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Annual out-of-state cost
: 4-yr., 69%; 6-yr., 81%
Avg. debt at graduation
This small western New York honors college, located 35 miles south of Rochester, takes top honors for its combination of academic quality and affordability. The already-low annual cost for out-of-staters, $27,769, drops to $23,297 after need-based aid is applied.
As for academic quality, Geneseo makes a point of selecting smart students; its admission rate is a competitive 43%. Of the incoming freshmen class, 24% scored 700 or higher on the verbal portion of the SAT, and 20% scored 700 or higher on the math portion.
Geneseo's four-year graduation rate (69%) is one of the highest in Kiplinger's top 100 rankings. On their way to a diploma, students enjoy a rich academic and social life: The school offers 66 majors and minors in 23 academic departments, and it has more than 170 student-led organizations, contributing to a freshmen retention rate of 91%.
1. SUNY Geneseo