People want to obtain a college degree under the belief that it will lead to a better life. It is not easy to get one as it typically involves studying, reviewing, and working for hours at a time. One must seriously put an effort if they want to earn that degree. Aside from that, it tends to be a costly endeavor as well. Students from all over the country take out loans to launch this new chapter of their life, so they need to make sure that it is worth both their time and effort. The school loan is only getting worse with each passing year, so it feels even more imperative for students to be careful with their life decisions. The least you can do is ensure that you are making a good investment before you enroll at a certain school. Is a college education really worth putting yourself in so much debt? It looks like the answer depends on the program you take. Of course, it also depends on your personal connections and skills. However, some schools are simply not worth the tuition fees…
Florida Memorial University – Miami Gardens, Florida
In many ways, Florida Memorial University is a good college. The class size is small, the teachers are great, and students enjoy an active campus life. Found in Miami Gardens, there are around 1800 students enrolled at any given time. The institution has close ties with the Baptist Church and likes to give back to the local community. High school kids can also take advantage of the pre-college programs that it offers. The return on investment sits at $64,000, which is not at all good as four years at the school will cost you $109,000.
University of South Carolina Aiken — Aiken, South Carolina
The quality of education at this school makes it in the top 20 percent of the universities and colleges in the United States. Sadly, you might want to think twice before you pay for a spot at the University of South Carolina Aiken. On average, students take five years to complete a degree program and shell out $130,000. The starting salary among graduates is not good, while the student loans run high. If you are an alumnus of the school, you can expect a negative return on investment of around negative $66,000.
Emmanuel College — Franklin Springs, Georgia
This residential college sits atop 17 acres of land. The campus is located at the heart of the educational community of Boston. If you want to go here, get ready to pay more than $27,000 each year. Emmanuel College was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1919. It became the first Catholic college for women in the New England area. The educational institution boasts a rich history, but it is sad to hear that students get a return on investment of negative $70,600. Too bad.
University of Maine at Machias — Machias, Maine
First off, we can’t get over how bad of an acronym “UMM” is for a school. Of course, this does not really matter as much as the quality of education, facilities, and activities. The university is on the Bold Coast, so students get to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the state. They only need to shell out $124,000 for five years to do so. On the bright side, the school likes to connect its student body with the outdoors. Sadly, we do not think that it is enough to make up for the negative $70,700 in terms of return on investment.
University of Montana Western — Dillon, Montana
You will find the University of Montana Western between two of the best national parks in the country: Glacier and Yellowstone. This means that students can enjoy the great outdoors as long as they are fine with the return on investment of -$71,400. The school also has a graduation rate of 46 percent, which is pretty bad. We do not think that it would be a good idea to risk your finances for such poor returns. The students do not seem to have much luck in the job sector either. In the end, we just want to help you make the best and most informed decision for yourself.
Ozark Christian College – Joplin, Missouri
In 1985, Ozark Christian College opened its doors to students with a focus on education through the bible. Aside from that, the school also requires necessary vocational skills for evangelical service. If you want to attend this school, get ready to spend $78,530. Sadly, the return on investment over three decades is no more than $76,200. This is lower than the price of tuition that you need to spend here! It does not sound like a good investment in our books, but we will let you be the judge of that.
Campbellsville University — Campbellsville, Kentucky
This school offers a mediocre quality of education at a high price. Students pay $143,000 to earn a degree here. Campbellsville University has gray and maroon as its school colors, but we want you to think long and hard about paying to wear them. The return on investment is $76,800 in the red, so you might not get as much as you bargained for. On top of that, you can’t get a degree in a technical field here. This is fairly odd as CU has spent so much of its resources in its Technical Education Department.
Saint Augustine’s University – Raleigh, North Carolina
As a part of the historically black colleges and universities, Saint Augustine’s University is a fairly small school. On average, it only has a yearly student population of 974. We wonder if the tuition fees have anything to do with that. You will have to spend $129,000 for a degree from the school. What makes it worse is that only 23 percent of its students finish in four years. When they graduate, they are often stuck in a lot of debt. With a negative $77,700 return on investment, it does not sound like a good idea.
