: Santa Clara, Calif. Undergraduate enrollment
: 358 Total cost
: $31,850 Average need-based aid
: $14,407 Average net cost
: $17,443 Kiplinger's rank
: #61 among liberal-arts colleges
This tiny Catholic college offers a religion-based, liberal arts education and a gorgeous setting near the Los Padres National Forest, about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Although the college does not offer merit aid, about three-fourths of its students qualify for need-based aid; Thomas Aquinas meets 100% of need. Students who don't qualify for financial aid benefit from the school's relatively modest sticker price, among the lowest on our lists of private colleges and universities.
(Photo by Roy Randall, Creative Commons) More From Kiplinger
: See 10 More Best Values in Private Universities 10 Worst College Majors for Your Career 7 Smart Ways to Pay for College The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.