"Affordable" is a relative term. However you define it, you would probably agree, like many Americans, that college tends to be expensive. According the the College Board, in 2009, public four-year colleges averaged $7,020 yearly for in-state students and $11,528 if out-of-state. Private four-year colleges averaged $26,273. With so many public, private and community colleges located in New England, there are several options that come in under the national averages. Scholarships may also bring down "sticker price" of more expensive schools.

Community Colleges

For the economically-minded, community colleges offer a diploma at a much smaller price-tag. In New England, you can choose from community colleges in small towns or big cities. The Community College of Rhode Island, located in Warwick, RI, costs $3,652 per year for in-state students or $9,792 if you're from out-of-state. It offers certificate or associate degrees after two-year programs of study. Lebanon College, located in Lebanon, NH, offers a two-year program costing $6,615 per year. For a big city college experience, the Urban College of Boston offers a two-year program for $5,020 per year. As for size, the Community College of Rhode Island has 17,760 undergraduates, whereas Urban College and Lebanon each have under a thousand.

Private Colleges

While private colleges tend to have higher price tags, for those interested in certain studies, there are a few "affordable" options in the New England area. For those interested in medicine, yearly tuition is only $7,930 at the Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions. The school offers two-year nursing program to fewer than 200 students.

Religious schools sometimes offer less-expensive private options, such as Zion Bible College of Haverhill, Massachusetts, a four-year bible college offering a bachelor's degree and charging annual tuition of $9,225. At the Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, a four-year education costs $9,600 per year. Holy Apostles offers a graduate program, as well.

Public Colleges

For a four-year education, public colleges typically offer the most affordable tuitions. Granite State College, located in New Hampshire's capital, Concord, costs $7,995 per year or $8,445, if from out-of-state. The school has an enrollment of just over 1500 undergrads. In Massachusetts, Fitchburg State College offers a four-year degree program to 4,223 undergraduates, with annual tuition of $7,800 or $13,880 for out-of-state students. Framingham State College has a tuition of $7,065 in-state or $13,145 out-of-state.