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Study: ASU is the most affordable college in the state

PHOENIX — In a study conducted by SmartAsset.com, Arizona State University was found to be the most affordable college in the state, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The website took many factors into consideration, including tuition costs, average scholarships and grants, student living costs and average starting salary, to calculate the College Education Affordability Index.

ASU’s index score was 70.26 on a scale of 100, making it 126th in the nation. The most affordable university in the country, University of Michigan, had a perfect score.

The second most affordable college was Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, despite having the most expensive tuition in the state.

University of Arizona ranked third in affordability, though having a higher average starting salary than ASU.

The most expensive university was Grand Canyon University, which has a combined tuition and living cost of $32,800, according to the website. With the second-highest tuition in the state and lowest amount of scholarship and grant amounts, the university ranked 800th nationally.

Earlier this month, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that will cut over $100 million from state university funding.

UPDATE: The study found Grand Canyon University as the most expensive in the state of Arizona, as seen above. Grand Canyon does not believe that to be the case and issued the following statement:

GCU spokesperson Bob Romantic said the survey is both misleading and inaccurate because it gives universities a better ranking in scholarship/grant amounts if their students take out large student loans, which he said essentially credits schools in the survey for having higher tuition.

Romantic also said the survey doesn’t accurately reflect the $140 million in institutional aid GCU awards to students each year, which he said drops the average price from $32,800 to about $15,000 — which is equivalent to public universities.