26 Worst Colleges in America

Written By Sushma Singh

Anyone who has been through the American education system knows that there are some great universities there, but today we will be covering some different types of universities. Some colleges are not worth the money, they are just terrible in terms of education and teaching style. Finding the right college is essential for your future and it is important that you know the colleges to avoid. In this article, we will present a list of the worst colleges in America. Think twice before applying to these universities as these are some of the worst universities in USA.

26 Worst Colleges in America

We have compiled this list of worst colleges in America based on various factors, including graduation rates, campus safety, and student debt. Without further ado, let us begin the list.

1. University of Montevallo

University of Montevallo homepage

This University was built in 1896 in Montevallo, Alabama; it is one of the worst universities in USA. Financial problems also affect the school, plus its facilities are also very poor. It has a very high dropout rate, and the few students that complete their graduation there often leave with a subpar education.

As per records, the rate of students who graduates every year is 49% only and the average debt per student amounts to $25,484. The University is also infamous for racial tension and discrimination as well. Its only positive side is its location.

2. University of South Carolina, Aiken

University of South Carolina, Aiken homepage

Established in 1961 in South Carolina, this school is famous for its poor academics, terrible campus life, and an overall bad reputation. The academics at this University are incredibly terrible. The school has consistently been ranked as one of the worst colleges academically, and it is not hard to see why.

The course offerings are limited, the professors are often unqualified, and the overall quality of education is very poor. The campus life is horrendous. The campus dorms are filthy and cramped, and the food is terrible. A few social events are also inadequately organized and not very fun to be a part of.

The school has a really bad reputation. It is well known for being a party school, and it has also been featured in multiple lists of the worst colleges in America. The University has a graduation rate of 42% every year and carries an average debt per student amounting to $24,692.

3. Grambling State University, Louisiana

Grambling State University | worst colleges in America

Founded in 1901, situated in Louisiana, Grambling State University is one of the worst universities in USA. According to a new ranking, the school was ranked No. 4 on the 10 Worst Colleges for African-American Students list by The Daily Beast website.

According to The Daily Beast, Grambling State University has a graduation rate of just 41% for students. In addition, Grambling State University graduates’ average student loan debt is more than $25,732. Researches state that financial problems have also affected the school’s reputation to a great extent.

4. Florida Memorial University, Florida

Florida Memorial University homepage

Founded in the year 1879, the Florida Memorial University is considered one of the black universities established in Miami, Florida. The school has a very high crime rate; its graduation rate is 38% every year, which is one of the country’s lowest.

Additionally, the University’s accreditation is in jeopardy due to its financial problems. The University carries average debt per student amounting to $30,169. Therefore, students should avoid this school if they want to get a good education.

5. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Eastern New York

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute homepage

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, located in Eastern New York, has been dubbed one of the worst universities in USA. The school has been criticized for its high tuition costs, poor graduation rates, and lackluster campus facilities.

Students have also complained about the school’s ‘rigid’ academic requirements. RPI’s graduation rate is just 57%, meaning that less than six graduate out of every ten students. And those who do manage to graduate often do so with a hefty student loan burden; the average debt load for RPI graduates is a whopping $32,600.

6. Columbia College Hollywood

Columbia College Hollywood homepage | worst colleges in America

Located in Los Angeles, California, the college has a low graduation rate of 35%. The college has been criticized for its high tuition fee, poor graduation rates, and alleged deceptive marketing practices. The college is owned by the Columbia Arts Academy, which also owns and operates several other colleges for profit.

In 2019, the State of California sued the college for allegedly misrepresenting its job placement rates on various websites.

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7. St. Augustine’s University

St. Augustine's University homepage

St. Augustine’s University is a historically black college located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The school was founded in 1867 and is affiliated with the Episcopal Church. The University has a long history of financial difficulties.

The school has also been affected by budget deficits, low enrollment, and accreditation problems in recent years. In 2016, the University was placed on probation by its accrediting body due to concerns about its finances and governance. The following year, the University could not pay its faculty and staff members their full salaries.

The school is currently working to improve its financial stability and address the concerns of its accreditors. With a 28% of student graduation rate and a huge debt of $22,500, this University is one of the most terrible universities in America.

