Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Best value public colleges in America

  • Best value public colleges in America
    1/ Caroline Culler // Wkicommons

    Best value public colleges in America

    There are many differences between public and private colleges: Public universities often have larger class sizes and more degree options while private universities are known for better access to professors and greater geographical diversity among students because in-state tuition isn’t a consideration. But the biggest difference for many? Cost.

    For in-state students, and even some out-of-state students, public universities are far less expensive than private institutions. However, that doesn’t mean that value is lost. On the contrary, some of the most prestigious schools in the United States, from West Coast to East Coast, are public universities. And, in many cases, the return on investment is greater for those attending public programs. But which public colleges have proved their value the most?

    For this list, Stacker looked at Niche's 2019 list of the best value colleges in America. This ranking includes only public, four-year colleges and weighs the cost of tuition with each school’s acceptance rate, quality of professors, diversity, and the median earnings for alumni six years after graduation.

    Read on to discover the best value public colleges in America.

    RELATED: Best value private colleges in America

  • #50. University of Connecticut - Avery Point
    2/ Pi.1415926535 // Wikicommons

    #50. University of Connecticut - Avery Point

    Location: Groton, CT
    Number of undergraduates: 623
    Net price: $7,273
    Acceptance rate: 62%
    Professors grade: data not available
    Diversity grade: B
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,800

  • #49. Michigan State University
    3/ Jeffness // Wikicommons

    #49. Michigan State University

    Location: East Lansing, MI
    Number of undergraduates: 35,447
    Net price: $14,970
    Acceptance rate: 66%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,500

  • #48. Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    4/ Tomwsulcer // Wikicommons

    #48. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

    Location: New Brunswick, NJ
    Number of undergraduates: 34,020
    Net price: $15,614
    Acceptance rate: 57%
    Professors grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,400

  • #47. Iowa State University
    5/ SD Dirk // Wikicommons

    #47. Iowa State University

    Location: Ames, IA
    Number of undergraduates: 28,872
    Net price: $13,623
    Acceptance rate: 87%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,600

  • #46. CUNY Baruch College
    6/ Xbxg32000 // WIkicommons

    #46. CUNY Baruch College

    Location: New York City, NY
    Number of undergraduates: 11,288
    Net price: $9,510
    Acceptance rate: 31%
    Professors grade: B-
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,300

  • #45. Oregon Institute of Technology
    7/ OregonTech // Wikicommons

    #45. Oregon Institute of Technology

    Location: Klamath Falls, OR 
    Number of undergraduates: 2,385
    Net price: $16,425
    Acceptance rate: 73%
    Professors grade: B
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,900

  • #44. Rutgers University - Newark
    8/ Mrtoren // Wikicommons

    #44. Rutgers University - Newark

    Location: Newark, NJ 
    Number of undergraduates: 6,680
    Net price: $10,771
    Acceptance rate: 65%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,400

  • #43. University of Connecticut - Tri-Campus
    9/ Ray Rivera // Flickr

    #43. University of Connecticut - Tri-Campus

    Location: Waterbury, CT
    Number of undergraduates: 1,803
    Net price: $6,463
    Acceptance rate: 58%
    Professors grade: D+
    Diversity grade: B
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,800

  • #42. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
    10/ Ben Franske // Wikicommons

    #42. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

    Location: Minneapolis, MN
    Number of undergraduates: 29,566
    Net price: $16,242
    Acceptance rate: 44%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,800

  • #41. Citadel Military College of South Carolina
    11/ ProfReader // Wikicommons

    #41. Citadel Military College of South Carolina

    Location: Charleston, SC 
    Number of undergraduates: 2,504
    Net price: $18,465
    Acceptance rate: 82%
    Professors grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,900

  • #40. University of Connecticut
    12/ Daderot // Wikicommons

    #40. University of Connecticut

    Location: Storrs, CT
    Number of undergraduates: 18,655
    Net price: $19,064
    Acceptance rate: 49%
    Professors grade: B+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,800

  • #39. University of California - Santa Barbara
    13/ UCSB Library // Wikicommons

    #39. University of California - Santa Barbara

    Location: Santa Barbara, CA
    Number of undergraduates: 21,199
    Net price: $15,149
    Acceptance rate: 36%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,500

  • #38. Binghamton University, SUNY
    14/ Yb20061462 // Wikicommons

    #38. Binghamton University, SUNY

    Location: Binghamton, NY
    Number of undergraduates: 13,185
    Net price: $16,540
    Acceptance rate: 41%
    Professors grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,200

