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Best value public colleges in America

  • 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 usually far less expensive than private institutions. The average private program today costs about $36,800 and elite schools can top out at over $50,000. In comparison, public schools average out at around $10,100 for in-state students and $22,500 for out-of-state students. That doesn’t mean that many students at these schools graduate debt-free–several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have called for making these schools entirely free or subsidizing students who chose to attend in-state universities. 

    Still, many do graduate with less debt than peers who choose to attend public universities due to the lower overall cost, but that difference in price doesn’t mean that value is lost. On the contrary, some of the most prestigious schools in the United States, from the West Coast to the East Coast, are public universities, and many are conducting cutting-edge research that will fuel the technologies of tomorrow. And, in some 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 see which public schools prospective students can apply to that will allow them to maximize their educational potential.

    Story updated by Isabel Sepulveda.

    You may also like: Best value private colleges in America

  • #50. Iowa State University

    - Location: Ames, IA
    - Students: 28,743
    - Acceptance rate: 89%
    - Graduation rate: 73%
    - Faculty ratio: 19:1
    - In-state tuition: $8,219
    - Out-of-state tuition: $21,583
    - Six-year median earnings: $50,700

  • #49. Rutgers University - Newark

    - Location: Newark, NJ
    - Students: 7,162
    - Acceptance rate: 64%
    - Graduation rate: 68%
    - Faculty ratio: 15:1
    - In-state tuition: $14,085
    - Out-of-state tuition: $30,026
    - Six-year median earnings: $57,900

  • #48. Michigan State University

    - Location: East Lansing, MI
    - Students: 35,404
    - Acceptance rate: 72%
    - Graduation rate: 79%
    - Faculty ratio: 16:1
    - In-state tuition: $14,516
    - Out-of-state tuition: $39,461
    - Six-year median earnings: $53,600

  • #47. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

    - Location: Piscataway, NJ
    - Students: 33,677
    - Acceptance rate: 58%
    - Graduation rate: 80%
    - Faculty ratio: 15:1
    - In-state tuition: $14,638
    - Out-of-state tuition: $30,579
    - Six-year median earnings: $57,900

  • #46. University of Washington - Bothell

    - Location: Bothell, WA
    - Students: 4,641
    - Acceptance rate: 80%
    - Graduation rate: 64%
    - Faculty ratio: 20:1
    - In-state tuition: $10,690
    - Out-of-state tuition: $34,728
    - Six-year median earnings: $57,700

  • #45. University of Connecticut - Avery Point

    - Location: Groton, CT
    - Students: 575
    - Acceptance rate: 94%
    - Graduation rate: 58%
    - Faculty ratio: 20:1
    - In-state tuition: $12,838
    - Out-of-state tuition: $34,906
    - Six-year median earnings: $58,400

  • #44. University of Connecticut - Waterbury

    - Location: Waterbury, CT
    - Students: 784
    - Acceptance rate: 96%
    - Graduation rate: 59%
    - Faculty ratio: 21:1
    - In-state tuition: $12,838
    - Out-of-state tuition: $34,906
    - Six-year median earnings: $58,400

  • #43. CUNY Baruch College

    - Location: New York, NY
    - Students: 11,598
    - Acceptance rate: 29%
    - Graduation rate: 70%
    - Faculty ratio: 19:1
    - In-state tuition: $7,062
    - Out-of-state tuition: $14,452
    - Six-year median earnings: $57,200

  • #42. University of Delaware

    - Location: Newark, DE
    - Students: 18,195
    - Acceptance rate: 63%
    - Graduation rate: 82%
    - Faculty ratio: 15:1
    - In-state tuition: $13,160
    - Out-of-state tuition: $33,150
    - Six-year median earnings: $57,000

  • #41. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

    - Location: Minneapolis, MN
    - Students: 29,991
    - Acceptance rate: 50%
    - Graduation rate: 80%
    - Faculty ratio: 17:1
    - In-state tuition: $14,488
    - Out-of-state tuition: $26,674
    - Six-year median earnings: $51,900

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