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10 best colleges for the money

Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.
5 of 11

This women's college isn't as inexpensive as the rest, but it doles out generous financial aid. To counterbalance the $41,736 annual price tag, the school hands the average student receiving need-based aid $33,362 in grants and scholarships, according to the College Board, with even more money flowing to students who are also eligible for merit awards.

After factoring in financial aid, the average Scripps family with income of less than $48,000 pays $7,550 for one year at one of the country's more prestigious institutions.

Rod Bugarin, admissions and financial aid expert with Aristotle Circle college counseling services, says that with schools like Scripps -- a member of the Claremont University Consortium -- parents should keep in mind that they're getting more than just tuition at one school.

"The Claremont (University Consortium) is an amazing value because students have access to five schools," says Bugarin. "Students have access to libraries, classes, professors, internships (and) study abroad programs on all five campuses."

Bugarin recommends that students investigate schools with consortium and exchange agreements with other colleges to maximize their college dollars.




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