University of North Carolina, Asheville
In-state tuition is a breeze ($5,393 including fees), but don't be deterred by the out-of-state cost either. This public liberal arts school provides enough need-based aid to bring the net price of the school down to less than $8,800 for families with combined incomes of $75,000 or below, according to the National Center on Education Statistics.
"If families are looking for value, I always encourage them to go for smaller institutions," says Bugarin, adding that small schools provide students with greater one-on-one professor attention. "The flagship state school in North Carolina in (UNC) Chapel Hill has about 20,000 students. The university at Asheville only has 4,000."