Best Value Colleges For Humanities Majors

If your heart is set on studying the Humanities, you don't have to resign yourself to a lifetime of student loans you'll never be able to pay back.  Read More

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1University of California - Berkeley(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$463,100
Total 4 Year Cost$129,900
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
2University of Virginia (UVA) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$405,100
Total 4 Year Cost$97,900
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,760
3University of California - Berkeley(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$371,600
Total 4 Year Cost$221,400
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
4Brigham Young University (BYU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$355,700
Total 4 Year Cost$67,300
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,200
5Texas A&M University - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$339,800
Total 4 Year Cost$83,200
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,480
6California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$329,800
Total 4 Year Cost$93,200
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
7California State University - East Bay (CSUEB)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$311,500
Total 4 Year Cost$91,500
Grad Rate38%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,520
8University of Delaware(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$306,600
Total 4 Year Cost$96,400
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,320
9University of Virginia (UVA) - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$303,700
Total 4 Year Cost$199,300
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,760
10Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$295,000
Total 4 Year Cost$98,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,000
11University of Houston (UH)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$287,700
Total 4 Year Cost$85,300
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,640
12University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$287,500
Total 4 Year Cost$125,500
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,840
13California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) - San Luis Obispo(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$284,600
Total 4 Year Cost$138,400
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,360
14Miami University - Oxford, OH(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$282,800
Total 4 Year Cost$120,200
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,280
15Texas A&M University - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$276,800
Total 4 Year Cost$146,200
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,480

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

Just do your research and make a smart decision using PayScale's College ROI Report humanities major ranking to find out which colleges provide the highest return on investment for alumni who study English, literature, history, foreign languages, philosophy and other related subjects.

By using the College ROI Report, humanities majors can find out which colleges give alumni with a bachelor's degree in a humanities subject the best value for their educational dollar by calculating return on investment based on the 20-year earnings of alumni with a humanities degree from each school. This allows you to see the return on investment humanities majors from each school get from their degrees specifically.

In the search for a college with a high return on investment, humanities majors see the highest ROIs from some of the top public colleges in the country. The University of California, Berkeley earns first place for 20-Year Net ROI. Humanities majors paying in-state tuition see a 20-Year Net ROI of $463,100. That figure is based on students who receive no financial aid. If we factor in the average financial aid package Cal students receive (60 percent of UC Berkeley students receive financial aid), then the 20-Year Net Return on Investment for humanities majors shoots to $529,600. That's a 12 percent annualized ROI.

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA provides humanities majors a return on investment of $405,100 over 20 years, making it the second-highest ROI on our list. UVA has a reputation as a good value for college, especially for in-state residents, and the humanities majors it produces prove that you can launch a successful career with a humanities degree.

Brigham Young University in Utah is the third highest ROI for humanities majors assuming no financial aid. BYU students see an annualized ROI of 9.8 percent, amounting to $355,700 over 20 years. But if you do include financial aid, Texas A&M in College Station, Texas takes third place with a 20-Year Net ROI of $379,900 and an annualized ROI of 12.3 percent. The Aggies prove that writing and critical thinking skills can really pay off in the long term.

For humanities majors, return on investment really matters because resulting career paths are often less defined than they are for science, technology, engineering and math students. But don't despair - a degree in the humanities can lead to a wide array of high-paying careers. Just be aware that humanities majors often take longer to settle into their career of choice than engineering majors and other STEM majors. However, history shows that there are many successful humanities majors. Diane Sawyer, Clarence Thomas, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Steve Wynn and Hank Paulson are all examples of famous English majors. And there are many more examples of successful humanities majors: Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, studied philosophy and medieval studies at Stanford and went on to head up a major tech company. Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield also majored in philosophy and went on to work in technology. Rounding out your humanities degree with technical skills is a smart way to increase your worth.