Best Value Colleges For Economics Majors

Students who major in economics learn the analytical, quantitative, writing, and thinking skills that are needed in the business world.  Read More

Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid
Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid


1University of Pennsylvania(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$1,109,000
Total 4 Year Cost$234,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,760
2University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$796,900
Total 4 Year Cost$129,900
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
3Rutgers University - New Brunswick Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$748,800
Total 4 Year Cost$114,200
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,240
4University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$711,600
Total 4 Year Cost$91,400
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
5University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$705,400
Total 4 Year Cost$221,400
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
6Rutgers University - New Brunswick Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$697,300
Total 4 Year Cost$165,700
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,240
7University of Virginia (UVA) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$685,100
Total 4 Year Cost$97,900
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,760
8University of California - Santa Barbara (UCSB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$674,900
Total 4 Year Cost$128,200
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,120
9University of Iowa (UI)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$659,000
Total 4 Year Cost$84,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,040
10University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$648,100
Total 4 Year Cost$154,900
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
11University of Michigan - Ann Arbor(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$641,500
Total 4 Year Cost$101,500
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,240
12University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$617,500
Total 4 Year Cost$125,500
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,840
13University of California - San Diego (UCSD)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$615,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,440
14University of Texas (UT) - Austin(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$602,700
Total 4 Year Cost$100,300
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,960
15University of Utah(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$596,600
Total 4 Year Cost$86,400
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,680

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

And since they definitely learn how the financial world works, it should be important that they find the best value colleges for economics majors.

Unfortunately, many students are unaware of the short- and long-term benefits of obtaining an economics degree, namely job versatility and earning potential. If you take a look at PayScale's College ROI Report, you'll find that economics degrees have some pretty promising returns on investment, especially at the schools we have deemed best value colleges for economics majors.

First place is awarded to the University of Pennsylvania ('Penn") with an estimated $1,259,400 net 20-year return on investment and 15.1 percent net annualized return for its economics graduates that are receiving financial aid. This Ivy League school is revered as one of the top research academies in the nation, so it should come as no surprise that it takes the cake for rewarding its economics alumni with a hefty return on investment for their educational dollars.

On the College ROI Report, economics majors at The University of California, Berkeley ('Cal") can expect ROIs that rank 2nd and 4rd on the list (for in-state and out-of-state status, respectively). For economics majors paying in-state tuition (2nd place), their return on investment over 20 years is $881,200 with an impressive 16.4 percent annualized ROI.

Out-of-state Cal students can expect a 20-year return of $789,700 (10.2 percent annualized return) from this best value college for economics majors. Regardless of what major you're pursuing, Cal seems to be a very safe bet to invest your educational dollars, seeing that it consistently ranks in the top three on the College ROI Report for nearly every major.

Third place for the best value college for economics majors is awarded to America's eighth-oldest university and "The Birthplace of College Football," New Jersey's Rutgers University ('RU"). Scarlet Knights who pursue an education in economics are looking at a net ROI of $789,700 based on their expected earnings over a 20-year period, as well as a 13.9 percent annualized ROI to go with it. Not too shabby for one of the oldest colleges in the nation -- still going strong, Rutgers. HOORAH!

Looking at the numbers from the College ROI Report, economics majors can surely count on a decent return on their educational dollars, especially from these top-tier schools. Consider a higher education in economics because the career opportunities are nearly limitless and are in high demand, plus you'll get your money's worth.