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10 best colleges for the money

University of Richmond, Va.
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Look past the $43,170 tuition tag at this elite liberal arts school and check out their financial aid packages instead. According to The College Board, the average need-based scholarship or grant award package is currently $33,515 per year while the average non-need-based financial aid package is nearly $38,000 per year.

The sticker price deters many applicants, but this financial aid package is so robust that the typical family with combined incomes of $75,000 or less pays just more than $10,000 per year, reports NCES. That's a lower net price than almost any other public college in Virginia.

University of Richmond is also a good fiscal bet because most students graduate on time. About 82 percent of students graduate in four years, giving the school one of the highest four-year graduation rates in the country.

"A cheap school that makes a four-year experience into a six-year experience is not cheap at all," says Asher. When assessing whether an institution is a good fiscal deal, Asher encourages families to examine its four-year graduation rate.


 

 

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