Going to college in the United States is expensive. Some universities cost more than others, but there is always a hefty price tag for higher education in America.
However, when deciding which university you’ll pay tuition for, you need to make absolutely sure that when you finish, you will come out with the skills necessary for a well-paying job that will allow you to pay off your student loans/make that pricey tuition bill worthwhile.
Unfortunately for these colleges with hefty price tags, the benefits don’t outweigh the costs. These universities are simply not worth the money.
Saint Augustine’s University
University: Saint Augustine’s University
Location: Raleigh, NC
Tuition Cost: $129,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$77,700
Saint Augustine’s University is a relatively tiny, historically-black college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Even though the student body is quite small with around 1,000 students in total, the tuition cost is pretty high coming in at $32,000 per year. Unfortunately, for such a costly education, only 23% of students who enroll manage to graduate within 4 years (costing them even more for extending).
University: Stillman College
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Tuition Cost: $98,700
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$80,400
Stillman College is yet another university with a very small student body, only about 600 are enrolled at a time. This is attractive for students looking for smaller class sizes, thinking that it will lead to a better education. However, it’s important to note that the graduation rate is an extremely low 23%, and the return on your investment, if you do graduate, will put you in the negative numbers.
University: Unity College
Location: Unity, ME
Tuition Cost: $151,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$82,100
Unity college in Maine is an environmentally friendly school that focuses on sustainability and natural and environmental studies. This is a great initiative, but it comes at a heavy price. Tuition is a whopping $150,000+ for a 4 year degree, and with only a 54% graduation rate, many students have a really hard time paying it all back.
University: Wilson College
Location: Chambersburg, PA
Tuition Cost: $156,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$86,700
Wilson College is located in a small town in South-Central Pennsylvania, and was an all-women’s liberal arts college for over 100 years. The school now accepts male students as well, but they have also since raised the tuition by a lot. With a 39% graduation rate, even those who do graduate have trouble paying off that 6-figure cost, and end up owing a lot more than they’re making.
Emory & Henry College
University: Emory & Henry College
Location: Emory, VA
Tuition Cost: $179,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$91,300
This private liberal arts college sits in Southwest Virginia, and is the oldest school in the area. But that doesn’t make it worth your money. The 4-year tuition price of Emory & Henry is an insane $179,000, but the graduation rate is only around 54%. Something here doesn’t add up, and unfortunately these students have to learn that the hard way once they graduate.
University: Brewton-Parker College
Location: Mount Vernon, GA
Tuition Cost: $113,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$92,200
The small town of Mount Vernon, GA is home to only a tiny population of around 2,500 people, and almost half of that population is made up of Brewton-Parker College students. While the close-knit, private atmosphere might be tempting to some, paying over $100,000 to attend a school with only a 17% graduation rate seems like a bad idea.
University: Shaw University
Location: Raleigh, NC
Tuition Cost: $118,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$93,600
In 1865, Shaw University first opened its doors as the first historically-black university in the Southern United States. The school is even referred to as the “mother of African-American colleges”, which is beautiful. What’s not so beautiful is the outrageous price they charge their students for a rather disappointing return on investment, according to Payscale.
University: Paine College
Location: Augusta, GA
Tuition Cost: $97,500
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$94,700
This private Methodist college in Georgia didn’t need to show up on our list to know it’s been having some financial issues. In fact, it has already been to court with the threat of losing its regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This is pretty unbelievable considering the big tuition cost of almost $100,000. Not only is the college having some financial issues, but its graduation rate is only around 20%, which is a bad sign.
University: Rust College
Location: Holly Springs, MS
Tuition Cost: $63,400
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$97,100
Fortunately for the students at Rust College, this “relatively low” tuition covers classes, as well as room and board. Not only that, but the school is one of the only 10 historically-black colleges still in operation today. The 43% acceptance rate gives the college an even more prestigious feel. Unfortunately for these students, their return on investment will be astronomically low (much lower than their entire tuition cost).
University: Johnson University
Location: Kimberlin Heights, TN
Tuition Cost: $89,800
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$97,900
This tiny Christian University located in the backwoods of Tennessee is all about special treatment for their students, who are seen as royalty while they are at school. Unfortunately, none of them get to keep that crown on for long after they finish. The University has only a 56% graduation rate (and not necessarily within only 4 years), and the students come out with a big student loan and not much chance of paying it off quickly.
University: Cazenovia College
Location: Cazenovia, NY
Tuition Cost: $142,536
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$98,600
For students looking for a small and intimate school, Cazenovia definitely comes through. With only 915 students in the undergraduate program, you would think that everyone would have an almost personally-tailored education. However, the school has only a 40.9% graduation rate, which is less than half of the already tiny number. The enormous price tag doesn’t help either.
University: Benedict College
Location: Columbia, SC
Tuition Cost: $124,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$105,600
Just because a school is considered to be large and not located in some backwoods town, it doesn’t mean it’s worth the money. Benedict College is home to over 2,000 undergrads per year and is situated in the middle of a busy city. However, the school has an embarrassing graduation rate of only 22%, not even a quarter of the student body.
Montserrat College of Art
University: Montserrat College of Art
Location: Beverly, MA
Tuition Cost: $169,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$107,400
For students looking to pursue a career in art, Montserrat College of Art is a highly sought-after option. It is prestigious and has only around 400 students studying there at a time. However, most students find themselves drowning in an ocean of debt when they finish school (the 56% of them that even graduate) with no way to pay it all off.
Columbia International University
University: Columbia International University
Location: Columbia, SC
Tuition Cost: $133,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$115,700
Columbia International University was founded in 1923 and is a private (and very religious) Christian College and Seminary. Students who go here can look forward to paying the big bucks – around $133,000 for a full, four-year degree – for this religious schooling experience. Unfortunately, their ROI is a scary -$115,700, which hardly makes it worthwhile at all.
Claflin University – Orangeburg, South Carolina
University: Claflin University
Location: Orangeburg, SC
Tuition Cost: $128,000
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$133,900
Claflin University is a historically black university located in Orangeburg South Carolina. Although it made history by awarding diplomas to two of the first black women to graduate from college in the USA, the school has since gone downhill in terms of ROI. With only a 56% graduation rate, the school gives students a negative ROI that is almost equal to the tuition they pay to go there.