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100 Affordable Public Schools With High 40-Year ROIs

GVC-Best ROI

Traditionally, high college ROIs were associated with private Ivy league universities (think Harvard or Stanford), but recently, a new report has shone light on some affordable public colleges that also pack a large return on investment in the long run.

The publication- A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges—was released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. It ranks 4,500 colleges and universities by their return on investment, and in doing so, reveals some interesting insights. One such insight is the number of affordable public schools associated with impressive long-term ROIs (i.e., above $1 million 40 years post-graduation). In this ranking, we highlight 100 of these public institutions and rate them according to their net price, 40-year ROI, and national recognition as a top public school.

Methodology
Net Price
Net Price Below $5,000: 4 points
Net Price Below $10,000: 3 points
Net Price Below $15,000: 2 points
Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point

40-Year ROI
Above $2 million: 4 points
Above $1.5 million: 3 points
Above $1.25 million: 2 points
Above $1 million: 1 point

National Recognition as a Top Public School (by U.S. News & World Report)
Top 10 Ranking: 4 points
Top 25 Ranking: 3 points
Top 50 Ranking: 2 points
Top 100 Ranking: 1 point

#100—North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota

north-dakota-state-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,024,000
Points: 2
The flagship university of North Dakota, North Dakota State University is a top-tier research and doctoral university. The school offers more than 100 undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors such as consumer sciences, agriculture, engineering, and marketing. For graduate students, the school offers top-ranked programs in pharmacy, nursing, chemistry, and engineering among others. NDSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the top public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,472

#99—University of North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

university-of-north-dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,040,000
Points: 2
As the largest university in the state, the University of North Dakota offers over 200 unique academic programs. The school’s most popular undergraduate majors include nursing, psychology, mechanical engineering, general studies, and speech communication. Graduate studies are also a priority at UND, with top-ranked programs in occupational therapy, nursing, law, and medicine, for example. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these degrees and credentials. It’s been ranked among the leading public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,374

#98—Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

temple-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,029,000
Points: 3
Temple University is a large urban school offering more than 500 academic degree programs. Popular undergraduate majors include fitness studies, journalism, marketing, and performing arts, for example. The school is also home to some of the nation’s best graduate programs in academic areas such as clinical psychology, nursing, law, and education. Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 50 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $23,192

#97—University of Colorado-Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,046,000
Points: 3
The University of Colorado- Boulder is the flagship research university of the University of Colorado system. Also a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), the school offers over 150 different academic degree programs. Popular bachelor’s degree programs include communication, biological sciences, engineering, and social sciences. CU’s top graduate degree offerings include those in education, engineering, physics, mathematics, and more. The University of Colorado-Boulder is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. It’s been ranked among the 50 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $21,466

#96—University of Rhode Island

Kingston, Rhode Island

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,098,000
Points: 3
The University of Rhode Island is both an affordable public college and a major research university located in Kingston, Rhode Island. Its academic offerings span both undergraduate and graduate options in a wide range of disciplines. This includes nearly 100 bachelor’s degree options, including popular majors such as nursing, psychology, exercise science, and speech communication and rhetoric, for example. The school’s top-ranked programs for graduate students include degree offerings in pharmacy, earth sciences, and nursing. The University of Rhode Island has been accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award these degrees and credentials. It has been ranked among the top 80 public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $19,731

#95—Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

oregon-state-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,020,000
Points: 3
Oregon’s flagship research university, Oregon State University offers over 200 different academic degree programs. Most of these degrees are offered at the undergraduate level, including popular majors such as human development, family studies, business administration, and mechanical engineering. Many of the school’s graduate programs are top-ranked, including those in areas such as public health, pharmacy, computer science, and engineering. OSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award these academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 65 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $18,625

#94—University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,016,000
Points: 3
Home to nearly 28,000 students, the University of Kansas offers undergraduate programs in over 200 areas of study and more than 50 graduate degree options. Popular bachelor’s degree programs include degree plans in business and management, engineering, communication and journalism, and health professions, for instance. The university is also home to several top-ranked graduate programs in academic disciplines such as medicine, education, public affairs, and social work. The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 60 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $18,415

#93—University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,112,000
Points: 3
The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is not only an affordable college; it’s also a top public research university that emphasizes experiential learning. The university is home to six different colleges, offering popular undergraduate majors such as engineering, computer and information sciences, business and management, and homeland security. Notably, UMass-Lowell also offers one of the nation’s best graduate programs in criminology. The New England Commission of Higher Education has accredited the university to offer these and other academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has placed it among the top 100 public universities in the nation.
Net Price: $18,257

#92—University of Missouri

Missouri, Columbia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,006,000
Points: 3
The University of Missouri is not only an affordable public college, it’s also one of the leading hubs for undergraduate research in the country. In terms of academics, the school offers nearly 100 different undergraduate majors, including popular options in engineering, business, biomedical sciences, and health professions, for instance. Graduate students can also take advantage of the university’s top-ranked programs in education, law, engineering, and more. The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award academic degrees at every educational level. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the 65 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $17,833

#91—Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,047,000
Points: 3
Louisiana State University is both the #1 university in the state of Louisiana and one of the best value public colleges in the nation. The school’s population of over 30,000 consists of mostly undergraduate students. Popular undergraduate majors include engineering, communication, business, education, and biological sciences, for instance. Top-ranked graduate offerings include advanced degrees in business, petroleum engineering, mathematics, and library and information sciences. LSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic degrees. It’s been ranked among the top 75 public schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,437

#90—Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

washington-state-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,069,000
Points: 3
Founded in 1890 as the state’s land-grant university, Washington State now serves over 20,000 students through 11 different academic schools and colleges. Undergraduate students can choose from nearly 100 different majors, including popular options such as those in the social sciences, engineering, psychology, and health professions, for instance. For graduate students, WSU offers top-ranked degrees in sociology, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and criminology, for example. Washington State is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the top 80 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,297

