10 Cheap Colleges with Great Campus Life

Cheap Colleges with Great Campus Life - featured image

Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson, MS.Ed. | Reading Level: Grade 8 | First covered: December 2023

Some people claim that nothing compares to high school. Others would argue that college life is the most critical stage in someone’s life. After all, these are the years when a person:

  • Becomes mature
  • Develops life skills
  • Widens knowledge
  • Builds character
  • Prepares for the future

Academics and studying are significant parts of college life. However, a good college experience can be achieved through having a great campus life. This is the icing on the cake that allows a college student to become a more effective learner. 

Featured Programs

Cheap Colleges with Great Campus Life - fact

Finding which cheap and affordable colleges offer a great campus life is important. It can ensure that students develop both academic and life skills. Tuition numbers were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator. In-state undergraduate tuition and fees are listed

Cheap Colleges with Great Campus Life

#1. Indiana University

Bloomington, Indiana

Tuition and Fees: $11,447

IU Bloomington provides one of the largest and most conventional campus life. There is a vast array of academic and extracurricular options. They also offer a traditional campus life,

Name whatever facility and amenities college students want, IUB has them on offer! This includes:

  • Movie theaters
  • Bowling areas
  • Study spaces
  • Dining options
  • A plethora of activities to enjoy

The laid-back, welcoming city of Bloomington celebrates its status as a college town. It offers:

  • Miles of picturesque open space
  • A diversified dining scene
  • A walkable downtown
  • A thriving arts and cultural scene 

Outside of school, the laid-back, welcoming city of Bloomington celebrates its status as a college town, offering miles of picturesque open space, a diversified dining scene, a walkable downtown, and a thriving arts and cultural scene. 

#2. Shepherd University

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Tuition: $8,282

College students can feel at home when they choose to study at Shepherd University. No one will ever get bored. There is much to do, knowledge to gain, and connections that last a lifetime to form.

A supportive team assists and mentors you as you adjust to college life. The resident halls are an essential component of the Ram community and much more than just a place to live. Meal plans are:

  • practical
  • adaptable
  • abundant in choices

Meal plans provide several eateries with various menus and options across campus.

Shepherd University Student Center offers many services, events, and vibrant facilities. It is a place where everybody can come together to share experiences and discuss a wide range of topics.

#3. University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

Tuition and Fees: $8,396

You can join some of their amazing student organizations at the University of Idaho. You can take advantage of their opportunities to develop and learn. You have many chances to make lifelong connections that will define who you are as a person. It can empower you for a lifetime.

Moscow mandates that all first-year students live on campus. It has been shown that residing on campus increases student success. There are:

  • residence halls
  • fraternity and sorority facilities
  • other wonderful living options

These are all part of their lovely residential campus and satisfy your first-year live-on requirement.

#4. Michigan Technological University

Houghton County, Michigan

Tuition and Fees: $17,614

If you love being active, you will enjoy campus life at Michigan Technological University.  By joining one of Michigan Tech’s more than 240 student clubs, you can:

  • become involved
  • have fun,
  • even get to lead others

There are events, sports, and activities that can entice you to become more active in life outside the classroom. Consider:

  • joining the Outdoor Adventure Program
  • the Portage Lake Golf Course
  • skiing

jThey also have trekking activities, mountain biking, and other outdoor sports for those who love to make the most of their campus life. 

#5. Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Tuition and Fees: $64,100

Students at Amherst have many options to enhance their studies with extracurricular activities. In one week, a student might:

  • Attend an anthropology guest lecture
  • Train in karate
  • Sing an a cappella performance
  • Discover other hidden talents and skills they have

Discover the facets of Amherst’s social scene and decide which interests you most. 

Accommodation is provided for each of the four years of study for 97% of the students! On the Main Quad, first-year students live in brand-new or refurbished apartments. A vital component of flourishing at Amherst is everyone’s safety and well-being. They also have devoted employees and extensive health support services.

#6. Fort Lewis College

Durango, Colorado

Tuition: $9,212

There is space at Fort Lewis College for you whether you find your self-expression and feeling of community in places like:

  • Social organizations
  • Movement
  • Culture
  • Sustainability
  • Volunteering

With over 60 student-run organizations and their Diversity programming, you may find your flock or start your own! You can:

  • Become a member of the FLC Cycling team
  • Enroll in intramural sports
  • Become a student government representative
  • Work with the Environmental Center
  • Host music on their campus radio station

As a Skyhawk, you’ll have several chances to pursue your passions and broaden your horizons.

#7. College of William and Mary

Williamsburg Virginia

Tuition and Fees: $25,040

Another affordable college with amazing campus life is the College of William and Mary. William & Mary’s campus life is just as interesting and diverse as the amazing students who attend. If you can check the members of their community, you’ll find diverse people from all walks of life. There are:

  • Scholars
  • Campers
  • Adventurers
  • Artists
  • Trekkers
  • Singers
  • Artists
  • Activists

The College of William and Mary finds many things for them to be involved in. 

