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10 best colleges for the money

Arizona State University, Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz.
8 of 11

With 2011-2012 in-state tuition set at a low $9,208 per year, this top-tier public university offers great value. What most don't know is that it does so for out-of-state students, too.

"Nearly three-fourths of the students at Arizona State who are not from Arizona receive financial aid," says Emerson.

While Arizona State University, or ASU, out-of-state tuition is $21,807 per year, the school offers enough aid to bring the net price down to just over $11,200 on average for families with combined yearly incomes between $48,000 and $75,000, according to the NCES.

Truman says that students may increase their chance of financial aid by seeking schools outside of their geographic area.

"If you can add diversity to a school, you're more likely to get financial aid," he says. "If you're a woman in engineering, that's worth something. If you're a student traveling from New Mexico to New York, that's worth something. If you're a Hispanic student applying to a school where there aren't a lot of Hispanics, you're making that school more diverse."




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