Best Value Colleges For Art Careers

If you've always dreamed of a job that lets you use your creativity, but are discouraged by the fear of becoming a starving artist, pay close attention to the following College ROI rankings.  Read More

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165 (tie)The College of William and Mary(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$173,000
Total 4 Year Cost$210,000
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,400
167 (tie)Arizona State University (ASU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$172,000
Total 4 Year Cost$154,000
Grad Rate63%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,200
167 (tie)University of North Texas (UNT)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$172,000
Total 4 Year Cost$83,000
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,200
169 (tie)Towson University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$171,000
Total 4 Year Cost$94,200
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$28,100
169 (tie)University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$171,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,100
Grad Rate66%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$27,400
171 (tie)Biola University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$170,000
Total 4 Year Cost$190,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,200
171 (tie)Miami University - Oxford, OH(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$170,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,800
171 (tie)Ohio State University (OSU) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$170,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,700
171 (tie)West Chester University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$170,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,500
175James Madison University (JMU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$168,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,400
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,600
176 (tie)Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) - Main Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$167,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$36,200
176 (tie)University of Virginia (UVA) - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$167,000
Total 4 Year Cost$220,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,300
178 (tie)Plymouth State University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$166,000
Total 4 Year Cost$137,000
Grad Rate58%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$35,200
178 (tie)Stony Brook University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$166,000
Total 4 Year Cost$141,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
178 (tie)University of Wisconsin (UW) - Platteville Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$166,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,300

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

Our Best Schools For Art Jobs category incorporates everything from art directors, to audio and video technicians, to copywriters to graphic designers. By using PayScale data to find out which art schools provide the best ROI, you can study a subject you love and still find a way to pay back your student loans and eat more than Top Ramen every night.

A school that seems to perennially excel in any and all areas of study, including fine art, the University of California, Berkeley ("Cal") often comes in near the top of PayScale's College ROI Report when it comes to earning a degree in the arts. Notable UC Berkeley alums who went on to a have successful career in the arts include actor Chris Pine ("Star Trek"), musician Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles), and legendary actor Gregory Peck ("To Kill a Mockingbird", "Roman Holiday" and "Moby Dick").

The Academy of Art in San Francisco in yet another California school on this list. This private art school in Northern California typically has a low graduation, and students often take more than four years to graduate, so weigh this decision carefully.

If you live for Fashion Week and have always dreamed of having your creations appear in the pages of Vogue, then The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, may be the best school for you. Despite the fact that fashion jobs are some of the hardest arts jobs to come by and that fashion is a competitive field, FIT alumni who go on to work in their chosen field often see a solid return on their educational investment. Most people don't know that the Fashion Institute of Technology is a public school, which may explain how it keeps costs down for students. Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Nanette Lepore and Calvin Klein all attended FIT.

These days, pursuing a career in the arts requires more than just raw talent if you want to be able to pay your bills. Most art jobs now require some technological know-how, whether it's familiarity with the software used in graphic design, video production or fashion, or a little knowledge of computer programming and coding. You can absolutely have a successful career in the arts, but before you choose that professional path, it's imperative that you learn complementary skills and do your research to find out which art schools provide their alumni with the best return on investment.