20 Best Deals on Colleges for Dreamers

By GCD Staff
Published February 2016

In developing this ranking, we examined 432 competitive small colleges in the United States offering degrees that are ideal for dreamers -- Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources and Conservation, Social Sciences, and Business/Management/Marketing. From among these colleges and majors, we selected the ones where you may be able to get the best deal when comparing total expenses (sticker price) to the average net price as reported by the institution on College Navigator. The 20 colleges that cover the greatest percentage between total expenses and net price made the final cut, and are ranked here accordingly.

#20 - Lipscomb University -- Nashville, TN

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Total Expenses: $42,240
Net Price: $23,176
Percent Covered: 55%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Science, Business/Management/Marketing

Lipscomb University has a student body of nearly 5,000 and is situated in the Green Hills area of Nashville, Tennessee. Being a college for dreamers, Lipscomb has 117 different options in undergraduate studies, several pre-professional programs, 21 graduate certificate programs, and four dual master’s degrees. With a ranking of #18 on the Regional Universities-South category in the U.S. News and World Report’s “Americas Best Colleges 2016,” Lipscomb strives to cultivate young dreamers with professional skills for our economy.

#19 - Wilson College -- Chambersburg, PA

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Total Expenses: $37,380
Net Price: $20,955
Percent Covered: 56%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing.

Founded in 1869, Wilson is a small college with an acceptance rate of 52%. Dreamers will love Wilson's Chambersburg location. Stroll the grounds of the 300-acre historic campus along the Conococheague Creek, or take advantage of great facilities like the swimming pool, dance studio, fitness center, tennis court, and gymnasium. Notable Wilson alumni include U.S. Representative Margaret Smith, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and musician Lilli Krause.

#18 - La Sierra University -- Riverside, CA

Website

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Total Expenses: $42,720
Net Price: $24,027
Percent Covered: 56%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1922, La Sierra University of California has a diverse student body of dreamers. Situated on a 150-acre campus in Southern California, the school offers more than 120 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The fact that U.S. News & World Report has ranked La Sierra the most diverse university in the Western United States for the last five years means that dreamers will find ample opportunity to learn from other cultures and worldviews. This award also recognized the student body for providing almost 45,000 hours of service to international economic development and community projects.

#17 - University of the Pacific -- Stockton, CA

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Total Expenses: $58,829
Net Price: $33,141
Percent Covered: 56%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing
Located in Stockton, California (main campus), the University of the Pacific is nationally recognized for preparing their student body of dreamers for personal and professional success. With small classes and a diverse cultural environment, this university prepares leaders through community service and intensive academic study in more than 80 majors and programs. With a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, and an average class size of 19, personal attention can be given to ensure that every student understands the course material.

#16 - Pacific Union College -- Angwin, CA

Website

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Total Expenses: $40,521
Net Price: $22,738
Percent Covered: 56%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Business/Management/Marketing

Pacific Union College has a strong reputation for its body of students who have dreamed big since 1882. Situated in the heart of California’s Napa Valley, this college offers a fully accredited four-year degree program that develops personal integrity as well as academic excellence. Pacific Union has been ranked as a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News & World Report since 2009, and was previously ranked in the top tier of Western Regional Colleges for 17 consecutive years. In addition, Pacific Union offers over 70 degrees and programs, including associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees.

#15 - Hardin-Simmons University -- Abilene, TX

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Total Expenses: $33,886
Net Price: $18,900
Percent Covered: 56%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Located in Abilene, Texas, Hardin-Simmons University has provided excellence and integrity in education for its students since 1891. Situated on 96 acres, with the total property encompassing 200 acres, 33 major buildings, eight classroom buildings, six residence halls, and two apartment complexes, Hardin-Simmons University is committed to helping dreamers grow into professional and contributing adults. As a member of 15 different organizations, and boasting more than 50 student clubs and organizations and 18 varsity sports, Hardin aims to grow students intellectually, socially, spiritually, and athletically.

#14 -Averett University -- Danville, VA

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Total Expenses: $40,920
Net Price: $23,414
Percent Covered: 57%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1859, Averett University serves as a catalyst for change by educating students from various backgrounds, cultures, and nations. Situated near the border of North Carolina in Danville, this lively city is on the banks of the Dan River. Being a university of dreamers, with a 12:1 undergraduate student to professor ratio, Averett University ensures that each and every student has personal attention during class. With a student body from 27 states and 13 different countries, and a Study Abroad program, students have the chance to gain first-hand interaction among world cultures.

#13 - Carroll College -- Helena, MT

Website

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Total Expenses: $42,430
Net Price: $24,431
Percent Covered: 58%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Established in 1909, Carroll College is a private institution situated at an elevation of 4,000 ft. in Helena, Montana. Carroll is ranked #1 in the 2016 Regional Colleges West, #1 in the 2016 Regional Colleges West Best Value Schools, and #1 in the 2016 Best Regional College in the West for Veterans (U.S. News & World Report), making it a great choice for dreamers. In addition, the professors at Carroll are dreamers themselves and leaders in their fields, and have won awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities / National Endowment for the Arts.

#12 - Anderson University -- Anderson, IN

Website

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Total Expenses: $40,100
Net Price: $23,229
Percent Covered: 58%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1917, Anderson University has a student body of about 2,300 dreamers. Offering over 60 majors, 130 groups/activities/organizations on campus, and 16 sports competing in NCAA Division III, this university aims to cultivate the minds, bodies, and social lives of all its students. Anderson University's intramural program was named one of the 25 best in the country by BestColleges.com. Valuing integrity, excellence, leadership, responsibility, and generosity, this university equips dreamers with a professional skillset and mentality.

