Best Value Religious Schools

The College ROI for Report Religious Schools shows students and their parents which religious colleges and universities offer the best return on their educational investments.  Read More

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1Lafayette College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$656,100
Total 4 Year Cost$226,900
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,440
2Manhattan College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$647,900
Total 4 Year Cost$185,200
Grad Rate74%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,440
3Duke University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$619,200
Total 4 Year Cost$233,800
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$21,760
4Brigham Young University (BYU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$615,700
Total 4 Year Cost$67,300
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,200
5Santa Clara University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$596,200
Total 4 Year Cost$226,800
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,120
6Saint Mary's College of California(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$561,000
Total 4 Year Cost$222,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$36,640
7Loyola University - Baltimore, MD(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$550,200
Total 4 Year Cost$222,800
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,560
8University of Notre Dame(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$546,600
Total 4 Year Cost$226,400
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,360
9College of the Holy Cross(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$511,600
Total 4 Year Cost$221,400
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,080
10Georgetown University - Washington D.C.(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$486,300
Total 4 Year Cost$236,700
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,040
11Boston College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$472,300
Total 4 Year Cost$230,700
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$18,640
12Thomas More College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$472,200
Total 4 Year Cost$150,800
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,160
13Seton Hall University - South Orange, NJ(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$467,000
Total 4 Year Cost$196,000
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$44,800
14Fordham University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$453,300
Total 4 Year Cost$239,700
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,320
15Gonzaga University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$449,700
Total 4 Year Cost$183,300
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,960

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

Devout students often prefer to attend schools that are associated with their religions. Some are interested in pursuing careers with the church and are drawn to such universities for this reason. However, many students attend religious colleges not because of their own religious affiliations but simply because those schools have excellent academic reputations, and many deliver exceptional ROI. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to attend such a college or university, consider using PayScale's data to pinpoint the best value religious schools in the country.

Ranked 32nd nationally for 20 Year Net ROI, Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania earns the top slot for best value religious colleges. Although it is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, the private school is better known for offering a wide array of excellent degree programs spanning a number of disciplines. Though it has a rural setting, Lafayette is fairly close to Philadelphia and NYC, so students enjoy easy access to big cities. Lafayette alumni report a median return of investment of $656,100 in the 20 years following graduation. With financial aid, that figure skyrockets to $782,900. Offering BAs in 37 fields, including the social sciences, engineering, English, biology and psychology, Lafayette has produced many notable alumni, including two Nobel Award winners and numerous prominent business people and politicians.

With its close ties to the Roman Catholic Church, Manhattan College offers a religious colleges return on investment students and their families are sure to appreciate. Ranked 33rd nationally in terms of 20 Year Net ROI, the Bronx-based school offers well-regarded undergraduate programs in fields ranging from business to engineering to the sciences. In addition to being made up of five undergraduate schools, Manhattan College offers a number of pre-professional programs. The 20 Year Net ROI for this private, religious college is $647,900 without financial aid and $723,400 with it. Through the years, the college has produced many illustrious graduates, including former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and prolific novelist James Patterson.

Located in Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University -- also known as BYU, or simply The Y -- boasts a student population of more than 34,000 students, making it the largest religious university in the nation. Approximately 98 percent of students are members of the LDS Church, so religion features prominently on the 560-acre campus. Ranked 42nd nationally for 20 Year Net ROI, BYU's 11 colleges and schools offer programs in a wide range of fields, including engineering, the liberal arts, management, law and agriculture. Alumni of the school report a median return of investment of $615,700 over the two decades following graduation. With financial aid, that number jumps to $633,100. Many prominent members of the LDS Church have graduated from BYU, and the school counts novelist Stephenie Meyer and top Jeopardy winner Ken Jennings among its alumni.

Marketing itself as "the Jesuit university in Silicon Valley," Santa Clara University enjoys a 51st-place ranking on the national 20 Year Net ROI list. Indeed, the 20 Year Net ROI of SCU is $596,200 without financial aid and $670,100 with it. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley on a 106-acre campus, the school is made up of six colleges, including the Jesuit School of Theology and the Leavey School of Business. More than 40 Jesuit priests and brothers serve as teachers and administrators at the highly regarded school, which also offers more than 125 clubs and organizations for students.