#89—Montclair State University

Montclair, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,029,000
Points: 3
Founded in 1908, Montclair State University now serves over 20,000 students, most of them undergraduates. Among its 300 majors and minors, popular options for these students include Family and Consumer Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Business, and Psychology, for example. The university’s population of over 4,000 graduate students can choose from more than 130 graduate specialties, including stand-out programs in education and audiology. Montclair State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the nation’s top 80 public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,086

#88—Towson University

Towson, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,066,000
Points: 3

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Part of the University of Maryland system, Towson University is a small, affordable public college located just outside of the Washington, D.C. area. The university offers a broad range of academic programs for undergraduates, including over 60 majors and 50 minors. The school’s most popular bachelor’s degrees are awarded in the areas of education, business, health professions, and social sciences, for instance. Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 100 public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $16,148

#87—University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $1,096,000
Points: 3
The University of Houston serves nearly 50,000 students in the large city of Houston, Texas. It has a robust academic program consisting of over 100 undergraduate majors and minors and 150 graduate degree programs. Popular bachelor’s degree options include programs in management, marketing, engineering, psychology, and computer and information sciences. Students interested in an advanced degree can choose from among numerous top-ranked programs including social work, political science, speech-language pathology, and earth sciences, for instance. The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these and other degrees. It’s ranked among the top 100 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,002

#86—University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,106,000
Points: 3
The University at Buffalo is regarded as the leading public college in the state of New York as well as a top national university. The school offers over 125 undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors in business, engineering, psychology, and social sciences, for instance. For graduate students, the university offers top-ranked programs in social work, public health, pharmacy, and nursing anesthesiology. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these and other degrees. It’s been ranked among the 100 best public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,895

#85—Metropolitan State University

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,027,000
Points: 3
Metropolitan State University is one of the youngest members of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. It is considered a less selective university and offers over 60 undergraduate degree programs and more than 25 masters-level offerings, including a first-rate public affairs program. Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these degrees. It’s been named one of the top performers on social mobility by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,900

#84—University of Colorado-Denver

Denver, Colorado

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,197,000
Points: 3

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado

The University of Colorado-Denver is both an affordable public college and the largest research university in the state of Colorado. The school offers over 100 academic programs, including popular undergraduate majors such as marketing, visual and performing arts, health professions, and biomedical sciences. The university is also home to first-rate graduate degree programs in pharmacy, physical therapy, public affairs, and statistics, for instance. UC- Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the nation’s best public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,477

#83—University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,010,000
Points: 3
Founded in 1886 as a land-grant university, the University of Wyoming is now a leading public research university serving over 12,000 students in the small town of Laramie. Popular undergraduate majors at the university include engineering, biological sciences, business, and education. The school’s graduate students also enjoy top-ranked programs in pharmacy, earth sciences, economics, and speech-language pathology, for instance. UW is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $12,999

#82—University of Massachusetts-Boston

Boston, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,035,000
Points: 3

The University of Massachusetts-Boston is a major urban research university that offers its more than 16,000 students 200+ undergraduate and graduate degree programs through 10 different academic colleges and schools. Popular majors at the university include management, psychology, biological sciences, and social sciences, for instance. Graduate students enrolled at UMass-Boston can choose from some of the nation’s best master’s and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, public affairs, education, and more. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award this wide range of credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $12,412

#81—University of Texas-Arlington

Arlington, Texas

university-of-texas-at-arlington

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $1,043,000
Points: 3
The University of Texas-Arlington is a large public research university serving well over 40,000 students and offering nearly 200 different academic programs. Popular undergraduate majors at the university include business, engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, and general studies. The school’s graduate offerings include top-ranked programs in nursing, engineering, computer science, and social work among others. UT-Arlington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic degrees.
Net Price: $12,277

#80—University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,073,000
Points: 4
A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), the University of Pittsburgh enrolls just under 25,000 undergraduate students, the vast majority of which attend school full-time. Popular majors at the university include business, engineering, biological sciences, and social sciences. Graduate students have an array of degree programs to choose from as well, including top-ranked offerings in medicine, public affairs, business, education, and engineering. The University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Pitt among the 20 best public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $24,040

#79—University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,066,000
Points: 4
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is a versatile public college, offering various programs for undergraduate graduate students with full-time, part-time, and online options. Among its more than 100 undergraduate majors are popular options such as business, social sciences, biomedical sciences, and marketing, for instance. Top-ranked programs for the university’s graduate students include education, engineering, computer science, and nursing. UMass-Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award this range of degrees. It’s been ranked among the country’s top 25 public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $21,740

#78—Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

clemson-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,106,000
Points: 4
A small, selective public research university, Clemson University offers over 80 undergraduate majors, including popular options in engineering, business, and biomedical sciences. The school is also home to over 120 graduate degree offerings such as its leading programs in economics and education, for instance. Clemson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the nation’s 30 best public schools.
Net Price: $19,508

#77—Texas A&M University-College Station

College Station, Texas

texas-am-university-college-station

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,222,000
Points: 4
Texas A&M University-College Station is one of the largest public colleges in the United States in terms of its student body. The school offers over 130 undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors in agriculture, engineering, biomedical sciences, and business. Its nearly 200 graduate and professional degree programs include top-ranked offerings in engineering, business, education, and public affairs, for example. Texas A&M-College Station is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 30 best public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $19,118

#76—George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,255,000
Points: 4
George Mason is the largest four-year university in Virginia as well as an affordable public research institution. The school offers nearly 150 undergraduate majors and concentrations with popular options like political science, criminal justice, information technology, and biological sciences, for instance. For graduate students, GMU offers top-ranked degree programs in education, law, nursing, and criminology, for instance. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited George Mason University to award this range of academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 75 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $18,629

