Economy

Five States With the Most Affordable Public Colleges

With both tuition and student loan debt on the rise, there's a significant need for affordable in-state public colleges.

But even public institutions are seeing costs climb. The average tuition and fees for four-year public schools increased by 3.5 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to College Board—a higher rate of inflation than private four-year colleges and community colleges. For the 2016-2017 school year, the average tuition for a public college was about $9,700.

inflation

So where should prospective students turn to get the a higher education for a lower cost? Here are the top five states where in-state tuition for public colleges are the lowest, according to data from College Board.

1. Wyoming

Wyoming

Avg. in-state tuition and fees: $5,060

Avg. out-of-state tuition and fees: $16,220

2. Florida

Florida

Avg. in-state tuition and fees: $6,360

Avg. out-of-state tuition and fees: $21,570

3. Montana

Montana

Avg. in-state tuition and fees: $6,410

Avg. out-of-state tuition and fees: $22,100

4. Utah

Utah May Be Bringing Back The Firing Squad For Death Sentences.

Avg. in-state tuition and fees: $6,580

Avg. out-of-state tuition and fees: $19,840

5. New Mexico

New Mexico

Avg. in-state tuition and fees: $6,620

Avg. out-of-state tuition and fees: $19,050

woman-in-graduation-cap-says-my-105000-dollar-hat

That said, as ATTN: previously reported, students could save even more by attending a two-year community college first and then transferring to a four-year school to finish off their degree. Community college offers its own set of unique benefits for students. (Or they could follow the trend of going to college abroad in countries like Germany to cut down on costs.)

It should also be noted that while these states provide the lowest average tuition for in-state students, tuition costs are generally higher for out-of-state students—so be sure to consult education resources before you decide to make a move.