#11 - Florida Memorial University -- Miami Gardens, FL

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Total Expenses: $26,588
Net Price: $15,970
Percent Covered: 60%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1879, with a 33% acceptance rate, Florida Memorial University is a highly selective university that aims to cultivate the character of its students. Being accredited by six organizations, and a member/affiliate of 30 professional organizations (including UNCF, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Collegiate Business Schools & Programs), this university aims to provide a solid foundation for young adults who have big dreams, all while instilling the importance of continuing life-long learning and developing leadership skills.

#10 - Texas Wesleyan University -- Fort Worth, TX

Website

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Total Expenses: $36,964
Net Price: $23,044
Percent Covered: 62%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1890 and accredited by 7 organizations (SACSCOC, AACSB, COA, CAATE, NASM, and more), Texas Wesleyan is one of the top universities in the U.S. for intellectual dreamers. An average class size of 15 students and a student/faculty ratio of 16:1 promotes individualized attention. With 24 clubs and organizations, 4 residence halls, 2 on-campus dining options, and a fitness center, Texas Wesleyan cultivates the minds and health of its students.

#9 - Andrews University -- Berrien Springs, MI

Website

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Total Expenses: $36,758
Net Price: $23,620
Percent Covered: 64%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Andrews University (founded 1874) is a selective university with 130 undergraduate program options and 63 majors cultivating professional and ethical skills for our growing economy. Andrews University develops leadership qualities and skills in each of its students so that they can develop the drive to complete a project, establish a goal, and maintain vital partnerships and relationships. Students have the chance to expand their horizons by studying abroad in Asia and various parts of Europe.

#8 - Hampton University -- Hampton, VA

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Total Expenses: $35,352
Net Price: $22,529
Percent Covered: 64%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1868, Hampton University enrols 4,300 students with an acceptance rate of 36%. The school is a tightly knit community representing 49 states and 35 different territories and nations. Situated on the banks of the Virginia Peninsula near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton is ideal for dreamers who seek new and different life experiences. With attractions such as Fort Monroe, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virgin Air and Space Center, this campus encourages students to grow outside of academics.

#7 - The Lincoln University -- Oxford, PA

Website

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Total Expenses: $22,498
Net Price: $14,694
Percent Covered: 65%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1854 and boasting a 31% acceptance rate, Lincoln University is a private college with about 1,800 students. Situated near the town of Oxford in southern Chester Country, PA, this university is ideal for dreamers because it combines the elements of a liberal arts and sciences-based undergraduate curriculum with graduate programs for our highly technological and global society. Lincoln has cultivated dreamers and leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Langston Hughes, and many more.

#6 - Walla Walla University -- College Place, WA

Website

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Total Expenses: $36,507
Net Price: $23,766
Percent Covered: 65%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Walla Walla University was founded in 1892 and currently has about 2,000 enrolled students. Its strong athletic programs grow healthy students at home, while study abroad experiences encourage exploratory learning in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, and the Ukraine. Dedicated to excellence of thought, generosity in service, and beauty in expression, Walla Walla has the resources to mold young dreamers into professionals.

#5 - Samford University -- Birmingham, AL

Website

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Total Expenses: $42,270
Net Price: $27,306
Percent Covered: 65%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1841, Samford University provides a quality education for dreamers by emphasizing intelligence, faith, virtue, and benevolence. Samford has a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, 5,200 enrolled students, and 32 graduate and undergraduate programs. Ranked #4 in the South among the Regional Universities listing of U.S. News & World Report, the University has a 94% student hiring or graduate school entry rate within 6 months of graduation.

#4 - Frostburg State University -- Frostburg, MD

Website

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Total Expenses: $19,682
Net Price: $12,952
Percent Covered: 66%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1898, Frostburg State is a small university with approximately 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It’s earned the “Tree Campus USA” status, and has been listed as a “Cool School” for environmental awareness by Sierra Magazine. G.I. Jobs has also included Frostburg State on its list of military friendly schools for four straight years. In addition to that, 89% of all classes have fewer than 30 students, making individualized attention accessible for all students. Ideal for dreamers, this university prepares its students for the professional world.

#3 - Shaw University -- Raleigh, NC

Website

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Total Expenses: $29,378
Net Price: $19,342
Percent Covered: 66%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1865, Shaw University is a private institution situated in Raleigh, North Carolina. The school aims to advance knowledge, facilitate achievement, and enhance the ethical values of its students. Offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, Shaw has more than 2,100 students and a 15:1 student/teacher ratio. Students are taught to dream big, and some alumni are now recording artists, pastors, college presidents, lawyers, and judges.

#2 - Dallas Baptist University -- Dallas, TX

Website

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Total Expenses: $35,722
Net Price: $23,796
Percent Covered: 67%
Majors for Dreamers: Theology, Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Dallas Baptist University sits atop 292 acres in the hills of Southwest Dallas overlooking Mountain Creek Lake. The student/teacher ratio of 13:1 and the 125 full-time faculty members make personalized attention a priority among the school's 5,300 students. With 72 undergraduate programs, 27 master's programs, 57 dual master's degree programs, 2 doctoral programs, and 38 accelerated bachelor's and master's degree programs, dreamers looking for a great diversity of academic offerings should give Dallas Baptist a close look.

#1 - Flagler College -- St. Augustine, FL

Website

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Total Expenses: $29,780
Net Price: $21,914
Percent Covered: 74%
Majors for Dreamers: Philosophy, Education, Parks/Recreation/Leisure/Fitness, Natural Resources & Conservation, Social Sciences, Business/Management/Marketing

Founded in 1968, Flagler College is situated in the nation’s oldest city. With its Spanish architecture and small classes held out on the lawn, this college is a great choice for dreamers. Flagler offers 29 majors and 34 minors that combine academic study with community-integrated projects. The College is ranked #6 among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Colleges in the South and #7 among its Best Value Schools.