#75—Michigan Technological University

Houghton, Michigan

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $1,430,000
Points: 4
Michigan Technological University is a small rural school that packs a big academic punch. The school offers its undergraduate students more than 120 different academic programs to choose from, including popular options in business, natural resources and conservation, and computer and information sciences. For its graduate students, Michigan Tech has top-ranked programs in engineering, earth sciences, and physics. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the school to offer a range of academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the 70 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,175

#74—University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,145,000
Points: 4
The University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large suburban research university known for its innovation. The school has been ranked among the top 80 public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Its academic offerings include over 40 different bachelor’s degree options and more than 30 options for graduate students. The latter includes award-winning programs in statistics, engineering, and clinical psychology, for example. UMBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $17,141

#73—University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,094,000
Points: 4

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The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is not only an affordable public college, but it’s also one of the most renowned public research universities in the United States. The school is currently home to over 16,000 graduate students and nearly twice as many undergraduates. Popular bachelor’s degree options include degree plans in marketing, psychology, social sciences, engineering, and biomedical sciences, for instance. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university to award a wide range of academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 30 best public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $16,691

#72—Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

michigan-state-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,122,000
Points: 4
Known as both a top public school and a leading global university, Michigan State University offers more than 200 academic degree programs. Popular options for undergraduate students include majors in business, communication, social sciences, biological sciences, and engineering, for instance. Its graduate programs in engineering, business, and education are also very well-known, and MSU is home to the top nuclear physics program in the nation. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees on the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Michigan State among the top 35 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $16,227

#71—University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,214,000
Points: 4
The University of Delaware is the largest university in the state of Delaware. The school offers nearly 150 bachelor’s degree programs, including popular options such as engineering, business, biomedical sciences, and social sciences, for example. The school also offers almost 200 graduate degree programs, including top-ranked degree plans in engineering, education, and public affairs. The University of Delaware is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 40 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,883

#70—SUNY at Albany

Albany, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,074,000
Points: 4
SUNY at Albany is not only one of the most affordable public colleges in the United States, it has also been called one of the most beautiful. The school offers over 50 undergraduate majors, including popular options such as social sciences, business, psychology, and communication, for instance. For graduate students, the University at Albany offers top-ranked programs in public affairs, criminology, education, and library and information studies, for example. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited the university to award these and other degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 75 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $15,844

#69—Worcester State University

Worcester, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,001,000
Points: 4
Worcester State University is an affordable public college offering a wide range of academic opportunities in the liberal arts and sciences. The school offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors in biomedical sciences, law enforcement, marketing, psychology, and law enforcement. Graduate students can also take advantage of top-ranked degree programs in occupational therapy and speech-language pathology. Worcester State has been ranked among the top 30 public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. It has received accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Net Price: $15,458

#68—Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

iowa-state-university

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,080,000
Points: 4
Founded in 1858 as a land-grant university, Iowa State now serves over 30,000 students through 10 different academic schools and colleges. The school offers over a hundred undergraduate majors, including popular options in engineering, business, agriculture, and journalism, for instance. For graduate students, the university offers top-ranked programs in physics, statistics, veterinary medicine, and more. Iowa State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these undergraduate and graduate degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the 60 best public schools in the nation,
Net Price: $14,643

#67—Arizona State University-Tempe

Tempe, Arizona

best colleges arizona

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,028,000
Points: 4
Known for innovation in education, Arizona State University is one of the largest hubs for undergraduate study in the nation. Popular options for bachelor’s degrees include biomedical sciences, engineering, social sciences, and visual and performing arts, for instance. The university is also home to many top-ranked graduate programs in academic areas such as education, engineering, business, law, and more. Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at every academic level. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 60 best public schools in the country.
Net Price: $13,731

#66—Augusta University

Augusta, Georgia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,360,000
Points: 4
Both a medical center and a public research institution, Augusta University offers 45 undergraduate degree options, including standout programs like Cell and Molecular Biology, Cybersecurity Engineering, Ecology, and Health Promotion, for instance. Graduate students also have a range of academic options to choose from, including master’s degrees in education, health science, and public administration and doctorates in pharmacology, physical therapy, neuroscience, educational innovation, and more. Augusta University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these credentials. U.S. News & World Report has named the school a leading national university as well as one of the top performers on social mobility nationwide.
Net Price: $13,112

#65—Rutgers University-Camden

Camden, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,244,000
Points: 4
An intimate urban research institution, Rutgers University-Camden features small class sizes and big learning opportunities. Home to over 7,000 total students, the school offers 38 undergraduate majors and 29 graduate programs. Its bachelor’s degree options span academic disciplines such as business administration, communications, anthropology, liberal studies, mathematics, and more. Graduate studies at the university include highly-ranked offerings in business administration, physical therapy, nursing, and public affairs. Rutgers University-Camden is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 100 public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $12,279

#64—University of Illinois-Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,156,000
Points: 4
The University of Illinois-Chicago is the only public research university in Chicago, and it’s also one of the best in the country. The school offers 86 bachelor’s degree programs and nearly 200 graduate degree options through its 16 different academic colleges. Some of the school’s standout graduate options include its degree programs in nursing, pharmacy, and public affairs. UIC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer these academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 60 best public schools in the country.
Net Price: $12,248

#63—Rutgers University-Newark

Newark, New Jersey

rutgers-university-newark

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,244,000
Points: 4
One of the preeminent research universities in the United States, Rutgers University-Newark offers over 40 bachelor’s degree programs and more than 50 graduate specializations. Popular areas of study include biology, criminal justice, education, economics, nursing, and urban education. The school also boasts top graduate programs in law, criminology, chemistry, and business. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited Rutgers University-Newark to award these and other academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top 60 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $11,301

