These Colleges Don’t Make The Grade: Universities That Just Aren’t Worth The Tuition

Going to college is a huge milestone in your life. The time you spend here equips you with the tools to take on the world. However, where you choose to invest your money for four years is incredibly important.

There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to applying to colleges, like the cost, graduation rate, and return on investment. Here are some colleges in the U.S. that are just not worth the tuition cost.

Mississippi Valley State University

football players
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mississippi Valley State University is located in Itta Bena, Mississippi, and is a part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The university may not be known for its academics but has a great football team and marching band.

Many students from the university have also made it to the NFL Hall of Fame. However, when it comes to a return on investment for college, this college does not make the cut. The annual tuition at the university is $75,700 and the return on investment is $174,800.

Maine College Of Art

MCEGraduates walk down the staircase before Maine College of Art's commencement at the State Theatre
Derek Davis/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Derek Davis/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Students looking to get an art degree in the state of New England may choose to go to the Maine College of Art. It is one of the oldest schools in Maine and was founded in 1882. The school has become popular among budding artists and promises a top-notch education.

Despite its popularity, the numbers show that the college is not a great investment. The annual tuition at the Maine College of Art is $184,000 but the return of investment is only $163,600. This means students are actually losing money each year here.

Wheelock College

Wheelock College
The Boston Globe via Getty Images
The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Wheelock College is a private liberal arts school focused on educational studies that was founded in 1888. It originally went by the name Miss Wheelock’s Kindergarten Training School and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2018, the school merged with Boston University’s School of Education.

The school makes the list of colleges that are not worth the cost partly because of the incredibly low salaries teachers who graduate go on to earn. In addition to this, there is also a negative return on investment for students that attend the school. The tuition at the university is $201,000 while the ROI is only $140,700 over 20 years.

Springfield College

Springfield College
springfieldcollegestudentactivities/Facebook
springfieldcollegestudentactivities/Facebook

Springfield College is a private school founded in 1885 and located in Springfield, Massachusetts. The college is well known for its athletic programs, especially basketball. A Canadian-American graduate student named James Naismith invented the sport in 1891.

However, the school is not a worthy investment for many students given its low return on investment. A four-year program at Springfield College can cost $174,700 but the ROI over a period of 30 years is only $114,000.

Columbia International University

CIU
Lilamcvey/Twitter
Lilamcvey/Twitter

Columbia International University is a private Christian School (originally called Columbia Bible School) founded in 1923. The university has 620 undergraduate and 640 graduate students and is located in Columbia, South Carolina.

The university originally provided a two-year bible course but then converted to a college that provided a bachelor’s degree in Bible Studies. Unfortunately, for the tuition amount of $133,000, the return is only $115,700.

Florida Memorial University

FMU
4eversturdy/Twitter
4eversturdy/Twitter

Florida Memorial University, a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was founded in 1879. The school is located in Miami Gardens, Florida and has a total enrollment of 1800 students. The school is closely associated with the Baptist Church.

The college is known for giving back to the community and offers pre-college programs for students in the area. However, with four-year tuition at $109,000, the return on investment is only $64,000.

Shaw University

shaw entrance
TCampbell/Twitter
TCampbell/Twitter

Shaw University is a private school located in Raleigh, North Carolina, founded in 1865. Although the university doesn’t have the best academic programs, they are known for their basketball teams that won the CIAA championship. They also have 14 varsity teams.

However, this school is not considered to be a worthy investment for students because the tuition at Shaw University is $110,700 but the return on investment over 30 years is only $56,500. The ratio of tuition to the total investment is incredibly low.

Ozark Christian College

Ozark
Ozark Christian College Athletics/YouTube
Ozark Christian College Athletics/YouTube

Ozark Christian College is an evangelical institution founded in 1985 and located in Joplin, Missouri. The college focuses on educating students through the bible and provides the necessary vocational skills for Christian service.

The total cost to attend Ozark Christian College is $78,530 but the return on investment over a period of 30 years is only $76,200, which is lower than the cost of four-year tuition. This is not a wise investment for most students.

Talladega College

Talladega
darycus/Pinterest
darycus/Pinterest

Talladega College is located in the city of Talladega in Alabama. It was founded in 1867 and is part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Talladega College is known for its famous marching band called the Great Tornado.

However, they only have a 43 percent graduation rate. In addition to this, with four-year tuition at $88,200, the return on investment over a period of 20 years is only $156,900.

St. Andrews University

SAU campus
reitzisaac/Twitter
reitzisaac/Twitter

St. Andrews University is a subsidiary of Webber International University and is a private school located in Laurinburg, North Carolina. The university was founded in 1896 and has a total enrollment of 600 students.

