The most affordable for-profit colleges best-colleges

For-profit does not necessarily mean expensive - check out the for profit colleges with the cheapest average cost per student. To be included on this list, the median student must demonstrate a positive return on educational investment, meaning that new earnings are greater than the median earnings of high school graduates, in the same state.

 

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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback: The amount of time in years it takes to pay off the median net cost by the median earnings. For this calculation, the median earning of high school graduates (in the school’s home state) are deducted from the median earnings.

Degree premium: The difference between the school’s median earnings and the median earnings for all schools in the same state. This is called “Vs. state average” in school profiles below.

Ranking: The payback rate is divided by the degree premium (set as a percentage), the lower the number the higher the rank. (i.e. payback=1, degree premium 20% higher than state school median: 1/120% = .883.

Net cost
Earnings
Payback
Degree premium
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in For Profit Schools

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach, Alabama

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 47%

Net cost: $10,368

Payback: 1.1 Years

Earnings: $74,398

Vs. state average: + $31,035

Economic score: 0.62

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#26 in For Profit Schools

University of Phoenix-California

Ontario, California

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 51%

Net cost: $12,664

Payback: 5.2 Years

Earnings: $39,382

Vs. state average: - $11,297

Economic score: 6.69

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#22 in For Profit Schools

Berkeley College-Woodland Park

Woodland Park, New Jersey

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 44%

Net cost: $15,483

Payback: 4.6 Years

Earnings: $40,213

Vs. state average: - $5,410

Economic score: 5.23

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#32 in For Profit Schools

Stevens-The Institute of Business & Arts

Saint Louis, Missouri

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 55%

Net cost: $17,378

Payback: 9.4 Years

Earnings: $33,966

Vs. state average: - $13,354

Economic score: 13.06

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#37 in For Profit Schools

Hussian College-Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Admission rate: 53%

Grad rate: 100%

Net cost: $18,155

Payback: 43.1 Years

Earnings: $27,683

Vs. state average: - $25,895

Economic score: 83.35

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#23 in For Profit Schools

Five Towns College

Dix Hills, New York

Admission rate: 48%

Grad rate: 52%

Net cost: $18,729

Payback: 4.2 Years

Earnings: $43,921

Vs. state average: - $11,769

Economic score: 5.31

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#36 in For Profit Schools

Hussian College-Daymar College Bowling Green

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Admission rate: 100%

Grad rate: 58%

Net cost: $19,582

Payback: 25.6 Years

Earnings: $27,683

Vs. state average: - $15,457

Economic score: 39.94

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#28 in For Profit Schools

Waldorf University

Forest City, Iowa

Admission rate: 62%

Grad rate: 53%

Net cost: $20,036

Payback: 6.0 Years

Earnings: $43,860

Vs. state average: - $8,978

Economic score: 7.27

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#35 in For Profit Schools

Hussian College-Daymar College Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 48%

Net cost: $20,190

Payback: 17.3 Years

Earnings: $27,683

Vs. state average: - $16,072

Economic score: 27.28

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#24 in For Profit Schools

University of the Potomac-VA Campus

FALLS CHURCH, Virginia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 100%

Net cost: $21,564

Payback: 5.6 Years

Earnings: $44,634

Vs. state average: + $1,650

Economic score: 5.39

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#19 in For Profit Schools

American University of Health Sciences

Signal Hill, California

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 96%

Net cost: $21,706

Payback: 3.0 Years

Earnings: $62,137

Vs. state average: + $11,458

Economic score: 2.42

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#34 in For Profit Schools

Nossi College of Art

Nashville, Tennessee

Admission rate: 49%

Grad rate: 61%

Net cost: $21,995

Payback: 13.7 Years

Earnings: $29,899

Vs. state average: - $13,856

Economic score: 20.07

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#11 in For Profit Schools

Chamberlain University-Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Admission rate: 68%

Grad rate: 58%

Net cost: $25,285

Payback: 2.4 Years

Earnings: $77,512

Vs. state average: + $29,113

Economic score: 1.48

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#10 in For Profit Schools

Chamberlain University-Illinois

Addison, Illinois

Admission rate: 92%

Grad rate: 75%

Net cost: $25,598

Payback: 2.5 Years

Earnings: $77,512

Vs. state average: + $32,675

Economic score: 1.43

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#5 in For Profit Schools

Chamberlain University-Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Admission rate: 100%

Grad rate: 65%

Net cost: $25,774

Payback: 2.4 Years

Earnings: $77,512

Vs. state average: + $32,791

Economic score: 1.38

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#31 in For Profit Schools

New England Culinary Institute

Montpelier, Vermont

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 57%

Net cost: $26,777

Payback: 7.6 Years

Earnings: $43,917

Vs. state average: - $9,597

Economic score: 9.29

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#3 in For Profit Schools

West Coast University-Dallas

Dallas, Texas

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 71%

Net cost: $27,473

Payback: 1.9 Years

Earnings: $97,371

Vs. state average: + $52,424

Economic score: 0.89

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#29 in For Profit Schools

University of the Potomac-Washington DC Campus

Washington, District of Columbia

Admission rate: N/A

Grad rate: 85%

Net cost: $28,402

Payback: 6.6 Years

Earnings: $44,634

Vs. state average: - $4,652

Economic score: 7.32

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#4 in For Profit Schools

Neumont College of Computer Science

Salt Lake City, Utah

Admission rate: 91%

Grad rate: 66%

Net cost: $28,863

Payback: 2.3 Years

Earnings: $89,164

Vs. state average: + $46,938

Economic score: 1.10

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#12 in For Profit Schools

Chamberlain University-Texas

Houston, Texas

Admission rate: 87%

Grad rate: 75%

Net cost: $28,938

Payback: 2.8 Years

Earnings: $77,512

Vs. state average: + $32,565

Economic score: 1.61

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