Stillman College – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
In 2018, there were 615 students attending Stillman College. A lot of them wanted to go here for the small class size, although you might want to think twice before you accept your spot here. After all, it does not have the best return on investment. Students need to pay a little less than a hundred grand for four years of education at the school. It does not sound good that only 23 percent of students graduate. As if that is not bad enough on its own, it is also said that the return on investment is negative $80,400. The popularity of the school has gone down significantly in the last two decades for this reason.
Unity College – Unity, Maine
Who would have thought that an eco-friendly school will cost you an arm and leg? To be fair, almost all universities are costly. Unity College might promote natural resources, environmental studies, and sustainability, but students might find it hard to pay off their loans upon graduation. Over two decades, the return on investment sits at a negative $82,100. Yikes. With the tuition of $151,000 for four years, we do not think that it looks promising at all. On the bright side, it has a good graduation rate of 54 percent.
Wilson College – Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
It would be futile to deny that Wilson College has a gorgeous campus. It is also known to have high tuition fees at $156,000. The return on investment, sadly, is low. The school was a women’s liberal arts school for 144 years, but it opened its doors to the opposite sex in 2013. The school has a graduation rate of 39 percent, which does not sound like a good thing to us no matter how you look at it. On top of that, its return on investment is dismal at -$86,700 over twenty years. Mind you, this is not the worst yet.
Hilbert College – Hamburg, New York
You will find this private school in Hamburg, New York. Hilbert College opened its doors in 1957. It was named after Mother Collette Hilbert, who was a part of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph. At first, it was supposed to educate teachers, although it has since become a liberal arts college with more than 800 students. It costs $116,000 to attend this school, which is not cheap at all. Sadly, the return on investment of negative $89,100 makes other people turn somewhere else. It is not hard to see why this is the case. Most people would rather go to a place that would give them better returns.
Emory & Henry College – Emory, Virginia
First of all, we want to clarify that Emory & Henry College in Virginia is different from Emory University in Georgia. Aside from the location, the return on investment is vastly different as well. The former has a return on investment of negative $91,300, while the latter has an incredible $91,300. Emory & Henry College is known as the first private liberal arts school in this part of the Mother of States. With a tuition of $179,000, it does not sound unreasonable for students to want more than what it has to offer.
Brewton-Parker College – Mount Vernon, Georgia
Do you want to go to a small college in a small town? If this is the case, Brewton-Parker College might be perfect for you. There are fewer than 3,000 people in the town, and half of the population is made up of students at this school. You might assume that it has low fees but high returns, but this is not the case. In fact, students have to shell out $113,000 to attend this school! It has a return on investment of negative $92,200, which is dismal. Even worse, its graduation rate is no more than 17 percent! Yikes.
Shaw University – Raleigh, North Carolina
In 1865, Shaw University opened its door as the first historically black university in the South. That is the reason it has earned the “Mother of African-American colleges” moniker. Sadly, its rich history does not at all come cheap. Students at this school need to pay $118,000 to earn a degree. It might not pay off right away since the return on investment is $93,600 in the red after 20 years. Honestly, you do not even need to hold a college degree to figure out that this would not be a smart decision.
Paine College – Augusta, Georgia
Recently, Paine College has found itself in hard trouble because of its financial issues. The school nearly lost its regional accreditation for this reason! It looks like it has more issues than that, however. For one thing, students pay $97,500 to study here but only get a return on investment of $97,700 after two decades. The graduation rate at 20 percent is definitely on the low end as well. Students are typically more attracted to schools that give them more opportunities to pay off their loans as quickly as possible.
