They’re the “Best Value” national universities – at least in terms of US News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2011” edition. While they might not offer the lowest published tuition rates, the University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California and University of California-Irvine are among those that might actually dip a little less deep into student pockets than other institutions. They made the US News & World Report “best value” list because of what some refer to as their “net” cost.
Several new and expanded scholarship programs have been announced recently. One of the most far-reaching was in Arkansas, where the Arkansas News Bureau noted that a new state lottery helped more than 25,000 students qualify for what’s known as Academic Challenge Scholarships. Without the lottery last year, 8,282 students qualified for these same scholarships, the Arkansas News Bureau reported.
US News & World Report did just this. The publication, in analyzing the scholarships and financial aid offerings at the top 1,800 colleges and universities in the nation, came up with those where students might expect to pay less out of pocket than $20,000 for tuition and fees, room and board, meal plans, books and travel. It can be hard for families in tough economic times particularly to reason with taking on large college debts when the future seems uncertain, an article in an August edition of Forbes magazine noted.
Forbes, in its “Best Buy Colleges and Universities,” looked at school quality and average tuition sticker price and fees for 2008 to come up with a list where the top 10 included service academies, such as the Air Force and Coast Guard, that don’t charge tuition. The Forbes top 10 also included institutions with special aid programs that make them tuition free. A rare non-free institution on the Forbes top 10 was University of Florida, which came in at no. 9.
Colleges, universities and technical schools often offer scholarships as a means of attracting students. When it comes to selecting an institution, students are often advised to first look toward quality schools that meet their needs and goals and then decide after the costs and financial aid are taken into account. Costs these days, however, might weigh in more than they have in the past. Some lesser known schools are trying to attract applicants by offering scholarships to every admitted student, the US News & World Report article notes.
There are sources other than colleges and universities that provide scholarships, however. Non-profit organizations, large corporations and community and civic groups are among them, as are some churches. In instances where students obtain scholarships such as these, the assistance can often be applied to any institution that’s accredited by a nationally recognized agency. Students are often able to apply scholarships to online degree programs and courses in instances where this accreditation is in place as well.
Several new scholarships have also been helping students with college and university costs. In Arkansas, a new state lottery this year helped more than 25,000 students who qualified for Academic Challenge Scholarships, according to an August report from the Arkansas News Bureau. Last year, without the lottery, only 8,282 students qualified for these same scholarships, the News Bureau noted.
Students of all ages and backgrounds can find scholarships for which they’re eligible. A variety of search engines on the Internet make it easy to locate a wide range of aid, such as government grants. Students who put in the time and effort might even obtain single scholarships that pay high dividends or several that combined allow them to attend on-campus and online college programs tuition-free.