Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin

With the Wisconsin College ROI Report you can find out which Wisconsin colleges and universities offer the best return on investment for the time and money you put in to obtaining a bachelor's degree.  Read More

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1Milwaukee School of Engineering(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$523,000
Total 4 Year Cost$180,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,640
2University of Wisconsin (UW) - Platteville Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$467,100
Total 4 Year Cost$65,900
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,000
3University of Wisconsin (UW) - Platteville Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$436,800
Total 4 Year Cost$96,200
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,000
4University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$381,600
Total 4 Year Cost$91,400
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
5University of Wisconsin (UW) - Stout Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$341,100
Total 4 Year Cost$71,900
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,400
6University of Wisconsin (UW) - La Crosse Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$332,900
Total 4 Year Cost$70,100
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,080
7Marquette University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$319,500
Total 4 Year Cost$183,500
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,120
8University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$318,100
Total 4 Year Cost$154,900
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,480
9University of Wisconsin (UW) - Stout Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$310,100
Total 4 Year Cost$102,900
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,400
10University of Wisconsin (UW) - La Crosse Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$302,600
Total 4 Year Cost$100,400
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,080
11University of Wisconsin (UWEC) - Eau Claire(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$292,300
Total 4 Year Cost$70,700
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,600
12University of Wisconsin (UWM) - Milwaukee(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$286,300
Total 4 Year Cost$86,700
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,400
13University of Wisconsin (UWEC) - Eau Claire(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$262,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,600
14Cardinal Stritch University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$261,000
Total 4 Year Cost$152,000
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
15University of Wisconsin (UWM) - Milwaukee(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$247,400
Total 4 Year Cost$125,600
Grad Rate41%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,400

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

Many schools in the Badger State offer incredible value for the cost of their college educations. 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 being there, consider using PayScale's data to determine the best value colleges in Wisconsin before you apply.

With its national ranking on our list of best value colleges in the U.S., the Milwaukee School of Engineering holds the distinction of topping the list of Wisconsin College ROI Report rankings as well. This private, not-for-profit university is located in bustling downtown Milwaukee and boasts a student population of more than 2,600. The average cost of a degree from MSOE is around $180,000. Alumni, many of whom earned degrees in engineering, mathematics, business and nursing, report a median return of investment of $523,000. That figure soars to $609,200 when financial aid is taken into account. If you meet certain criteria after earning your bachelor's degree, you may avail yourself of the school's Graduate Tuition Grant to earn your master's degree without paying more tuition. Best known for its highly esteemed electrical engineering program, MSOE has produced numerous business leaders, inventors and state senators through the years.

Founded in 1866 and boasting three colleges, the University of Wisconsin at Platteville is ranked 133rd nationally in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Speaking of which, the school's 20 Year Net ROI without financial aid is $467,100. That total rises to $479,700 when financial aid is added, so it's easy to see why it's among the top best value colleges Wisconsin students consider. The more than 8,700 students who attend UW-Platteville annually cheer on the Pioneers, proudly wear clothes featuring the school's official orange and blue colors and enjoy access to more than 250 clubs and organizations. The unique campus has no city streets, creating a peaceful and bucolic setting. The cost of earning a degree from this school is just $65,900, so it provides a college return on investment Wisconsin residents benefit from enormously.

Appearing 240th on PayScale's list of the best value colleges in the U.S., the University of Wisconsin at Madison is a worthwhile option for students who want exceptional bang for their buck. The 20 Year Net ROI is $381,600, which rises to $404,700 with financial aid. Founded in 1848, the same year in which Wisconsin became a state, the school boasts a student population of well over 40,000, making it the largest and oldest in the Badger State. Located just a mile from the state capitol building, the school offers degree programs in subjects as varied as agriculture, journalism and engineering. Thanks to its reputation as a party school, UW attracts students from around the state, country and world.

Marquette University in Milwaukee is ranked 350th nationally in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Founded in 1881, the private school has 11 schools and colleges and offers degrees in fields of study ranging from the liberal arts to law. The average cost of a degree from the school is $183,500. However, alumni report a median return of investment of $319,500, which increases to $380,400 with financial aid. Therefore, Marquette University easily delivers the value of college education Wisconsin students and their families seek.