If you're attracted to the small classes and personal attention found at a liberal arts college, but you like the sticker price of giant public universities, a public liberal arts college might be a great choice. Tuition is often less than half of what you'll find at private liberal arts colleges, but the schools are small with a focus on undergraduate teaching. Some are selective honors colleges within state systems, while others have an admissions bar that isn't much different from large public universities. Ten schools made my list of the top public liberal arts colleges. To get a partial idea of what it takes to get in, check out these comparison charts of SAT scores and ACT scores for matriculated students.
College of Charleston
lhilyer libr / Flickr
One footnote: if you qualify for financial aid, you may find that a $50,000 private liberal arts college costs no more than a $20,000 public liberal arts college. In fact, some of the more prestigious private colleges are in a better position than public institutions to meet all of a student's financial need. Many state budgets are still in crisis, and funding for public education is often getting cut.