Rust College – Holly Springs, Mississippi
With an acceptance rate of 43 percent, Rust College can definitely be considered a prestigious school. This is one of ten historically black colleges and universities still in operation within the country. It is also one of the oldest private schools in Mississippi. As you can see, the school definitely has a rich history and tradition that young people can take part in. Sadly, students might find themselves in debt for a long time if they study here. They need to shell out $63,400 in tuition, while the return on investment is only $97,100 over twenty years. While this is not the worst one out there, the situation does not look good.
Johnson University – Kimberlin Heights, Tennessee
Located twelve miles away from Knoxville, Johnson University is found in the suburbs of the Volunteer State. The school has a pretty good reputation in the town, but others are less impressed with it. After all, tuition costs about $89,800 for four years of education. The return on investment, on the other hand, is negative $97,900. Often, it takes students four to six years to graduate. It is sad to hear that only 56 percent of students finish too. We don’t know about you, but it does not sound very promising.
Cazenovia College – Cazenovia, New York
Are you interested in a quiet student life at a small, liberal arts school in a peaceful town? If this is the case, you might find yourself looking at Cazenovia College. The school only accepts 915 undergrads each year. This low number means that students and professors can work with each other on a one-to-one basis. Sadly, this does not always prepare students for the future. The average cost of education here is $184,000 per student. On the other hand, the average return on investment is only $98,600. Yikes.
St. Andrew’s University – Laurinburg, North Carolina
In the past, St. Andrew’s University was known as St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College. We are not going to deny that it has a gorgeous campus. On top of that, there is a gorgeous lake in the middle of the school! Even though it might sound tempting, we want you to take a look at the numbers before you make up your mind. Feel free to head here if you do not mind a low return on investment. The school will cost you $167,000 for four years, while the return on investment over twenty years is $98,800. Even those without a high school degree can figure out that this does not sound like the brightest idea ever.
Benedict College – Columbia, South Carolina
Found in a large city in South Carolina, Benedict College boasts a big student population. Around 2,000 students attend the school each year. There was a time when it served as a teacher’s college, but the school does not get the best marks in terms of student success. Among others, it only has a graduation rate of 22 percent or so. Students need to shell out $124,000 to earn a degree from the school. Are you sure you want to go here with its return on investment of negative $105,600 over twenty years?
Morris College – Sumter, South Carolina
In 1908, Morris College opened its doors to students. Its motto is “Intrare Libris, Dispartire Servire,” which is “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” in Latin. This is a historically black college, but it does not look like this is the best place for undergraduates if they want a bright future. Most of the time, the students have to spend a total of $92,200 in tuition for four years of education. Sadly, things do not look up even twenty years later. Payscale says that its return on investment over twenty years is negative $106,800.
Montserrat College of Art – Beverly, Massachusetts
Are you interested in art? If this is the case, you might already have Montserrat College of Art on your list. Without the shadow of a doubt, the school is excellent if you want to study the visual arts. Each year, it opens 400 slots to students gifted with great art skills. Students need to spend $107,400 to go to this school, but only 56 percent of students finish their degree in four to six years. The return on investment is $107,400. Even though that might sound better than the others on the list, it does not sound like the best investment either.
Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina
We have another historically black school on the list. Fayetteville State University in North Carolina opened its doors in 1867. It is a member of the University of North Carolina school system and sees an enrollment of 6,000 students per year. The school has great nursing and criminal justice programs. It offers excellent liberal art education with degrees in forty-three areas too. On top of that, it offers the top online school in the state. We wonder if the students are happy with their choice, however. The tuition costs them $113,400, but the return on investment over three decades only stands at $82,600.
Columbia International University – Columbia, South Carolina
Even though Columbia International University has great rankings, its students are starting to rethink if it was the right choice to go to this school. Sadly, a degree from the school does not always make for a good investment. This is a private Christian college in South Carolina that opened its doors in 1923. Students need to pay $133,000 in tuition for four years. On the other hand, the return on investment is only $115,700. We can easily see why the students of the school are not happy with these figures.