#62—University of Connecticut-Stamford

Stamford, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,288,000
Points: 4
Founded in 1952, the University of Connecticut-Stamford is one of the younger colleges on our list. Still, it’s grown into a robust and affordable public school offering over a dozen bachelor’s degree programs. Students who choose UConn-Stamford can select areas of study such as economics, political science, computer science, communication, and more. A handful of graduate options are also available, including an MBA, MS in Business Analytics and Project Management, and an EdD in Educational Leadership, for example. The University of Connecticut-Stamford has been accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award these academic degrees.
Net Price: $10,351

#61—Colorado School of Mines

Golden, Colorado

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,794,000
Points: 5
Colorado School of Mines is an affordable public college that specializes in engineering and applied sciences. Some of its most popular undergraduate majors include mathematics and statistics, information sciences, engineering, and physical sciences. Top-ranked graduate programs at the Mines include petroleum engineering, earth sciences, physics, and computer science, for example. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the top 35 public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $25,767

#60—University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut

university-of-connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,223,000
Points: 5
The University of Connecticut is a leading public research university that emphasizes innovation. The school offers well over 100 different undergraduate majors, including popular degree plans in psychology, speech communication, nursing, economics, and biology. UConn offers nearly as many graduate specializations with top-ranked master’s and doctoral programs in business, education, engineering, law, and more. The University of Connecticut has been accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the institution among the top 25 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $19,650

#59—Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,313,000
Points: 5
Formally Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Tech is a public research university offering a wide range of academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Among these offerings are more than 100 bachelor’s degree programs, including popular options in engineering, marketing, social sciences, family and consumer sciences, and biological sciences, for instance. Graduate students have even more choices with top-ranked master’s and doctoral programs in earth sciences, public affairs, sociology, and clinical psychology. Virginia Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the top 30 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $18,349

#58—New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,453,000
Points: 5
New Jersey Institute of Technology is not only a good investment, it’s also a top-tier public research university. The school offers over 125 academic programs through six different schools and colleges. Popular undergraduate majors include computer and information sciences, engineering technologies, architecture, and biomedical sciences. NJIT’s graduate degree offerings include top-ranked programs in computer science, engineering, and mathematics. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited the school to award this wide range of academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the top 50 public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,855

#57—Binghamton University

Binghamton, New York

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,298,000
Points: 5
An advanced public research university, SUNY-Binghamton offers more than 100 undergraduate degree programs and a comparable number of graduate degree offerings. Popular choices for the school’s bachelor’s degree students include degree plans in neuroscience, nursing, psychology, and biological sciences. Graduate students can take advantage of top-ranked offerings in business, engineering, political science, and economics among many others. Binghamton University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 35 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $16,440

#56—Rutgers University-New Brunswick

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,210,000
Points: 5
As the flagship university of the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers University-New Brunswick enrolls over 50,000 students, most of them undergraduates. Popular majors at the undergraduate level include psychology, computer and information sciences, biology, and economics. The university is also home to top-ranked graduate degree programs in education, engineering, computer science, and fine arts. Rutgers-New Brunswick is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 25 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $16,295

#55—Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $1,127,000
Points: 5
One of the smaller members of the California State University system, Sonoma State still offers nearly 100 different undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences. The university also offers over a dozen master’s degree programs in disciplines such as biology, computer and engineering science, education, nursing, public administration, and more. Sonoma State University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. It’s been ranked among the 15 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,119

#54—University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,104,000
Points: 5
An affordable public college, the University of Iowa is also the oldest institute of higher learning in the state of Iowa. It is a comprehensive research university and offers a range of degree options for both undergraduate and graduate students. Popular majors include business, recreation and fitness studies, engineering, and social sciences. Graduate students can choose from many top-ranked programs such as degree plans in speech-language pathology, rehabilitation counseling, physical therapy, and health care management among many others. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer this wide range of academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 35 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,817

#53—California State University-Channel Islands

Camarillo, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $1,041,000
Points: 5
California State University-Channel Islands is the youngest member of the California State University system. The school offers a wide range of undergraduate degree programs, including BA and BS options in global business, anthropology, applied physics, political science, mathematics, and more. Master’s degree offerings include programs in education, business administration, computer science, and biotechnology and bioinformatics. CI is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. It’s been ranked among the top 20 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,780

#52—University of California-Davis

Davis, California

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,229,000
Points: 5
The University of California-Davis is one of the largest and most accomplished universities in the UC system. Among its approximately 100 undergraduate degree options includes popular programs such as those in agriculture, engineering, psychology, and biomedical sciences. The school offers a comparable number of degree options for its graduate students, including standout offerings in sociology, public health, law, and engineering, for example. UC-Davis is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 15 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $15,724

#51—College of William & Mary

Williamsburg, Virginia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
40-Year ROI: $1,227,000
Points: 5
Founded in 1693, the College of William & Mary is the second oldest public college in the United States. Today, the school offers more than 40 undergraduate majors in the arts and sciences, including popular options in biomedical sciences, fitness studies, business, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. William & Mary is also home to roughly the same number of graduate degree programs, including top-ranked offerings in business, education, history, and computer science, for instance. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the school to offer these credentials. W&M has been ranked among the 15 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,622

#50—University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,074,000
Points: 5
Known as the nation’s first public college, the University of Georgia was chartered in 1785. The school is now home to a vibrant population of nearly 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Popular majors at the university include finance, psychology, business administration, and biological sciences, for instance. Graduate students enjoy top-ranked offerings in education, accounting, public affairs, and social work, for example. UGA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award both undergraduate and advanced degrees. It has been ranked among the top 20 public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $15,539

