Imagine sending your son or daughter to a school with a four-year sticker price approaching $250,000 -- not exactly what you'd call one of the best college values. You want to help pay for some of the costs, but aren't particularly wealthy. You bite the bullet and tell your child, "Yes, you can go there."

But once you start diving into all of the financial aid available, the picture changes drastically. Your student ends up graduating in four years, with more than $5,000 in debt.

Sound too good to be true? Fool contributor Brian Stoffel shows how there's more to college costs than meets the eye -- in a good way. Take a look to see how some of the nation's top universities are sending their students out into the world with relatively low amounts of debt and which schools are doing the best job.

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