8. Black Hills State University

Black Hills State University homepage

Having a considerable loan debt of $ 25,400 and student’s graduate rate of 38%, this University is one of the worst colleges in America. It is poorly rated by students and staff alike and has a record of financial crises.

The school was founded in 1883, located in a small town in South Dakota, making it difficult for students to find jobs or internships. The school’s sports teams are also not very successful. In conclusion, Black Hills State University is not a good choice for students looking for quality education.

9. Nazarene Bible College, Colorado

Nazarene Bible College homepage | worst colleges in America

Nazarene Bible College may not be the most academically challenging school on this list, but it is certainly one of the worst in terms of value. Located in Colorado Springs, Nazarene Bible College charges nearly $26,000 per year in tuition and fees – more than twice the national average for private colleges.

And despite its high cost, the school has an abysmal graduation rate of just 16.4%. Students who manage to graduate from Nazarene Bible College leave with an average debt load of over $42,340.

10. Stratford University

Stratford University homepage

Founded in 1976, Stratford University, located in Virginia, has been dubbed one of the worst universities in USA. The school has been accused of being a diploma mill, and its accreditation is questionable. This University provides part-time programs. Every year, the total graduation rate is around 30%, and the University carries an average debt of $10,834 per student.

11. Shaw University, North Carolina

Shaw University homepage

Established in 1865 and situated in Raleigh, North Carolina, the University has a very high dropout rate. Its graduation rate is among the lowest in the country at 18%. Additionally, the school’s student loan default rate is also very high.

The University carries a loan debt of about $28,144. Shaw University is also known for its poor academic programs and lack of campus safety. These factors make Shaw University one of the most terrible colleges for education in America.

12. University of the District of Columbia

University of the District of Columbia homepage | worst colleges in America

Located in Washington DC, the University has been embroiled in financial and accreditation troubles. The University carries a loan debt of about $22,000. It is also one of the most unsafe colleges in America, with a crime rate nearly three times the national average. With a graduate rate of 18%, the University cannot be considered ideal for education.

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13. Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University homepage

Fayetteville State University in North Carolina is one of the worst colleges in America, according to a new report. This university ranked near the bottom in almost every category; some factors include its excessively high admissions rates, campus safety, student satisfaction, etc.

It was ranked as the second-worst University for overall student satisfaction. Having a vast population, its student graduate rate per year is around 57%. The University carries a student loan debt of about $21,000.

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14. Lindsay Wilson College, Kentucky

Lindsay Wilson College homepage

Established in 1903, this private Methodist University has been criticized for its high tuition rates, poor academic standards, and pathetic campus facilities. This is one of the oldest colleges in this list of worst universities in USA.

The University has a 33% graduation rate for students and carries a loan debt of $21,000. In addition, Lindsay Windson has been impacted by financial problems and accreditation issues. As a result, many students and parents choose to avoid school altogether.

15. Morris College, South Carolina

Morris College homepage | worst colleges in America

Morris College is a private, historically black college in Sumter, South Carolina. The college is affiliated with the Baptist Church. Morris College was founded in 1908 as an industrial school for African American students.

The school became a four-year liberal arts college in 1930 and began offering graduate degrees in 1955. The college offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in various fields, including business, education, English, history, and sociology.

Morris College also offers several master’s degree programs. Despite offering so many courses, the college has a graduation rate of 20% every year with a student loan debt of $26,000.

16. Art Institute of Atlanta

Art Institute of Atlanta homepage

Founded in 1949 and located in Georgia, The Art Institute of Atlanta is considered one of the worst universities in USA. It is not accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

This means that credits earned at the Art Institute of Atlanta may not be transferable to other colleges and universities. The University has also been accused of misleading students about their job prospects after graduation. Overall, the college has a graduation rate of 16% every year, and the institute carries a heavy loan debt of $31,656.

17. Philander Smith College

Philander Smith College homepage

Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, the college has an enrollment of only 1,600 students. The college has been affected by the financial crisis and has failed to keep up with its academic standards.

The college has a graduation rate of 39% every year with a loan debt of $26,000. In addition, the campus is not very safe, and there have been several reports of crime as well. Overall, Philander Smith College is not a good choice for students looking for quality education.