#49—Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,224,000
Points: 5
Stony Brook University is a suburban research university and is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school offers a wide range of academic programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including several PhD offerings. It has been called one of the best universities for a degree in engineering and also boasts top-ranking programs in clinical psychology and physician assistantship. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the institution among the 40 best public schools nationwide. Stony Brook University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $14,874

#48—North Carolina State University-Raleigh

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,113,000
Points: 5
An affordable public university, North Carolina State University-Raleigh is the largest four-year college in the state of North Carolina. Though it offers a wide range of academic programs, the school is particularly regarded for its engineering programs, especially in nuclear, biological, and agricultural engineering. Aside from engineering, other popular undergraduate majors include business, biological and biomedical sciences, agriculture, and communication/journalism. Non-engineering graduate students may opt for the school’s other top-ranked graduate options in public affairs, nonprofit management, statistics, and veterinary medicine, for instance. NC State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has named it one of the top 35 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $14,771

#47—University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,131,000
Points: 5
The University of Utah is an affordable urban university located in Salt Lake City. The school offers a wide range of undergraduate majors, including popular options such as psychology, economics, nursing, and biology, for instance. Graduate students also have numerous programs to choose from, including top-ranked offerings in business, education, medicine, health care management, and more. The University of Utah is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award these academic degrees. It has been ranked among the 50 best public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,460

#46—University of California-Riverside

Riverside, California

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $1,053,000
Points: 5
The University of California-Riverside serves nearly 25,000 students through three academic colleges and four professional schools. A member of the University of California system, the school is known for its active student life as well as its interdisciplinary research activity. Popular areas of study for the school’s undergraduates include psychology, engineering, biomedical sciences, and social sciences, for example. UC-Riverside is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 40 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $12,890

#45—Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,015,000
Points: 5
Indiana University-Bloomington is IU’s flagship university. The school offers more than 500 academic programs from 16 distinct colleges and schools. This includes over 200 undergraduate majors, with popular options in computer and information sciences, marketing, leisure and fitness studies, and biological sciences, for instance. Graduate students will also find top-ranked programs at IU-Bloomington, including options in business, public affairs, education, law, and more. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university to award a range of academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Indiana-Bloomington among the 35 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $11,931

#44—California State University-East Bay

Hayward, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $1,116,000
Points: 5
A leading regional university in the West, California State University-East Bay is an affordable public college offering nearly 100 different academic programs. Popular undergraduate majors at the university include psychology, social sciences, public administration, and social services. For graduate students, the school offers leading degree programs in business, social work, and speech-language pathology. Cal State-East Bay is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 40 best public schools in the country.
Net Price: $11,422

#43—University of Texas-Dallas

Richardson, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $1,134,000
Points: 5

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The University of Texas-Dallas is an affordable public college known for its high level of research activity. It awards more than 140 academic degrees from eight different schools within the university. This includes nearly 50 undergraduate majors as well as numerous master’s and doctoral degree programs. The school is renowned for its graduate degrees in business and engineering among other top-ranked programs. UT-Dallas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 75 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $9,989

#42—University of Washington-Bothell

Bothell, Washington

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,258,000
Points: 5
The University of Washington-Bothell is one of the three public colleges in the University of Washington system. A small, but diverse school, UW-Bothell currently offers 55 formal degrees for undergraduate as well as graduate students. Undergraduate students can choose from a large selection of degree programs in areas such as business administration, STEM, education, nursing, and more. Over a dozen graduate degrees are also available, including an MA in Cultural Studies, MS in Computer Science & Software Engineering, MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics, and an MS in Cyber Security Engineering, for example. The University of Washington-Bothell is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Net Price: $8,346

#41—University of Connecticut-Avery Point

Groton, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,276,000
Points: 5
One of the younger public colleges in our ranking, the University of Connecticut-Avery Point was established in 1967. Today, it offers some unique academic programs, including undergraduate majors in both marine science and maritime studies. More traditional bachelor’s programs such as bachelor’s in English, American Studies, and General Studies are also available. For those students interested in graduate study, opportunities include master’s degrees in nursing, engineering, and oceanography. The University of Connecticut- Avery Point is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $7,629

#40—University of Connecticut-Waterbury

Waterbury, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $1,283,000
Points: 5
The University of Connecticut-Waterbury offers its students many of the benefits of a large public research institution in a small college setting. Enrolled students can choose from 7 full undergraduate offerings, including majors in American studies, business administration, human development and family sciences, and allied health sciences, for instance. Alternatively, they can complete their general education requirements in Waterbury and then transfer to the flagship campus in Storrs to finish one of over 100 bachelor’s degree programs. Graduate students also have opportunities at UConn-Waterbury, including an MBA program and a Master of Engineering degree. The New England Commission of Higher Learning has accredited the school to offer these various credentials.
Net Price: $6,630

#39—CUNY City College

New York, New York

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,027,000
Points: 5
CUNY City College is an affordable, yet selective college located in the heart of New York City. The school offers dozens of undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors such as engineering, visual and performing arts, biomedical sciences, and social sciences. City College is also known for its top-ranked graduate degree programs such as those in engineering, fine arts, and physician assistantship. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked City among the top public schools in the country.
Net Price: $4,674

#38—SUNY at Geneseo

Geneseo, New York

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,013,000
Points: 6
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, SUNY at Geneseo is an affordable public liberal arts college. The school offers nearly 50 undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors such as marketing, psychology, education, and biological sciences, for instance. Graduate students will also find master’s degree programs in accounting and education at the university. U.S. News & World Report has ranked SUNY-Geneseo among the top 5 public schools in the United States. It has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award bachelor’s and master’s credentials.
Net Price: $17,673

