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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91University of Houston (UH)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$243,000
Total 4 Year Cost$91,400
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
92 (tie)George Washington University (GWU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$240,000
Total 4 Year Cost$249,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
92 (tie)Northeastern University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$240,000
Total 4 Year Cost$237,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,400
94 (tie)Cleveland Institute of Art(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$239,000
Total 4 Year Cost$217,000
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$49,600
94 (tie)The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$239,000
Total 4 Year Cost$165,000
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$39,100
94 (tie)University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$239,000
Total 4 Year Cost$144,000
Grad Rate39%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,500
97 (tie)George Mason University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$237,000
Total 4 Year Cost$180,000
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,100
97 (tie)University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Dartmouth Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$237,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,800
99Colgate University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$235,000
Total 4 Year Cost$245,000
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$23,900
100Syracuse University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$233,000
Total 4 Year Cost$234,000
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$35,900
101University of Pennsylvania(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$232,000
Total 4 Year Cost$252,000
Grad Rate96%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,400
102 (tie)College for Creative Studies(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$231,000
Total 4 Year Cost$205,000
Grad Rate62%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$38,700
102 (tie)Tufts University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$231,000
Total 4 Year Cost$249,000
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,900
104 (tie)Lehigh University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$230,000
Total 4 Year Cost$232,000
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,100
104 (tie)Michigan State University (MSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$230,000
Total 4 Year Cost$100,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,200

*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.