18. University of the South West

University of the South West homepage | worst colleges in America

The University of the South West was established in 1962 in New Mexico and is one of the worst universities in USA. It has a long history of academic failure and financial mismanagement.

In recent years, it has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, including the firing of its president for sexual misconduct, allegations of racism and sexism, and a significant data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of students and staff. The college has a graduation rate of 20% every year with a student loan debt of $23,112.

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19. Waldorf University

Waldorf University homepage

Located in Iowa, Waldorf University carries an average debt load of $27,804. Found in 1903, the University has been criticized for its lack of academic rigor, high tuition costs, and poor graduation rates.

In addition, Waldorf has been accused of being a diploma mill, meaning that it awards degrees without requiring students to complete any meaningful coursework. With a graduate rate of 23% per year, Waldorf’s critics say that the school is more interested in making money than providing quality education.

20. Mayville State University

Mayville State University homepage

Established in 1889 and located in North Dakota, Mayville State University has a very high dropout rate. Its students get the least scores in the country, which in itself proves how poor its education system and staff are. Furthermore, located in a rural area, this school seems to be expensive. There are many other factors that push this college into this list of worst universities in USA.

The University carries an average debt loan of $22,061 with a low graduation rate of 31% per year. One of the best parts of studying here is that almost 90% of its students get employed after completing two years of education in this college.

21. New England College

New England College homepage

New England College is one of the worst colleges in America. It is a small, private college located in New Hampshire. The tuition fee is pretty high, and the quality of education is low. There are very few extracurricular activities or clubs on campus.

The average graduate rate per year is 38%, and the college carries a loan debt of $34,536. There have been several incidents of racism on campus, and the administration has done little to address them. Overall, New England College is not a good choice for students looking for quality education.

22. Alabama State University

Alabama State University homepage | worst colleges in America

Established in 1867, Alabama State University ranked near the bottom of a list of the nation’s colleges and universities, at number 496 out of 500. The ranking was based on several factors, including graduation rates, student loan default rates, and the percentage of students who receive Pell Grants. Alabama State University has a graduation rate of just 21% and a student loan default amount of $32,637.

23. Wesley College, Delaware

Wesley College homepage

It is hard to find anything good about Wesley College, Delaware. The school was founded in 1873. It has been on probation by its accrediting agency for the last few years, and its most recent financial report showed that it is nearly $31,084 in debt. It does not have many students in the college now, all because of its bad reputation and this number is tremendously increasing plus its graduation rate is just 17%.

24. The University of Maine

The University of Maine homepage

University of Maine, Augusta, was established in 1965 in Maine. It is considered one of the worst universities in USA. Multiple organizations have ranked the University as one of the lowest-performing schools in the country.

Reports have shown that the University has a graduation rate of only 30% and carries a loan debt of $23 896. It is also one of the most expensive colleges to attend. Better options are available for students who want a good education.

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25. DeVry University

DeVry University homepage | worst colleges in America

DeVry University, located in Illinois, is a for-profit school that has been accused of misleading students and providing them with a subpar education. The government has also fined the University for its deceptive practices.

DeVry University is not accredited by any recognized body under the US Department of Education. Their degrees and credits are not valid at most other colleges and universities. Overall, the University has a graduation rate of 29 percent and carries a loan debt of $ 23,769.

26. Coppin State University, Maryland

Coppin State University homepage

Coppin State University is one of the worst universities in USA, according to a new ranking. The school was established in 1900 and is located in Baltimore, Maryland. With an average student loan debt of $23,936 and a graduation rate of 20%, the University is not worth it.

While the list of the worst colleges in America is by no means exhaustive, it provides an overview of some of the schools that are not doing a good job of serving their students in terms of education and providing facilities. If you are looking for quality education, try seeking institutions other than these. Conversely, if you are fascinated with attending one of these universities in America, be prepared for an uphill battle.

The faculty may not be very knowledgeable, the resources may be scarce, and you will likely struggle to find a job after graduation. Nevertheless, we hope this article has been helpful and informative. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Stay with us for more such blogs. Thanks for reading!

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