04/24/2012 09:18 am ET Updated Apr 30, 2012

The 10 Cheapest Public Colleges In The Country

Everyone seems to be talking about the exorbitant cost of higher education lately.

Over the past few years, states have made higher education a target for budget cuts. The 2011-12 year saw a 7.6 percent slump in state support for public higher ed, the largest decline in a half century. Tuition hikes have inevitably followed. Total student debt now tops $1 trillion.

However, there is some good news to report.

According to data from the Department of Education, a number of public colleges still retail for a reasonable average net price.

The average net price refers to the amount in-state students pay after taking grant aid from all sources and federal education tax credits. So while some of these schools may have a higher sticker price, students usually pay a lot less.

Have a look at the 10 cheapest public colleges:

The cheapest public colleges in the country - 2012