  • #37. University of Connecticut - Stamford
    15/ John9474 // Wikicommons

    #37. University of Connecticut - Stamford

    Location: Stamford, CT 
    Number of undergraduates: 1,194
    Net price: $7,380
    Acceptance rate: 57%
    Professors grade: C-
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,800

  • #36. University of Georgia
    16/ Michael Rivera // Wikicommons

    #36. University of Georgia

    Location: Athens, GA
    Number of undergraduates: 26,328
    Net price: $14,956
    Acceptance rate: 54%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,500

  • #35. University of California - San Diego
    17/ loustejskal // Flickr

    #35. University of California - San Diego

    Location: La Jolla, CA 
    Number of undergraduates: 27,386
    Net price: $14,770
    Acceptance rate: 36%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,600

  • #34. University of Delaware
    18/ Cargoudel // Wikicommons

    #34. University of Delaware

    Location: Newark, DE 
    Number of undergraduates: 17,761
    Net price: $15,894
    Acceptance rate: 70%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,100

  • #33. University of California - Davis
    19/ Bev Sykes // Wikicommons

    #33. University of California - Davis

    Location: Davis, CA 
    Number of undergraduates: 28,564
    Net price: $16,039
    Acceptance rate: 42%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,300

  • #32. New Jersey Institute of Technology
    20/ jedhakuro // Flickr

    #32. New Jersey Institute of Technology

    Location: Newark, NJ
    Number of undergraduates: 6,180
    Net price: $15,406
    Acceptance rate: 59%
    Professors grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,900

  • #31. Clemson University
    21/ Yousef Abdul-Husein // Wikicommons

    #31. Clemson University

    Location: Clemson, SC
    Number of undergraduates: 17,883
    Net price: $17,797
    Acceptance rate: 51%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: B+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,900

  • #30. University of California - Irvine
    22/ Allyunion // Wikicommons

    #30. University of California - Irvine

    Location: Irvine, CA 
    Number of undergraduates: 26,889
    Net price: $13,780
    Acceptance rate: 41%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,100

  • #29. The College of New Jersey
    23/ Tomwsulcer // Wikicommons

    #29. The College of New Jersey

    Location: Ewing Township, NJ
    Number of undergraduates: 6,496
    Net price: $22,421
    Acceptance rate: 49%
    Professors grade: B+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,200

  • #28. University of Washington
    24/ Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

    #28. University of Washington

    Location: Seattle, WA
    Number of undergraduates: 28,380
    Net price: $10,068
    Acceptance rate: 45%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,800

  • #27. North Carolina State University
    25/ informatique // Flickr

    #27. North Carolina State University

    Location: Raleigh, NC
    Number of undergraduates: 20,951
    Net price: $13,066
    Acceptance rate: 48%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,300

  • #26. University of Maryland - College Park
    26/ Ryan Kosmides // Wikicommons

    #26. University of Maryland - College Park

    Location: College Park, MD
    Number of undergraduates: 26,350
    Net price: $15,757
    Acceptance rate: 48%
    Professors grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,700

  • #25. James Madison University
    27/ Alma mater // Wikicommons

    #25. James Madison University

    Location: Harrisonburg, VA 
    Number of undergraduates: 18,554
    Net price: $16,252
    Acceptance rate: 72%
    Professors grade: A-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,800

  • #24. University of Florida
    28/ Spohpatuf // Wikicommons

    #24. University of Florida

    Location: Gainesville, FL 
    Number of undergraduates: 31,014
    Net price: $14,761
    Acceptance rate: 46%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,100

  • #23. University of California - Los Angeles
    29/ b r e n t // Wikicommons

    #23. University of California - Los Angeles

    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Number of undergraduates: 30,343
    Net price: $14,236
    Acceptance rate: 18%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,700

  • #22. Maine Maritime Academy
    30/ Billy Hathorn // Wikicommons

    #22. Maine Maritime Academy

    Location: Castine, ME 
    Number of undergraduates: 981
    Net price: $19,225
    Acceptance rate: 76%
    Professors grade: B
    Diversity grade: C+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $84,000

  • #21. University of Texas - Austin
    31/ Utexas // Wikicommons

    #21. University of Texas - Austin

    Location: Austin, TX 
    Number of undergraduates: 37,234
    Net price: $16,010
    Acceptance rate: 40%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,900

  • #20. University of Wisconsin
    32/ Daniel J Siminek

    #20. University of Wisconsin

    Location: Madison, WI
    Number of undergraduates: 28,577
    Net price: $15,874
    Acceptance rate: 53%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,200

  • #19. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    33/ Caroline Culler // Wkicommons

    #19. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Location: Chapel Hill, NC
    Number of undergraduates: 17,869
    Net price: $10,077
    Acceptance rate: 27%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,100

