NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University has been recognized as an affordable institution by Colleges of Distinction, a new designation that helps cost-conscious students and families navigate complicated college financing information.

“How to pay for college is a near-universal question at the top of new students’ minds,” said Tyson Schritter, chief operating officer at Colleges of Distinction. “SFA has demonstrated to us that its students are graduating with manageable debt and careers that help them thrive.”

Fewer than 150 institutions received Colleges of Distinction’s affordable designation. Using institutional data published by the U.S. Department of Education, College of Distinction’s affordability list named institutions with low net prices that were directly proportional to student household income. 

Rachele’ Garrett, SFA’s director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and interim executive director of enrollment management, said the university works hard to keep costs down and the quality of education high. 

“With more than 80% of full-time undergraduate students receiving some type of financial assistance, SFA is providing quality academic programs that meet students’ needs,” Garrett said. “We also offer a host of scholarship and grant assistance programs for students.”

In addition to financial aid packages, the university provides a flat-rate tuition plan that allows students to pay a set rate for 12 or more credit hours.

“Students can take up to 21 credit hours for the cost of 12, and Student Business Services offers tuition programs that reduce the cost of pursuing an advanced degree,” Garrett said.

Beyond net price, Colleges of Distinction looked at the graduates’ median debt and mean earnings data. These were then controlled for each school’s location, size, public/private affiliation status and percentage of Pell grant recipients. 

“Our affordable Colleges of Distinction are not just those with a low sticker price; they exemplify a solid return on a student’s investment.” Schritter said. “SFA has shown us that an engaging, real-world education doesn’t have to break the bank.”

For more information on SFA’s financial aid and scholarships, visit