Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin

Up north in the Badger State, many schools offer incredible value for the cost of their college educations.  Read More

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1Milwaukee School of Engineering(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$580,000
Total 4 Year Cost$184,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$32,100
2University of Wisconsin (UW) - Platteville Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$515,000
Total 4 Year Cost$69,100
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,300
3University of Wisconsin (UW) - Platteville Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$485,000
Total 4 Year Cost$99,400
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,300
4University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$459,000
Total 4 Year Cost$94,500
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
5Marquette University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$416,000
Total 4 Year Cost$191,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$36,700
6University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$395,000
Total 4 Year Cost$159,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
7University of Wisconsin (UWEC) - Eau Claire(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$321,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,400
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,100
8University of Wisconsin (UW) - La Crosse Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$313,000
Total 4 Year Cost$71,400
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,900
9University of Wisconsin (UW) - Stout Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$310,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,900
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,500
10University of Wisconsin (UWM) - Milwaukee(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$305,000
Total 4 Year Cost$88,900
Grad Rate44%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
11University of Wisconsin (UWW) - Whitewater(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$298,000
Total 4 Year Cost$66,400
Grad Rate58%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,700
12University of Wisconsin (UWEC) - Eau Claire(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$290,000
Total 4 Year Cost$104,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,100
13University of Wisconsin (UW) - La Crosse Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$282,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,900
14University of Wisconsin (UW) - Stout Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$279,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,500
15University of Wisconsin (UWP) - Parkside(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$271,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,600
Grad Rate31%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,200

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

They also enjoy close proximity to a number of vibrant, cosmopolitan cities, two Great Lakes, thousands of smaller inland lakes and huge expanses of pristine, natural wilderness. Given the state's reputation as America's Dairyland, those who attend school here also enjoy easy access to some of the best cheeses and other dairy products in the world. Whether you'd like to attend school in Wisconsin because of its high college ROI or simply because you enjoy eating lots of cheese, consider using PayScale's data to determine the best value colleges in Wisconsin before you apply.

Coming in the tail-end of the top 75 nationally ranked schools on our list, the Milwaukee School of Engineering is a top contender in terms of the best value colleges in the state of Wisconsin. Unlike most colleges that top our list, MSOE is a private not-for-profit college with an enrollment of only around 2,500 graduate and undergraduate students. MSOE is located on 22 acres of downtown Milwaukee. A degree from MSOE will cost around $184k, but has a 20-year net ROI of $580k. This figure increases to $660 if you factor in financial aid. MSOE is ranked 73 nationally on our list for 20-year net ROI, and number one in the state of Wisconsin.

In the category of public colleges, your best bet is the University of Wisconsin Platteville campus. In-state tuition starts at $69k and out-of-state starts at $99k. Nationally UW Platteville ranks 117th nationally and 2nd in the state of Wisconsin in terms of 20-year net ROI. Alumni from UW Platteville report a $515k return on their college investment. Of course, Platteville isn't the only campus of the University of Wisconsin, but it is the campus with the highest ROI. Other UW campuses include UW Madison, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Stout, Milwaukee, Whitewater, Parkside and the Oshkosh campus.

One of the more well-known colleges in Wisconsin is Marquette University, which appears 235th on our list nationally. Marquette is a private college, also located in Milwaukee, with an enrollment of about 11k students. To be a golden eagle means you will pay around $191k in tuition, and earn a 20-year net ROI of $416k. Unlike most colleges in Wisconsin, most students finish their degrees within 4 years at Marquette.

In addition to having as much cheese within your reach as you could ever want, the state of Wisconsin offers a diverse character that makes so many Wisconsinites happy to call this place home. Heritage is very important in this state, as evident by the many festivals and attractions put on throughout the year. During the summer, Wisconsin students from all over come together to enjoy things like Summerfest, Oktoberfest, Polish Fest, Cheese Days, and Irish Fest. Did we mention there is a festival completely dedicated to cheese?

If cheese doesn't tickle your fancy, perhaps consider the fact that Wisconsin is home to some pretty amazing sport teams. In the fall, students can enjoy watching the Green Bay Packers at historic Lambeau Field. Not into football? The Milwaukee Brewers baseball team is sure to entertain. The landscape of Wisconsin also allows for many recreational activities in the winter months, including lots of cross-country skiing and even snowmobile derbies.