#37—University of California-Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $1,165,000
Points: 6
Labeled a “Public Ivy,” the University of California-Santa Barbara is a comprehensive doctoral university with a reputation for academic excellence. Among its 87 different undergraduate degrees are popular majors such as mathematics and statistics, biomedical sciences, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. UCSB also offers 55 graduate degree programs in top-ranked areas like physics, engineering, sociology, education, and more. UC-Santa Barbara is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award a range of academic degrees. It’s been ranked among the 10 best public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,912

#36—University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, Maryland

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,330,000
Points: 6
The University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and a preeminent public research institution. It currently serves over 40,000 students with more than 200 academic programs from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees. Popular areas of undergraduate study include criminology, economics, speech communication, and biological sciences. For graduate students, the university offers many top-ranked programs in disciplines like business, engineering, and computer science, for instance. The University of Maryland-College Park is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It’s been ranked among the top 25 public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,790

#35—University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

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Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,299,000
Points: 6
A tier-one public research university, the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign offers more than 150 undergraduate degree options from 15 different schools and colleges. Graduate studies are also a priority at U of I. The school offers top-ranked programs in business, education, chemistry, engineering, and computer science, for instance. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign to award this range of academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the 15 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,829

#34—San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $1,046,000
Points: 6
A member of the California State University System, San Francisco State University is an affordable public university that offers an impressive number of academic degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Among these are popular majors such as visual and performing arts, journalism, biological sciences, and marketing. SF State also offers top-ranked graduate degree options in fields such as social work, public health, rehabilitation counseling, and speech-language pathology, for instance. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the university to award these credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the 15 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $14,964

#33—University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,178,000
Points: 6
Ranked among the 15 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was founded in 1848 and is situated on a sprawling campus of 936 acres. Known for its vibrant student life, UW-Madison isn’t just a party school. It’s home to over 200 undergraduate programs as well as more than 250 graduate options. The latter includes top-ranking programs in rehabilitation counseling, sociology, and psychology, for example. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Wisconsin-Madison to award these academic credentials.
Net Price: $14,169

#32—University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Platteville, Wisconsin

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $1,001,000
Points: 6
Part of the University of Wisconsin system, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In addition to its three campus locations, the school also offers programs online. Its online degree programs in engineering, business, and criminal justice are particularly well-known. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is ranked among the top 25 public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,158

#31—The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,233,000
Points: 6
The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest public research universities in the country. Undergraduate students enrolled at UT-Austin have over 170 different majors to choose from in a wide range of academic disciplines, including law, nursing, communication, public affairs, geosciences, and many more. Graduate students also have over a hundred different options to choose from, including programs in architecture, accounting, energy management, and educational psychology, just to name a few. The school is particularly well-known for its undergraduate business and engineering programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 15 public schools in the nation. The University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award their repertoire of academic degrees.
Net Price: $14,156

#30—Missouri University of Science & Technology

Rolla, Missouri

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,548,000
Points: 6
Known primarily for its STEM degrees, Missouri University of Science & Technology is also home to a surprising number of other academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. This includes over 30 bachelor’s degree offerings in academic areas like psychology, education, philosophy, technical communication, and multidisciplinary studies. Baccalaureate options in STEM fields span four-year degree plans in physics, petroleum, geological engineering, mining engineering, information science and technology, and more. Graduate students also have a range of degree options at Missouri S&T, including master’s degrees, an MBA, and PhD offerings. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the best 100 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $13,994

#29—California State University-San Marcos

San Marcos, California

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $1,019,000
Points: 6
One of the newer members of the California State University system, California State University-San Marcos offers nearly 100 different academic programs. Popular undergraduate majors at the university include psychology, social sciences, family and consumer sciences, health professions, and marketing. The school’s graduate offerings include top-ranked programs in social work and speech-language pathology. Cal State-San Marcos has been ranked among the nation’s 25 best public schools by U.S. News & World Report. It’s been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Net Price: $12,614

#28—Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $1,184,000
Points: 6
With an impressive 150+ year history in STEM education, Purdue University remains one of the top public research universities nationwide. In fact, the school has been ranked among the leading 20 public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, Purdue is also a leader in online education. It is home to many top-ranked graduate programs, including standout options in engineering, speech-language pathology, veterinary medicine, and computer science, for instance. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Purdue University to award these top academic credentials.
Net Price: $11,898

#27—University of North Texas-Dallas

Dallas, Texas

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,001,000
Points: 6
One of the youngest institutions in our ranking, the University of North Texas at Dallas has quickly become one of the leading public colleges not only in the state of Texas, but in the U.S. The university offers dozens of undergraduate degree programs, including popular majors in psychology, law enforcement, homeland security, and interdisciplinary studies. Graduate students also have the opportunity to enroll in master’s degree programs in business, education, counseling, and criminal justice. UNT-Dallas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has placed it among the top 40 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $7,941

#26—California State University-Bakersfield

Bakersfield, California

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $1,046,000
Points: 6
A member of the California State University system, Cal State-Bakersfield offers over 50 degree programs through its four distinct academic schools. Popular undergraduate majors at the university include education, psychology, liberal arts and sciences, and business. The school’s graduate degree programs include top-ranked offerings in nursing, public affairs, and social work. CSUB is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this range of academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 30 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $6,025

#25—University of California-Irvine

Irvine, California

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,255,000
Points: 7
The youngest member of the Association of American Universities, the University of California-Irvine is also a vibrant public research institution. It offers over 200 academic degrees, including popular undergraduate programs in computer science, managerial economics, social psychology, and public health, for example. The school is home to numerous top-ranked graduate programs as well in academic areas such as sociology, physics, law, engineering, and education. UC-Irvine is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has placed it among the 10 best public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $18,629

#24—University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley, California

