10 Colleges That Simply Aren’t Worth The Tuition Costs

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 

Saint Augustine’s University campus
UNCF

University: Saint Augustine’s University 
Location: Raleigh, NC
Tuition Cost: $129,000 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$77,700

Saint Augustine’s University students at a football game
Walter

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). 

Stillman College

Stillman College sign on campus
Pinterest

University: Stillman College
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Tuition Cost: $98,700 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$80,400

Stillman marching band
Black Past

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. 

Unity College

Unity College front of campus
Maine Public

University: Unity College
Location: Unity, ME
Tuition Cost: $151,000 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$82,100

Unity athletes posing for picture
Twitter

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.

Wilson College

Front gate of Wilson College
Wilson.edu

University: Wilson College
Location:  Chambersburg, PA
Tuition Cost: $156,000 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$86,700

Wilson soccer player
Wilson College

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

Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA, was built in 1836 and is the oldest college in Southwest Virginia.
Livability

University: Emory & Henry College
Location:  Emory, VA
Tuition Cost: $179,000 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$91,300

Football players in a huddle
ehc.edu

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. 

Brewton-Parker College

Front arch of Brewton-Parker College
Sports Management Degrees

University: Brewton-Parker College
Location:  Mount Vernon, GA
Tuition Cost: $113,000 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$92,200

Brewton-Parker tennis players kneeling for picture
BPC Athletics

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. 

Shaw University

Front of Shaw University
The Progressive Pulse

University: Shaw University 
Location: Raleigh, NC
Tuition Cost: $118,000 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$93,600

Shaw students posing
Digarc

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. 

Paine College

Front gate of Paine College
US News

University: Paine College 
Location: Augusta, GA
Tuition Cost: $97,500 
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$94,700

Paine students posing for a picture on campus
US News

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. 

Rust College 

Outfront of Rust College
Black Past

University: Rust College 
Location: Holly Springs, MS
Tuition Cost: $63,400
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$97,100 

Rust baseball players
UNCF

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). 

Johnson University

Johnson U students sitting on the front sign
CCC Missions

University: Johnson University
Location: Kimberlin Heights, TN
Tuition Cost: $89,800
Payscale’s Return on Investment: -$97,900 

Zoomed out picture of Johnson U
Johnsonu.edu

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. 

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