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Best college in every state that costs less than $20,000 a year

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Michael Ansell | Getty Image

You don't have to sacrifice academic quality to get an affordable college education. In fact, you can find top-notch schools in every state that aren't exorbitantly priced.

To help, GOBankingRates has identified the top school in every state that costs less than $20,000 a year, based on U.S. News & World Report's rankings and college costs (tuition and fees).

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Alabama: Auburn University

Tuition and Fees: $10,968

If you live in Alabama and want to save money on college, you might want to consider this university. Founded in 1856, Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., has an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 30,000 and offers more than 140 majors. Annual in-state tuition and fees are well below $20,000, but room, board and other costs bring the total cost to more than $30,000.

Sitka, Alaska.
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Sitka, Alaska.

Alaska: University of Alaska — Fairbanks

Tuition and Fees: $7,520

With one of the lowest in-state tuition and fees on our list, students likely won't have to get too creative when paying for college. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks has seven campuses in Alaska and is America's northernmost Land, Sea and Space Grant institution.

Arizona: Arizona State University — Tempe

Tuition and Fees: $10,792

This Top 10-ranked research university has one of the largest undergraduate enrollments in the United States and offers more than 300 undergraduate academic programs. Plus, Arizona State's online undergraduate program is ranked as one of the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Plus, the cost to attend this school can be lower than the average cost of college in the state.

Arkansas: University of Arkansas

Tuition and Fees: $9,062

In-state tuition and fees at the University of Arkansas are lower than at the majority of universities on our list. Located in Fayetteville, the school has more than 27,000 undergraduate students and offers 85 undergraduate majors. The school also employs the highest-paid public employee in Arkansas.

The Graduate Hotel at the University of California at Berkeley.
Source: Graduate Hotels
The Graduate Hotel at the University of California at Berkeley.

California: University of California — Berkeley

Tuition and Fees: $14,218

With an admission rate of 18 percent, it's tough to get into this highly ranked public university, which is known for its liberal student activism. Plus, even though the university — which is commonly referred to as Cal — is one of the best colleges with tuition under $20,000, the cost of attending this school is higher than most on our list.

Colorado: University of Colorado — Boulder

Tuition and Fees: $12,086

CU Boulder, as it is called, prides itself on the research opportunities it offers. Aside from being one of the best value schools for its tuition under $20,000, it is known for its entrepreneurial business, aerospace engineering, physics and other science programs.

Connecticut: University of Connecticut

Tuition and Fees: $15,730

Although in-state tuition and fees are less than $20,000 at the University of Connecticut, it's one of the most expensive schools on our list. UConn is known for its NCAA Division I athletic teams, especially in basketball.

Delaware: University of Delaware

Tuition and Fees: $13,160

Located in Newark, Del., the University of Delaware has more than 23,000 students, is home to America's first study-abroad program and offers more than 100 such overseas programs. Even when you add in room and board, the total annual cost for in-state students at this public university is less than $26,000.

Florida: University of Florida

Tuition and Fees: $6,380

The University of Florida has the second-lowest in-state tuition and fees among the best colleges under $20,000 a year. More than half of the students who graduate from one of Florida's oldest schools have no student-loan debt. In fact, when you look at the average student loan debt by state, Florida ranks among the states with the lowest amount.

Today more than 6,300 students are enrolled at Georgia Tech to earn an online masters of science in computer science degree, with nearly 500 of them from AT&T.
Today more than 6,300 students are enrolled at Georgia Tech to earn an online masters of science in computer science degree, with nearly 500 of them from AT&T.

Georgia: Georgia Tech

Tuition and Fees: $12,618

Located in Atlanta, Georgia Tech is known for its highly ranked engineering school, and its athletic teams compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Even with room and board, the total annual in-state costs make it one of the best colleges under $30,000 per year.

Hawaii: University of Hawaii — Manoa

Tuition and Fees: $10,872

Located in Honolulu, the University of Hawaii at Manoa is the flagship campus of this state system of campuses. It's known for its programs in tropical agriculture, tropical medicine and oceanography, to name a few.

Idaho: University of Idaho

Tuition and Fees: $7,488

The University of Idaho has the sixth-lowest in-state tuition and fees on our list. When you add in room and board, the total cost of this public university in Moscow, Idaho, is just over $20,000 — at $21,300 a year.

Illinois: University of Illinois — Urbana-Champaign

Tuition and Fees: $16,004

With more than 32,000 undergraduate students, this large university is one of the more expensive schools on our list. Still, the University of Illinois is about one-third of the cost of the most expensive college in the state.

Indiana: Purdue University — West Lafayette

Tuition and Fees: $9,992

Tuition and fees at Purdue are lower than more than half of the schools on our list. Purdue is known for its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Its athletic teams, the Boilermakers, compete in the Big Ten Conference.

Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories at the University of Iowa.
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Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories at the University of Iowa.

Iowa: University of Iowa

Tuition and Fees: $9,190

The University of Iowa has the 15th-lowest tuition and fees among the best colleges under $20,000 a year. In fact, when you add housing and meals, the total annual cost is still below $20,000 for in-state students.

Kansas: University of Kansas

Tuition and Fees: $11,020

The University of Kansas in Lawrence is the main campus in this state school's system of five campuses and more than 370 degree programs. More than 28,000 students attend KU, which has won five national basketball championships.

Kentucky: University of Kentucky

Tuition and Fees: $11,772

In-state tuition and fees at the University of Kentucky are well below $20,000. Even non-residents pay less than $30,000 a year at this school, which has more than 22,000 undergraduate students and over 200 academic programs.

Louisiana: Louisiana State University — Baton Rouge

Tuition and Fees: $11,318

With housing and meals, the total annual cost for in-state students at LSU is about $20,000. The majority of students graduate from this school in Baton Rouge with no debt.

Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Alan Copson | Getty Images
Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Maine.

Maine: University of Maine

Tuition and Fees: $10,902

The University of Maine has more than 9,000 undergraduate students and 90 undergraduate majors. It is the state's only public research university and has the lone NCAA Division I athletics program in the state.

Maryland: University of Maryland — College Park

Tuition and Fees: $10,180

In-state tuition and fees at the University of Maryland are well below $20,000. But out-of-state residents pay more than $30,000. The school offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, and its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, three Emmy Award winners, two Tony Award winners and two recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.

Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts — Amherst

Tuition and Fees: $15,787

UMass has the fifth-highest tuition and fees on our list. When you add room and board, the total annual cost for in-state students is nearly $29,000 at this school, which has more than 23,000 undergraduates and 112 undergraduate degree programs.

Michigan: University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

Tuition and Fees: $14,826

The University of Michigan is a much better value for residents because in-state tuition and fees are about one-third the cost of tuition and fees for non-residents — about $47,000. This selective school admits only 29 percent of students who apply, according to U.S. News & World Report.

A bike rider on a fatbike going up a frozen waterfall in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Per Breiehagen | Getty Images
A bike rider on a fatbike going up a frozen waterfall in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minnesota: University of Minnesota — Twin Cities

Tuition and Fees: $14,488

In-state tuition and fees at the University of Minnesota are about half the cost of tuition for non-residents. However, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Manitoba residents pay the same as in-state residents at this school with more than 31,000 students.

Mississippi: University of Mississippi

Tuition and Fees: $8,290

The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, has the ninth-lowest tuition and fees on our list of the best colleges under $20,000. It is Mississippi's largest university, with more than 24,000 students.

Missouri: University of Missouri

Tuition and Fees: $11,258

Although tuition at Mizzou, as it's called, is well below $20,000, the total cost with room and board for in-state students is nearly $27,000. It was the first public university west of the Mississippi River and has more than 30,000 students.

Montana: Montana State University

Tuition and Fees: $7,150

Montana State University has the fifth-lowest in-state tuition and fees on our list. Even with room and board, the total annual cost is just $17,750.

Nebraska: University of Nebraska — Lincoln

Tuition and Fees: $9,242

The cost of tuition and fees at the University of Nebraska is lower than tuition and fees at a majority of schools on our list. This member of the Big Ten Conference has more than 20,000 undergraduate students and about 150 majors.

Nevada: University of Nevada — Reno

Tuition and Fees: $7,599

Tuition and fees at the University of Nevada, Reno, are the eighth lowest on our list. It is Nevada's first public university, has more than 18,000 undergraduate students and attracts a number of students interested in earthquake research.

University of New Hampshire
drocpsu | Flickr
University of New Hampshire

New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire

Tuition and Fees: $18,067

The University of New Hampshire has the second-highest tuition and fees on our list. However, the total cost, including room and board, for in-state students still comes in under $30,000 at this school in Durham, N.H., which has more than 13,000 undergraduates.

New Jersey: Rutgers University — New Brunswick

Tuition and Fees: $14,970

Although Rutgers is one of the best colleges under $20,000, its tuition and fees are among the 10 highest on our list. It is the eighth-oldest higher-education institution in the United States and has more than 49,500 undergraduate students at its three campuses.

New Mexico: University of New Mexico

Tuition and Fees:$7,146

The University of New Mexico's in-state tuition and fees are the fourth lowest on our list. However, when you factor in books, room and board, the total cost for a full academic year is nearly $22,000 at New Mexico's flagship university, in Albuquerque.

New York: Binghamton University — SUNY

Tuition and Fees: $9,808

Once a branch of Syracuse University, the State University of New York at Binghamton has nearly 14,000 undergraduate students. Tuition and fees are lower at Binghamton University than at more than half of the schools on our list.