  • #18. Texas A&M University
    34/ Michael Barera // Wikicommons

    #18. Texas A&M University

    Location: College Station, TX 
    Number of undergraduates: 45,091
    Net price: $15,455
    Acceptance rate: 67%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,500

  • #17. Purdue University
    35/ Diego Desla // Wikicommons

    #17. Purdue University

    Location: West Lafayette, IN
    Number of undergraduates: 29,309
    Net price: $11,693
    Acceptance rate: 56%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,000

  • #16. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    36/ adam_jones // Flickr

    #16. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Location: Champaign, IL
    Number of undergraduates: 32,540
    Net price: $16,683
    Acceptance rate: 60%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $57,600

  • #15. California State University Maritime Academy
    37/ imwilliam // Flickr

    #15. California State University Maritime Academy

    Location: Vallejo, CA 
    Number of undergraduates: 1,075
    Net price: $14,606
    Acceptance rate: 68%
    Professors grade: B-
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,000

  • #14. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
    38/ Rob Bulmahn // Flickr

    #14. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

    Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
    Number of undergraduates: 19,703
    Net price: $18,530
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Professors grade: B
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,100

  • #13. University of California - Berkeley
    39/ brainchildvn // Wikicommons

    #13. University of California - Berkeley

    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Number of undergraduates: 28,108
    Net price: $17,160
    Acceptance rate: 17%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,800

  • #12. SUNY Maritime College
    40/ Jim Henderson // Wikicommons

    #12. SUNY Maritime College

    Location: Bronx, NY 
    Number of undergraduates: 1,590
    Net price: $16,301
    Acceptance rate: 58%
    Professors grade: B-
    Diversity grade: B+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $76,700

  • #11. Missouri University of Science & Technology
    41/ Adavidb // Wikicommons

    #11. Missouri University of Science & Technology

    Location: Rolla, MO 
    Number of undergraduates: 6,215
    Net price: $13,874
    Acceptance rate: 79%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: B+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,100

  • #10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    42/ Dwight Burdette // Wikicommons

    #10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

    Location: Ann Arbor, MI 
    Number of undergraduates: 27,969
    Net price: $16,107
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,100

  • #9. College of William & Mary
    43/ kenlund // Flickr

    #9. College of William & Mary

    Location: Williamsburg, VA 
    Number of undergraduates: 6,209
    Net price: $16,734
    Acceptance rate: 37%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,400

  • #8. Michigan Technological University
    44/ Jcvertin // Wikicommons

    #8. Michigan Technological University

    Location: Houghton, MI
    Number of undergraduates: 5,446
    Net price: $16,276
    Acceptance rate: 76%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: B+
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $64,700

  • #7. Virginia Tech
    45/ CBGator87 // Wikicommons

    #7. Virginia Tech

    Location: Blacksburg, VA 
    Number of undergraduates: 25,213
    Net price: $17,190
    Acceptance rate: 71%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,500

  • #6. Massachusetts Maritime Academy
    46/ massmaritime // Flickr

    #6. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

    Location: Buzzards Bay, MA
    Number of undergraduates: 1,605
    Net price: $14,035
    Acceptance rate: 80%
    Professors grade: C
    Diversity grade: B
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,300

  • #5. University of Virginia
    47/ Bestbudbrian // Wikicommons

    #5. University of Virginia

    Location: Charlottesville, VA
    Number of undergraduates: 15,476
    Net price: $15,945
    Acceptance rate: 30%
    Professors grade: A+
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,700

  • #4. Virginia Military Institute
    48/ koocbur // Wikicommons

    #4. Virginia Military Institute

    Location: Lexington, VA 
    Number of undergraduates: 1,713
    Net price: $16,195
    Acceptance rate: 51%
    Professors grade: A-
    Diversity grade: B
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,200

  • #3. Colorado School of Mines
    49/ cogdogblog // Flickr

    #3. Colorado School of Mines

    Location: Golden, CO 
    Number of undergraduates: 4,395
    Net price: $25,097
    Acceptance rate: 40%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A-
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $82,100

  • #2. Georgia Institute of Technology
    50/ JJonahJackelope // Wikicommons

    #2. Georgia Institute of Technology

    Location: Atlanta, GA 
    Number of undergraduates: 13,815
    Net price: $13,340
    Acceptance rate: 26%
    Professors grade: A
    Diversity grade: A
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $75,800

  • #1. United States Merchant Marine Academy
    51/ Stephanie Ramirez // U.S. Army Reserve

    #1. United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Location: Kings Point, NY 
    Number of undergraduates: 904
    Net price: $4,548
    Acceptance rate: 20%
    Professors grade: C
    Diversity grade: B
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $78,900

2018 All rights reserved.