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,383,000
Points: 7
A comprehensive public research university, the University of California-Berkeley offers over 350 academic degree programs through its 14 distinct schools and colleges. Popular undergraduate majors include degree plans in interdisciplinary studies, engineering, social sciences, and natural resources and conservation, for instance. The school is home to numerous highly-ranked graduate programs as well in disciplines like political science, psychology, education, and engineering. UC-Berkeley is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award these top academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has named it the second best public school in the country.
Net Price: $17,862

#23—University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,291,000
Points: 7
Consistently ranked among the leading public universities in the United States, the University of Virginia is the state’s flagship university. The school offers nearly 50 undergraduate degree options, including popular choices such as economics, psychology, business, international relations, and biology, for instance. Graduate students can select one of nearly 100 master’s degrees and over 50 doctoral degree plans in top-ranked subject areas such as business, education, engineering, and law, for example. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the school to offer these and other academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UVA among the top 5 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $17,845

#22—University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor- Michigan

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
40-Year ROI: $1,364,000
Points: 7
Known for its small class sizes and high-quality academics, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is consistently ranked among the top national and global universities. The school offers 263 degree programs through 19 different colleges and schools. Popular areas of study for undergraduates include economics, experimental psychology, computer and information sciences, and business administration, for instance. UM-Ann Arbor is also home to over 100 top-ranked graduate degree programs, including those in nursing, education, business, and law. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university to award these undergraduate and graduate degrees, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the elite top 5 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $16,856

#21—University of California-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,300,000
Points: 7
A highly competitive public research university, the University of California –Los Angeles is one of the oldest colleges in the UC system. It offers over 125 bachelor’s degree options in popular academic subjects such as mathematics and statistics, biomedical sciences, psychology, and social sciences. Graduate education is also a priority at UCLA with 40 programs ranked among the best in the nation. The University of California – Los Angeles is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this wide range of academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it the #1 public school in the country.
Net Price: $15,002

#20—San Jose State University

San Jose, California

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School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $1,195,000
Points: 7
As the founding member of the California State University system, San Jose State University also enrolls more graduate students than any other CSU university. These students can choose from the school’s many top-ranked graduate degree programs in areas such as social work, occupational therapy, library and information studies, and public health, for example. Popular undergraduate majors include communication, psychology, visual and performing arts, and engineering. U.S. News & World Report has ranked San Jose State among the nation’s 10 best public schools. It has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Net Price: $14,519

#19—California State University-Chico

Chico, California

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $1,018,000
Points: 7
As one of the oldest and most versatile schools in the California State University system, California State University-Chico offers over 300 different academic programs. The university’s most popular undergraduate majors include marketing, fitness studies, psychology, and social sciences. Graduate degree students can choose from the school’s top-ranked graduate degree programs in fine arts, public affairs, social work, and speech-language pathology. Cal State-Chico ranks among the top 10 public schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. It’s been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Net Price: $14,156

#18—SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Utica, New York

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $1,080,000
Points: 7
Founded in 1966, SUNY Polytechnic Institute is a dual campus college with locations in Albany and Utica. The school is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system and overs approximately 25 bachelor’s degree programs in popular areas such as engineering, engineering technologies, computer and information sciences, and management. The university also offers nearly as many graduate degree options, including a top-ranked nursing program. SUNY Polytechnic is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 5 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $12,784

#17—California State Polytechnic University- Pomona

Pomona, California

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 28:1
40-Year ROI: $1,151,000
Points: 7
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is one of two polytechnic universities in the Cal State system focused on technical arts and applied sciences. It offers nearly 100 bachelor’s degree options, including popular majors such as business administration, hospitality management, liberal arts, and biology. The school is also home to more than 50 graduate degree programs, including a top-ranked public affairs program. Cal Poly Pomona is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award these academic degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the 50 best value schools in the nation.
Net Price: $12,744

#16—University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,019,000
Points: 7
An affordable public school and leading Midwestern university, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors, including popular options such as fitness studies, marketing, biological sciences, and psychology. The school’s graduate offerings include top-ranked programs in occupational therapy, public health, and physical therapy, for instance. The university has been named one of the top 5 public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited UWL to award a range of academic credentials.
Net Price: $12,419

#15—University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $1,185,000
Points: 7
Among the top 5 public schools according to U.S. News & World Report, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is also known as the nation’s first public university. The school offers 74 undergraduate degrees, most of them awarded through its College of Arts & Sciences. UNC is also home to a robust graduate department, which offers advanced credentials in business, education, public health, law, and more. The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Net Price: $11,649

#14—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,202,000
Points: 7
A large suburban university, the University of Florida enrolls more than 50,000 students each year, most of them undergraduates. In addition to the more than 100 undergraduate majors and 30 certificate options available through the university, there are also over 200 graduate degree programs to choose from. Standout options for graduate students include programs in engineering, law, and medicine. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this wide range of degrees and credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UF among the 10 best public schools in the country.
Net Price: $11,313

#13—University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn, Michigan

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $1,041,000
Points: 7

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The University of Michigan-Dearborn is a regional campus of the University of Michigan. The school offers students the opportunity to study over 100 different academic disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of the school’s most popular majors include social sciences, engineering, marketing, and psychology. Graduate students enrolled at UM- Dearborn can choose from top-ranked offerings in engineering, public affairs, and business. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the school to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 5 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $10,533

#12—California State University-Sacramento

Sacramento, California

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $1,061,000
Points: 7
Better known as Sacramento State University, California State University-Sacramento is known for its vibrant student life and powerhouse academics. The school offers approximately 60 undergraduate degree programs, including top-ranked offerings in engineering. Graduate students can select from the university’s leading programs in physical therapy, speech-language pathology, rehabilitation counseling, and social work, for instance. Sac State is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. It’s been ranked among the 25 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $9,885

