Nan-Cheng Tsai, Creative Commons
: Durham, N.C.
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Average annual need-based aid
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Located on nearly 9,000 acres in Durham, N.C. (hub of the famed Research Triangle Park), Duke
is one of the country's preeminent private research universities and one of the most affordable, thanks to generous financial aid (including merit scholarships averaging $24,323, awarded to a small slice of the student body). The seven-to-one student-faculty ratio means students have plenty of opportunity to interact with professors, who are also top researchers in their fields.
4. Duke University