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These colleges have the cheapest out-of-state tuition

Key Points
  • To avoid a significant student loan debt burden, more families are considering public schools because of the often cheaper tuition.
  • Of 100 schools nationwide, these institutions have the lowest out-of-state tuition, based on a new report from GoBankingRates.
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Why college is so expensive in America

With college costs soaring and student loan debt at a record high, more students and families are considering public schools simply because of the generally lower tuition.

At public, four-year institutions, average costs for the current school year, including room and board, were $21,370, according to the College Board, while tuition plus room and board at four-year private universities was more than double that: $48,510 on average.

Some public schools are far more affordable than others, particularly for those applying out of state. Personal finance site GOBankingRates ranked 100 public universities by out-of-state tuition costs, based on data from schools and U.S. News & World Report.

People assume a private school is better, but "these public schools are equally good and they have huge resources," said Andrew DePietro, the lead researcher and data analyst at GoBankingRates.

In addition, not only are the schools near the top of the list relatively less expensive, but most also have a high acceptance rate, making them particularly attainable for college-bound seniors.

Here are the public colleges that made the top 10:

University of South Florida (USF) signage on the college's campus in Tampa, Florida, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.
Phelan M. Ebenhack | Bloomberg | Getty Images

1. University of South Florida
Out-of-state tuition: $17,324
In-state tuition: $6,410
Average room and board: $11,610
Acceptance rate: 44%

Kent State University
Photo: Pacificboyksu | Wikipedia

2. Kent State University, Ohio
Out-of-state tuition: $18,714
In-state tuition: $10,012
Average room and board: $11,362
Acceptance rate: 88%

Students walk across campus between classes at the University of Wyoming, on April 30, 2018 in Laramie, Wyoming.
Melanie Stetson | Christian Science Monitor | Getty Images

3. University of Wyoming
Out-of-state tuition: $18,721
In-state tuition: $6,151
Average room and board: $10,437
Acceptance rate: 97%

Florida International University campus
Source: Comayagua99 | Wikipedia

4. Florida International University
Out-of-state tuition: $18,956
In-state tuition: $6,558
Average room and board: $10,882
Acceptance rate: 50%

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Source: DASonnenfeld | Wikipedia

5. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Out-of-state tuition: $19,025
In-state tuition: $9,115
Average room and board: $16,270
Acceptance rate: 52%

San Diego State University
Source: Wikipedia

6. San Diego State University
Out-of-state tuition: $19,368
In-state tuition: $7,488
Average room and board: $16,735
Acceptance rate: 35%

Montclair State University
Source: Adam Moss | Wikipedia

7. Montclair State University, New Jersey
Out-of-state tuition: $20,576
In state tuition: $12,788
Average room and board: $14,759
Acceptance rate: 71%

University of Central Florida campus.
Source: elisfkc | Wikipedia

8. University of Central Florida
Out-of-state tuition: $20,980
In-state tuition: $5,954
Average room and board: $10,010
Acceptance rate: 50%

Ohio University
Source: Agrimes | WIkipedia

9. Ohio University
Out-of-state tuition: $21,656
In-state tuition: $12,192
Average room and board: $12,966
Acceptance rate: 74%

Florida State University the Westcott Building Tallahassee USA.
Education Images | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

10. Florida State University
Out-of-state tuition: $21,683
In-state tuition: $6,516
Average room and board: $10,816
Acceptance rate: 33.7%

However, when it comes to college affordability, private schools should not be entirely ruled out.

In fact, some schools with sky-high prices also have very deep pockets for financial aid, which can bring the total cost way down. (Check out the top schools for financial aid.)

And then there are the colleges that offer the "best value," which also takes starting salaries into consideration.

More from Personal Finance:
Free college is now a reality in nearly 20 states
Here's how much you need to make to afford in-state tuition
Here's how US college costs stack up to the world

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It's not too late to get college aid

Key Points
  • To qualify for financial aid, students must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • The FAFSA season opened Oct. 1 for the 2019-2020 school year, but it's not too late for students who haven't filed.