#11—University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Odessa, Texas

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $1,005,000
Points: 7
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award academic degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. The school’s most popular undergraduate majors include petroleum engineering, nursing, business administration, and psychology. Graduate students can choose from among 19 different master’s degree programs in subjects such as criminal justice administration, kinesiology, mathematics, computer science and counseling, for instance. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UTPB among the 25 best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $9,800

#10—University of Washington-Seattle

Seattle, Washington

university-of-washington

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,243,000
Points: 7
One of the oldest public universities on the West Coast, the University of Washington-Seattle is also an affordable urban college. Undergraduate students have a full range of options when it comes to baccalaureate areas of study, including degree programs in health sciences, business, engineering, physical sciences, math, and social sciences, for instance. The school is particularly well-known for its undergraduate engineering offerings, however. Graduate students have numerous opportunities at UW- Seattle as well, including top-rated programs in medicine, clinical psychology, and computer science. The school is formally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award these academic credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 25 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $9,765

#9—Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, Georgia

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,729,000
Points: 8
Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a leading public research university committed to innovation through the study of science and technology. The school offers undergraduate degrees in business, computing, design, engineering, and arts and sciences, including popular majors such as biomedical sciences, physical sciences, and computer and information sciences. Graduate students enrolled at the university can choose from a number of top-ranked programs in disciplines like business, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Georgia Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the nation’s top 5 public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,950

#8—University of California-San Diego

La Jolla, California

university-of-california-san-diego

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $1,277,000
Points: 8
The University of California-San Diego is a large public college with an undergraduate enrollment of over 30,000. The school offers a wide range of bachelor’s degree programs, including award-winning engineering programs. Graduate students have nearly as many options to choose from, including UC-San Diego’s popular MBA and master’s degrees in education. The university is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. It’s been lauded by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $13,452

#7—California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California

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School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $1,040,000
Points: 8
California State University-Long Beach is one of the largest schools in the California State University system. The university offers nearly 200 academic programs through its eight distinct academic colleges. Among these are popular undergraduate majors such as engineering, social sciences, marketing, visual and performing arts, and health professions. Its top graduate degrees are offered in the areas of social work, health care management, fine arts, and public health. CSULB has been accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 5 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $9,477

#6—California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton, California

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $1,021,000
Points: 8
California State University-Fullerton has the largest student body of any school in the California State University system. To accommodate this impressive student population, the university offers a wide range of academic programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Among these are popular majors such as education, psychology, communication, and business, for instance. CSU Fullerton is also home to top-ranked graduate degree programs in nursing, social work, and public health among others. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the school to award these credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 5 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $8,274

#5—Texas A&M International University

Laredo, Texas

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $1,006,000
Points: 8
A member of the Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M International offers more than 70 different academic degree programs. This includes popular majors such as homeland security, education, psychology, and law enforcement. Graduate students at TAMIU enjoy top-ranked degree programs in areas such as business, nursing, and public affairs. The school has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these academic credentials. Texas A&M International University has been ranked among the 25 best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $4,744

#4—CUNY Queens College

Queens, New York

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $1,068,000
Points: 9
A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, CUNY-Queens College is a four-year liberal hearts college that offers nearly 80 undergraduate areas of study. Some of the school’s most popular majors include economics, sociology, computer science, psychology, and accounting. For graduate students, the school offers over 100 master’s degrees, certificates, and doctoral programs. CUNY-Queens is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It’s been ranked among the top 10 public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $4,776

#3—California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $1,019,000
Points: 9
Another member of the California State University system, California State University-Los Angeles offers over 200 academic degree programs, including four doctoral degrees. Popular majors at the university include business, English, social sciences, psychology, and health professions. The school is also home to top-ranked graduate degree programs in fine arts, public affairs, rehabilitation counseling, and social work. Cal State-LA has been ranked among the top 15 public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. It is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Net Price: $4,403

#2—CUNY Hunter College

New York, New York

hunter-college

School Profile
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $1,049,000
Points: 9
CUNY Hunter College is a member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of the more affordable public schools in our ranking, the school offers a wide range of academic degree programs through four distinct schools. This includes 70 bachelor’s degree options as well as top-ranked graduate offerings in social work, public health, fine arts, rehabilitation counseling, and more. Hunter College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 5 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $4,332

#1—CUNY-Bernard M. Baruch College

New York, New York

baruch-college

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $1,280,000
Points: 10
Located in the heart of New York city, CUNY-Bernard M. Baruch College is a bustling urban school. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the top 20 regional universities in the North as well as one of the 5 best public schools nationwide. The college has also been praised specifically for its undergraduate teaching programs, but students can choose from over two dozen other undergraduate majors. Even more academic specializations are available at the graduate level, including a variety of master’s programs offered through the renowned Zicklin School of Business. Baruch College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Net Price: $4,119

What Is College ROI?

You’ve likely encountered the acronym ROI. It stands for return on investment. The concept is fairly simple: ROI is the return (usually profit) you receive as a result of an investment (usually monetary). ROI is frequently used to calculate the risk of business decisions and investments.

Calculating College ROI

When applied to decisions about college attendance, however, the term ROI gets a bit more complex. There are other factors to consider, including financial aid as well as the intrinsic value of the college experience. The latter may be the most confusing aspect of the equation, since it’s impossible to quantify the benefits of moving away from home, becoming more independent, and meeting like-minded peers.

Still, attempting to calculate your potential return on investment is a good exercise before enrolling in a college or university. It can help you make important decisions such as how much you want to spend on tuition, how much you can afford to borrow in the form of student loans, and yes, which school to attend.

As you’re considering ROI as it relates to attending college, though, just keep in mind that it’s one of many factors you’ll want to keep in mind as you select your future alma mater.

GVC Staff

February 2020

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