These 10 Colleges Are the Biggest Waste of Tuition Money in the U.S.

These 10 Colleges Are the Biggest Waste of Tuition Money in the U.S.

Now that we know which colleges are the best to invest your time in — how about the worst?

The U.S. national student debt is now over $1 trillion, and many students are taking out loans for an education that might not benefit them in the long-run. Over 90% of students enrolled in two-year programs at for-profit institutions graduate with debt, as opposed to community colleges, where only 38% need to take out loans.

Out of over 1,300 institutions, the schools on this list had the lowest 20-year net returns in the country — making the strong argument that it might have been better not to attend them in the first place. And some majors had it even worse: those who majored in the arts, English, humanities, education and social work at the following schools had negative-value degrees:


Image Credit: The Atlantic

Without further ado, here are the 10 least valuable colleges, arranged by 20-year net value:

1. Shaw University (-$156,000)

Cost of a degree (2013): $116,300

Its value over 20 years: $-156,000

Annual return on investment: <-11.9%

Graduation rate: 26%

2. Fayetteville State ($-131,000 for out of state)

Cost of a degree (2013): $112,500

Its value over 20 years: $-131,000

Annual return on investment: <-11.9%

Graduation rate: 31%

3. Bluefield College ($-123,000)

Cost of a degree (2013): $162,700

Its value over 20 years: $-123,000

Annual return on investment: -6.7%

Graduation rate: 34%

4. Savannah State University ($-115,000 for out of state)

Cost of a degree (2013): $124,200

Its value over 20 years: $-115,000

Annual return on investment: -11.9%

Graduation rate: 32%

5. University of North Carolina at Asheville ($-94,000 for out of state)

Cost of a degree (2013): $129,900

Its value over 20 years: $-94,000

Annual return on investment: -6.1%

Graduation rate: 55%

6. Ashland University ($-91,600)

Cost of a degree (2013): $173,600

Its value over 20 years: $-91,600

Annual return on investment: -3.5%

Graduation rate: 61%

7. University of Montevallo ($-91,400 for out of state)

Cost of a degree (2013): $117,400

Its value over 20 years: $-91,400

Annual return on investment: -7.1%

Graduation rate: 47%

8. Maryland Institute College of Art ($-90,900)

Cost of a degree (2013): $205,200

Its value over 20 years: $-90,900

Annual return on investment: -2.7%

Graduation rate: 71%

9. Goshen College ($-87,500)

Cost of a degree (2013): $153,200

Its value over 20 years: $-87,500

Annual return on investment: -4.0%

Graduation rate: 71%

10. Meredith College ($-81,100)

Cost of a degree (2013): $154,800

Its value over 20 years: $-81,100

Annual return on investment: -3.5%

Graduation rate: 59%