Martin Luther College – New Ulm, Minnesota
Are you passionate about sport? If this is the case, you will find your tribe at Martin Luther College in Minnesota. About a third of its students play a sport of some kind. The dedication of the school to sports is not enough to offset what Payscale had to say about it. You see, students at the school pay $93,300 for four years of education, but alumni only see a return on investment of $123,200 in twenty years.
Claflin University – Orangeburg, South Carolina
This is one of the oldest universities in the country. It is a historically black university that made history for conferring degrees to Alice Jackson Moorer and Annie Thorne. They are among the first black women to earn a degree in the United States! Sadly, the school has not been doing well in terms of post-graduate success. Claflin University only has a graduation rate of 56 percent, which is dismal since students pay $128,000 in tuition costs. The return on investment is only $133,900 over twenty years too.
Wheelock College – Boston, Massachusetts
Lucky Wheelock founded this school as Miss Wheelock’s Kindergarten Training School. It was renamed Wheelock College after it merged with the School of Education at Boston University. Its focus is on all levels of education, so it is easy to assume that the school would be easy on the finances of its student body. This is not the case as tuition here goes all the way up to $201,000 for four years of education. It is pretty shocking to hear that the return on investment over twenty years is only $140,700. Yikes.
Voorhees College – Denmark, South Carolina
You will find Voorhees College in a small town in South Carolina called Denmark. It has around 600 students, and they seem to enjoy the time that they spent at the school. Sadly, this is not enough to earn a passing grade on this list. Only 26 percent of students graduate within four to six years. On top of that, the tuition costs $97,000. Overall, the school is not the worst on the list since the return on investment over twenty years is $153,400. Get ready because we will now discuss the top five spots.
Talladega College – Talladega, Alabama
You might already be familiar with Talladega College since its marching band is famous in the United States. It is the home of the Talladega College Tornado Marching Band, which is also known as the Great Tornado. The band is so good that it even performed at the 2017 presidential inauguration parade. This is great news, but students might not be happy to see the return on investment here. After all, the tuition costs them $88,200 for four years of education. It must be hard to swallow the fact that the average return on investment over twenty years is only $156,900.
Lindsey Wilson College – Columbia, Kentucky
If you are a student athlete, Lindsey Wilson College is a great choice for you. After all, it boats various sport programs and a good track record. Its students have brought it a lot of trophies over the years. Many alumni even went on to be pro athletes. Sadly, the school has a low graduation rate of only 34 percent, while the tuition costs $152,000. The return on investment of $160,800 does not sound good.
Maine College of Art – Portland, Maine
In New England, Maine College of Art is a great choice for those interested in going to art school. It is known as MECA and serves as a haven for those who want to take up fine art and studio art. While it promises to bestow a great creative education, it does not always set them up for future success. The tuition fee costs $184,000, whereas the return on investment is only $163,000. You only need the most basic math skills to figure out that this is not the best plan if you seek financial stability in the future.
Miles College – Fairfield, Alabama
Are you considering attending Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama? If this is the case, we want you to read on. This historically black college is known for its liberal arts program. It is shocking to hear that the school has a graduation rate of no more than 17 percent. On top of that, students pay $90,200 in tuition and miscellaneous fees. Last of all, the return on investment over twenty years is only $164,600.
Springfield College – Springfield, Massachusetts
In 1885, Springfield College opened its doors as a private school. The educational institution is best known for its sports programs, especially basketball. It offers good education and costs less than other colleges in the country. Despite this, the return on investment has not appealed to many prospective students. We want you to know that it costs $174,700 to take up a four-year program at the school. On the other hand, the return on investment over thirty years is just $114,000. This does not look fair to us.
Mississippi Valley State University – Itta Bena, Mississippi
Most people will know Mississippi Valley State University for its football team and marching band. Both of them have seen a lot of success over the years. On top of that, the school has produced many pro athletes in the past. It has several alumni who have been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame! That is no joke. Sadly, the school earned a spot on this list because a student has to shell out $75,700 in tuition. On the other hand, the return on investment is around $174,800. As the last item on the list, this is definitely better than all the others you have seen earlier! It has that going for it at the very least.