North Carolina: University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill

Tuition and Fees: $8,910

The University of North Carolina is No. 9 in U.S. News & World Report's ranking of best value schools for its high academic quality at a low cost. UNC has more than 18,000 undergraduate students and an acceptance rate of only 27 percent.

North Dakota: University of North Dakota

Tuition and Fees: $8,447

Tuition and fees at North Dakota's oldest and largest university are among the 10 lowest on our list. Plus, residents from most states in the West and Midwest pay about $12,000 in tuition and fees compared with other non-residents, who must pay about $20,000.

Ohio State University.
Denis Jr. Tangney | E+ | Getty Images
Ohio State University.

Ohio: Ohio State University — Columbus

Tuition and Fees: $10,591

The cost of tuition and fees is lower at Ohio State than at about half of the schools on our list. This large school, with nearly 46,000 undergraduate students, has more than 200 majors and is known for its athletic teams, which compete in the Big Ten Conference.

Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma

Tuition and Fees: $11,285

Located in Norman, the University of Oklahoma has nearly 22,000 undergraduate students and 170 majors. Although less than $20,000, the school's in-state tuition and fees are higher than at half of the universities on our list.

Oregon: Oregon State University

Tuition and Fees: $10,797

Oregon State University has nearly 32,000 students and more than 200 academic programs — including forestry, oceanography, robotics and marine biology. When you factor in room and board, the in-state cost of attending Oregon State is about $27,000.

Pennsylvania: Temple University

Tuition and Fees: $15,768

Temple University has the sixth-highest tuition and fees on our list, but it's still a value for less than $20,000. Located in Philadelphia, Temple has eight campuses and more than 38,000 students. Philadelphia also is one of the best cities to score your dream job, another GOBankingRates study has found.

Rhode Island: University of Rhode Island

Tuition and Fees:$13,792

Although more expensive than a majority of schools on our list, the University of Rhode Island still has tuition and fees below $20,000, and the school's total cost with room and board for in-state students is below $27,000. Nearly 15,000 undergraduates attend this school in Kingston.

South Carolina: Clemson University

Tuition and Fees: $14,712

Clemson University's tuition and fees are among the top 10 highest on our list of best schools under $20,000. This science- and engineering-oriented university has more than 18,000 undergraduate students.

South Dakota: South Dakota State University

Tuition and Fees: $8,460

South Dakota State University's tuition and fees are the 11th lowest on our list. Even the total annual cost with books, room and board for both in-state and non-resident students is below $20,000.

People in Market Square on market day in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Csfotoimages | Getty Images
People in Market Square on market day in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Tennessee: University of Tennessee

Tuition and Fees: $12,970

Although in-state tuition and fees at the University of Tennessee are well below $20,000, non-resident students pay more than $31,000. Located in Knoxville, Tennessee's flagship university has more than 22,000 undergraduate students.

Texas: University of Texas — Austin

Tuition and Fees: $9,914

This large school has more than 40,000 undergraduate students, 18 colleges and schools within the university, and more than 170 fields of study. Tuition and fees at UT-Austin are lower than at more than half of the schools on our list.

Utah: Brigham Young University — Provo

Tuition and Fees: $5,620 to $11,240

Founded by the Mormon church, this private school has an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 31,000. It charges tuition of $5,620 for members of Latter-day Saints church and $11,240 for non-LDS students.

Vermont: University of Vermont

Tuition and Fees: $18,276

The University of Vermont has the highest tuition and fees of any school on our list but still comes in under $20,000. The school's more than 10,500 undergraduate students can choose from over 100 majors.

University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia
Win McNamee | Getty Images
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia

Virginia: University of Virginia

Tuition and Fees: $16,076

The University of Virginia has the third-highest tuition and fees on our list of the best schools under $20,000. Founded by Thomas Jefferson, UVA has an acceptance rate of just 30 percent.

Washington: University of Washington

Tuition and Fees: $10,974

Total in-state costs with room and board come in below $20,000 at the University of Washington. The school has three campuses — its main campus is in Seattle — and is known as a top research institution.

West Virginia: West Virginia University

Tuition and Fees: $8,976

West Virginia University's tuition and fees are the 13th lowest on our list. Located in Morgantown, the school offers 123 majors, and residents of Ohio and Washington, D.C., also might qualify for reduced tuition.

Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin — Madison

Tuition and Fees: $10,534

Tuition and fees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are lower than at more than half of the schools on our list. It has nearly 30,000 undergraduate students, and its athletic teams compete in the Big Ten Conference.

Wyoming: University of Wyoming

Tuition and Fees: $5,218

The University of Wyoming has the lowest in-state tuition and fees of any school on our list. Even with books, supplies and room and board, the estimated yearly cost of $15,186 still comes in below $20,000 at Wyoming's only four-year public university.

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This article originally appears on GOBankingRates.com