The 30 Most Affordable Women's Colleges in the U.S.

Updated December 13, 2022

By Iris Stone There are thousands of colleges in the United States, and yet there are usually only a small number that are a good fit for any one student. That's because most students have strong preferences about a variety of factors related to their college experience, from campus size to the selection of majors ... is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Affordable Women's Colleges

There are thousands of colleges in the United States, and yet there are usually only a small number that are a good fit for any one student. That's because most students have strong preferences about a variety of factors related to their college experience, from campus size to the selection of majors offered. And they should! Where you go to school is an important decision, so it's worth it to be picky and take the time to make the right decision.

This ranking is for students who want to attend a women's college - and that doesn't necessarily mean just women! There are several women's universities in the United States that now admit men, although admittedly female students still make up a vast majority of the membership.

Women's colleges exist all over the country, and they span a wide range of religious affiliations, academic philosophies, and price ranges. If you're concerned about sticking to a budget while you pursue your studies, this list is for you.


We used College Navigator - a division of the National Center for Education Statistics - to populate a spreadsheet of all the single-sex, women-focused universities in the United States and then picked the 30 with the lowest net prices. In other words, the 30 colleges below feature a combination of affordable tuition rates, low fees, and supportive financial aid packages that distinguish them from all the other women's colleges in the country. And as an added plus, their academic offerings and campus resources cater to the needs of female students who desire a fun, secure, community-oriented environment.

#1 Mount Mary University Milwaukee, WI
#2 Ursuline College Pepper Pike, OH
#3 Trinity Washington University Washington, DC
#4 Brenau University Gainesville, GA
#5 Alverno College Milwaukee, WI
#6 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
#7 Salem College Winston-Salem, NC
#8 Cottey College Nevada, MO
#9 Wesleyan College Macon, GA
#10 Columbia College Columbia, MO

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  1. Mount Mary University

    Milwaukee, WI



    Mount Mary University earns the top spot on our ranking as the most affordable women's college in the United States. With a net price of less than $14k a year, you might think you'll have to sacrifice some perks to attend MMU. But on the contrary, Mount Mary has the same breadth and depth of academic programs on offer at other top schools, from Biology to Social Work. Certificate programs in such areas as Art Therapy, Fashion Design, and Theology can help you dive deeper into your favorite areas of study. Campus events are also very popular with students, such as the Starving Artists' Show, Weeks of Welcome, and numerous Blue Angel athletic games.

  2. Ursuline College

    Pepper Pike, OH



    Ursuline College was the very first college for women in the state of Ohio and takes a progressive approach to women's education - at UC, students feel empowered to use their vision, values, and voice to fuel their education. Between the school's four main colleges (Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Professional Studies, and Graduate Studies) you have your choice of more than two dozen majors, from Art History to Sport Management. Although founded as a women's college, Ursuline's undergraduate population is 9% male, and students of both genders can enjoy internships, student organizations, and competitive athletic teams.

  3. Trinity Washington University

    Washington, DC



    Trinity Washington University is steadfastly committed to both education and tradition, and uses both as a way to carve out a unique name for itself. Each year on campus TWU students participate in Class Colors and Class Days, which pair "sister classes" together and provide a framework for group activities throughout the year. In the tradition of keeping students mentally and physically fit, the school's Health and Wellness Center offers medical and counseling services for students, as well as workout facilities. Trinity is also one of the only schools in the nation to offer a Communications degree in Journalism and Media Studies.

  4. Brenau University

    Gainesville, GA



    When you think "complete college experience," what types of qualities run through your mind? Expanding your view of the world? Understanding the beauty in math and science? Perhaps developing your imagination and creativity? These focuses and more are the core tenets of Brenau University. At Brenau, the idea is that education is multi-dimensional and should not be limited to the classroom. For example, you could get course credit by studying abroad deep in the Yucatan forest, speaking the language, researching zoology, and moving closer to graduation all at the same time. And Brenau doesn't just cater to women in terms of enrollment - it also offers degree programs that support female-specific education. For example, the Leadership Certificate Program combines gender studies and leadership skills in a manner than can empower you in any career path you choose.

  5. Alverno College

    Milwaukee, WI



    Alverno College understands that when you enroll in college, you're not looking just for the end result - after all, a diploma is just that. Rather, Alverno supports students' desire to embrace all the challenges and memories that accompany a collegiate experience. Undergraduate programs are for women only and offer programs in Behavioral Science, Nursing, and many more areas. AC also offers online and evening courses for busy students and is adding new programs all the time - starting in the Fall of 2015, Communications will also be an option for undergrads. And campus living has limitless perks, including numerous student organizations and 46 acres of space to roam at your leisure.

  6. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

    Saint Mary of the Woods, IN



    Starting in 2015, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is officially coeducational, but the college has nonetheless remained true to its original credo: to develop empowered graduates who equally value intellect, spirituality, and ambition. Now both women and men can benefit from a program that will both challenge and stretch their imaginations, all while holding true to the traditions of Catholic faith. This liberal arts school offers more than 25 majors, several traditional celebrations throughout the year, as well as an on-campus church and ministry program. If this sounds inspirational to you, come out to The Woods to see if this school is right for you.

  7. Salem College

    Winston-Salem, NC



    The origins of Salem College trace back to 1766, when a branch of Presbyterians, the Moravians, settled the village of Salem. They opened a school for girls in 1772 with the premise that girls deserve the right to an education comparable to that given to men. These noble roots continue to fuel Salem's genuine commitment to women's education and support in the career world. One perfect example is the Salem Signature; this four-year program focuses on "self-exploration," giving you space to identify your own unique strengths and interests while making the most of your education at this cheap women's college.

  8. Cottey College

    Nevada, MO



    Many of today's best women's colleges also have coeducational programs; not Cottey College. One of Cottey's core tenets is that the entire campus is for women only. Cottey College stands by its approach to women, advocating distraction-free environments that eliminate competition and work toward true engagement and cooperation in the learning process. The sense of camaraderie and inclusiveness Cottey students feel also enables them to take on leadership roles when they would not have otherwise. Find your own niche in programs such as International Business, International Relations, or Environmental Studies. When you're not studying, the impeccable on-campus suites provide a comfortable a comfortable spot to relax and feel at home - even if you've traveled across the country to attend CC.

  9. Wesleyan College

    Macon, GA



    Wesleyan College was a pioneer in the field of women's education, and in fact was the first college in the world to open with the intent to grant degrees only to women. Today they continue to put women first in more ways than one, and their, "First for Women" philosophy makes them one of the top schools in the region - and also one of the most affordable women's colleges in Georgia. Women come from all over the world to study Early Childhood Education, Engineering, Neuroscience, and more, and every program employees 100% full-time faculty with terminal degrees. And if you're looking to fill time during the summer, join the summer camp staff and make money and have fun at the same time! (See: Best Value Schools STEM Scholarship for Women)

  10. Columbia College

    Columbia, MO



    The anthem of Columbia College is "You're On Your Way," and nothing illustrates this greater than the varied opportunities offered at this affordable women's college. Develop your inner leader within the Institute for Leadership & Professional Excellence by taking part in career coaching, job shadowing, or advising. But if these on-campus opportunities don't excite you, maybe study abroad is more your speed; you could practice your language skills in Europe; spend a semester in the nation's capital, or take a trip to Chicago with the model United Nations! Back on campus, there are plenty of other ways to get involved. Communications students in particular will enjoy working for the school newspaper, The Postscript, or the college's annual literary publication, The Criterion.

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Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.

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