a 100% acceptance rate?

Established in 1911 in southwestern Utah, Dixie State University features a 100% acceptance rate. The campus, which sits adjacent to the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, serves more than 11,000 students, about 60% of whom attend full time.

Which little ivy is easiest to get into?

Which Little Ivy Is Easiest to Get Into? The best way to determine if a school makes it easy for students to apply and get accepted is by looking at their acceptance rate. By that metric, the most accessible school to get into would be Lafayette College, with its high acceptance rate


The financial aid sector is continuously changing, according to American Student Assistance (ASA), a nonprofit that serves as a student loan guarantor. The establishment of new financial aid schemes, which are intended to do away with the burden of student debt after graduation, is at the forefront of change.

Even the most expensive and competitive universities in the nation today provide generous financial aid awards that either completely eliminate loans or have loan amounts capped. This implies that students can frequently graduate from an institution with a high level of competition with low debt. Even the most elite little universities are helping students with their educational expenses since millions of Americans are struggling with unpaid student loans. Small colleges and private institutions of higher education are concerned about the student loan debt crisis.

No matter the student’s financial situation or economic background, schools are able to offer significant financial aid packages that include grants, scholarships, and work study programs because to need-blind regulations. Some colleges even have tuition reimbursement plans that guarantee a four-year, debt-free education.

We considered universities with a four-year bachelor’s degree program, 5,000 or fewer enrolled students, and a 30 percent or lower acceptance rate. After that, we compared the total on-campus costs with the average net price reported by College Navigator by the Institute of Education Sciences at the National Center for Education Statistics. If an average net price was not made available by the NCES, schools were not taken into account.

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