Colleges That Offer Small Classes on a Budget

Here are 30 well-regarded and affordable colleges with lots of small classes.

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Attending a big, affordable public university doesn't doom a student to huge lecture halls. U.S. News has found dozens of lower-priced colleges in which at least half of all classes have fewer than 20 students. Beware, though: Many times these smaller classes are led by graduate students or part-time professors who may not have office hours or the expertise of a full-time professor.

The chart below lists colleges and universities where in-state tuition and fees were under $10,000 in 2008. The percentage of small classes—those with 19 or fewer students—is in bold.

Institution Name % Classes with 19 of Fewer Students Total Number of Undergraduates % Faculty Who Are Full-time Selectivity* In-State Tuition and Fees Out-of-State Tuition and Fees
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry 77 1633 84 more selective $5,793 $13,693
University of Montana—Western 73 1190 70 less selective $4,866 $13,050
New College of Florida 66 785 83 more selective $4,805 $26,407
SUNY College—Potsdam 65 3652 71 selective $6,170 $14,070
Dakota State University (South Dakota) 64 2296 74 less selective $6,872 $8,245
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma 62 1158 60 selective $4,440 $10,560
Concord University (West Virginia) 62 2816 56 selective $4,976 $11,052
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 62 1344 83 more selective $4,607 $13,118
University of California—Berkeley 60 25151 74 most selective $8,352 $30,022
Montana Tech of the University of Montana 60 2293 66 selective $5,833 $16,109
Bemidji State University (Minnesota) 57 4223 76 selective $7,262 $7,262
University of South Carolina—Aiken 57 3078 68 selective $7,950 $15,682
University of South Carolina—Upstate 55 4999 55 selective $8,817 $17,459
University of California—Los Angeles 54 26536 75 most selective $8,228 $29,897
SUNY—Fredonia 54 5178 57 selective $6,258 $14,158
Winston-Salem State University (North Carolina) 54 5975 82 less selective $3,522 $12,508
Western Washington University 53 13406 70 selective $6,159 $17,190
SUNY—Oswego 52 7971 62 selective $6,651 $14,551
Keene State College (New Hampshire) 52 5147 45 less selective $9,314 $17,484
University of Tennessee—Martin 51 7127 50 selective $5,510 $16,790
Lander University (South Carolina) 51 2555 62 less selective $8,770 $16,570
Alice Lloyd College (Kentucky) 51 609 76 more selective $9,000 $9,000
University of Illinois—Springfield 51 2889 59 selective $9,168 $18,318
University of Central Arkansas 50 11048 72 more selective $6,698 $12,153
University of Colorado—Boulder 50 26725 65 more selective $7,932 $28,186
Murray State University (Kentucky) 50 8171 71 selective $5,976 $16,236
SUNY College of Technology—Alfred 50 3282 N/A less selective $6,162 $14,062
University of Iowa 50 20823 95 more selective $6,824 $22,198
University of Montevallo (Alabama) 50 2572 67 selective $7,010 $13,550

* Schools are designated "most selective," "more selective," "selective," "less selective," or "least selective," based on a formula that accounts for enrollees' test scores and class standing and the school's acceptance rate (the percentage of applicants who are accepted).

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