Every aspect of William & Mary University works in unison to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. As you stroll about campus, you can see:

  • a love of study
  • tradition
  • an endless flow of ideas and passions

With thousands of hours dedicated to community service and studying abroad, their students make W&M the nation’s top public university for studying abroad. They also have an active athletics life, so this is among the best colleges for athletes.

#8. Montana State University

Bozeman, Montana

Tuition: $7,727

Montana State University elevates the experience for college students who want to live in dorms on campus. You will make friends for life and be at the heart of campus life in the residence halls. Academic achievement must be the main emphasis of your college experience. You’ll need more than courses and studying to make the next four or so years of your life unforgettable. 

All MSU community members can access outdoor recreation options in the MSU Outdoor Recreation Program. They offer games, toys, and even floor seating to help students destress after the pressures of college life. 

#9. Colorado Mountain College

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Tuition: $4,980

Even if college life at Colorado Mountain College is busy, you’ll be tempted to make the most of your campus life. Get busy being social with others. Along the street, you’ll run with folks from all over the world. Stimulating new ideas and energy are:

  • Clubs
  • activities
  • coffee mornings

Watch the calendar on the website for your college if you want to become engaged. You can also opt to live on campus and enjoy the environment and feel of the residence halls. 

Aside from the college community, there are plenty of interesting things to do off campus. There are many fascinating individuals with vibrant businesses in their mountain villages. Some have founded businesses that provide outdoor gear, while others produce new media for national customers or promote sustainability both locally and globally. Numerous community connections at Colorado Mountain College improve both your life and education.

#10. Western Colorado University

Gunnison, Colorado

Tuition: $10,813

The Western Colorado University campus has amazing facilities and living halls. They are intended to be friendly, encouraging places where students may grow. 

WCU makes students their top priority. It has established welcoming, secure living spaces for academic and personal development. Using a curricular approach, they develop accountability and capability. They actively involve Western’s diverse community members. Their cutting-edge facilities encourage your active lifestyle, whether you want to:

  • Work out
  • Enjoy outdoor activities
  • Get competitive on the field

There are too many things to explore in Western Colorado University’s campus life, so always stay tuned for adventure.

The Value of Campus Life

It’s important to understand the value of campus life. Why does it matter? Why do many students and parents check this factor when considering what universities or colleges to enroll in? Here are some reasons why campus life makes college better:

Enjoy the extracurricular activities.

Campus life involves a lot of time and life outside the classroom. The importance of extra-curricular activities is unmatched. Numerous extracurricular activities are offered at colleges and universities. This includes:

  • Volunteering
  • Working at the college newspaper
  • Being involved in art projects
  • Joining clubs and organizations

Living on campus makes you more likely to be proactive in these activities. 

Participating in extra-curricular activities gives you access to additional resources, including:

  • Laboratories
  • Libraries
  • Sports stadiums
  • Fitness centers

By taking advantage of these available student services and resources, you can increase your college experience and boost campus life.

Experience integrative learning.

Learning takes place at the deepest level when you combine classroom instruction and chances to practice. Campus life at a liberal arts institution transforms into a design lab. There, students put the principles, techniques, and routines of the liberal arts into practice. 

Develop life skills.

Classroom settings are where students gain knowledge and technical skills. Often, life skills are learned outside the four corners of the room. Students form a variety of life habits while attending college. For instance, experiences in campus life can impact their:

  • daily diet
  • exercise
  • social interactions
  • sleep schedules

All these can help them develop life skills. 

Learn to cope and deal with conflicts.

By being active in campus life, students will experience different hurdles and conflicts. They are a normal part of every:

  • work environment
  • school
  • family

They are vital in life. These help a person develop and grow.

The college aims to teach students how to view conflict as a natural and constructive part of life. They learn how to convert negative situations into opportunities for advancement and growth. Universities with good campus life produce graduates who are valuable members of society. Ones that can help businesses develop more successful strategies and who don’t fear overcoming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is campus life important?

A university’s campus is integral to a student’s educational journey. It assists students in emerging from their shells and transforming their flaws into assets. Campus life extends beyond academic training programs and facilities. It gives learners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience things that would otherwise require a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

What can students expect from a university’s great campus life?

Basic amenities are commonly found on university campuses. Their purpose is to provide you with as many alternatives and entertainment as feasible. After all, focusing on academics alone could bore anyone out. A great campus life can be defined beyond the aesthetics of the campuses, housing offered, academic buildings, and research facilities. You might want to check out
the clubs, organizations, Greek life, and other student services that can enhance your college experience more. 

Should you live on campus or in your home while in college?

Some students perceive that in order to make the most of campus life, they should live on campus. When researching colleges, there are a lot of things to consider. For example how to apply for financial assistance, what to major in, and whether to live on campus or at home. Students who commute to their institution frequently ask themselves whether living on campus is worthwhile. It is, after all, obvious that living off campus is usually more expensive than commuting. Making new friends and experiencing a feeling of community may be greatly enhanced by living in dorms on campus.
Living on campus provides many opportunities to get to know one’s peers better, from planned events to just hanging out with housemates. Students who live on campus are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities, including clubs, athletics, volunteer work, and other events.