The St. Andrews’ campus is incredibly picturesque with a beautiful lake in the middle. However, even with its stunning campus, the school is not worth the investment. With four-year tuition at $167,000, the ROI over 20 years is only $98,800.

Benedict College

Benedict College in Columbia, SC
Sean Rayford for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Sean Rayford for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Benedict College was founded in 1870 and is located in Columbia, South Carolina. There are a total of 2,247 students enrolled, so it’s a small school when you consider the city’s large population. This was once a teacher’s college before it became an institution for students as well.

Unfortunately, it only has a 22 percent graduation rate and in addition to this, with the total tuition at $124,000, the return on investment over 20 years is only $105,600.

Rust College

Rust College
rustcollegeadmissions/Instagram
rustcollegeadmissions/Instagram

Rust College is one of the oldest historically black colleges in the U.S., located in Holly Springs, Mississippi. The school was founded in 1866 and has a total enrollment of 700-900 students. With an acceptance rate of only 43 percent, the students here are joining a long-standing legacy.

Unfortunately, many students find themselves in debt at the end of four years. With four-year tuition at $63,400, the return on investment over 20 years is only $97,100.

Hilbert College

Hilbert campus
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Hilbert College is a private school located in Hamburg, New York. The school was founded in 1957 and earned its name from the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, Mother Collette Hilbert. The college was first opened to train teachers but today it is a liberal art college that has over 800 students.

With four-year tuition at $116,000, the return on investment over a 30 year period is only $89,100. Given this fact, this school is not the first choice for many students.

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University sign
fayettevillestateuniversity/Instagram
fayettevillestateuniversity/Instagram

Fayetteville State University is a historically black public school located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The school was founded in 1867 and is part of the University of North Carolina school system. There are nearly 6,000 students enrolled at the university.

The school is known for its liberal art programs and offers degrees in 43 areas. However, with four-year tuition at $113,400, the return on investment over a 30 year period is only $82,600.

Brewton-Parker College

Brewton-Parker College entrance
brewtonparker/Instagram
brewtonparker/Instagram

Brewton-Parker College is a small college located in the quaint town of Mount Vernon in Georgia. The school was founded in 1904 and is associated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. There are 1,119 students enrolled at the university which half the town’s population.

This school does not have the best payoff. The total tuition over four years is $113,000 but the return on investment over a 20 year period is only $92,200. The graduation rate at Brewton-Parker is only 17 percent.

Martin Luther College

Martin Luther College tower
martinluthercollege/Instagram
martinluthercollege/Instagram

Martin Luther College is a private liberal arts school located in New Ulm, Minnesota. It was founded in 1995 and has a total enrollment of 892 students. It’s affiliated with the Evangelical church. Martin Luther College is known for its sports programs, with one-third of the student population playing some kind of sport.

Students enrolled at the university are expected to live on campus for all four years which increases the tuition cost. The total tuition for four years is $93,300 but the investment in 20 years is only $123,200.

Lakeland College

Lakeland College students
laklelandcollege/Instagram
laklelandcollege/Instagram

Lakeland College is a private liberal arts school located in Plymouth, Wisconsin. The school was founded in 1862 and is affiliated with the United Church of Christ. There are 3,973 students enrolled at Lakeland College.

The university has branches all throughout the state of Wisconsin and also an international campus in Tokyo. The four-year tuition price at Lakeland College is $132,400, but the ROI over 30 years is only $51,300.

Stillman College

Stillman College
stillmancollege/Instagram
stillmancollege/Instagram

Stillman College is a private liberal art college located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was founded in 1876 and an enrollment of 615 students. The school offers degrees in 17 fields of study. There is a high teacher-to-student ratio given the low number of students.

However, the tuition for four years at Stillman College is $98,700 while the return on investment over 20 years is only $80,400. In addition to this, the graduation rate at the school is only 23 percent.

Miles College

miles
southerncompany/Twitter
southerncompany/Twitter

Miles College is a four-year liberal arts college located in Fairfield, Alabama. The school was founded in 1898 and is closely linked to the Methodist Episcopal Church. There are 1,500 students currently enrolled at the university.

The school is known for its marching band, the Purple Marching Machine, which has performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. However, the college has a low graduation rate at 17 percent. With college tuition at $90,200, the 20 year ROI is only $164,600.

The Art Institute Of Pittsburgh

Pinterest
Pinterest

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh was founded in 1921 and was a private art school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school was shut down in 2019 and before this, it was taken over by Dream Centre Education Holdings.

The school aimed to equip students with the necessary tools to shine in the field of art. With tuition at $155,000 for four years, the return on investment over a 30 year period was only $228,000.