Best Value Colleges for Humanities

If your heart is set on studying the Humanities — and as a proud holder of a degree in the Humanities, this writer knows we have the biggest hearts — you don’t have to resign yourself to a lifetime of student loans you’ll never be able to pay back.

Find out exactly what you should be paid
RankSchool Name20 Year Net ROI
Total 4 Year Cost
Graduation Rate
Typical Years to Graduate
Average Loan Amount
Rank:1School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$1,100,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:84%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$969,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:91%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$890,000Total 4 Year Cost:$312,000Graduation Rate:97%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$19,900
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$867,000Total 4 Year Cost:$292,000Graduation Rate:98%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,900
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$764,000Total 4 Year Cost:$316,000Graduation Rate:96%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$42,000
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$687,000Total 4 Year Cost:$299,000Graduation Rate:97%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$35,200
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$686,000Total 4 Year Cost:$302,000Graduation Rate:94%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$49,900
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$599,000Total 4 Year Cost:$293,000Graduation Rate:94%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$16,400
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$590,000Total 4 Year Cost:$299,000Graduation Rate:85%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$41,500
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$581,000Total 4 Year Cost:$305,000Graduation Rate:90%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$50,200

Just do your research and make a smart decision using Payscale’s College ROI Report humanities major ranking to find out which colleges provide the highest return on investment for alumni who study English, literature, history, foreign languages, philosophy and other related subjects.

By using the College ROI Report, humanities majors can find out which colleges give alumni with a bachelor’s degree in a humanities subject the best value for their educational dollar by calculating return on investment. This allows you to see the return on investment based on the 20-year earnings of alumni with a humanities degree from each school.

In the search for a college with a high return on investment, humanities majors see the highest ROIs from some of the top public colleges in the country. SUNY – Binghamton often earns a high rank for 20-Year Net ROI.

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA has a reputation as a good value college, especially for in-state residents, and the humanities majors it produces prove that you can launch a successful career with a humanities degree. For another school ranked highly for the humanities in Payscale’s College ROI Report, we remain in the Old Dominion. George Mason University provides a solid ROI for humanities majors assuming no financial aid.

For humanities majors, return on investment really matters because resulting career paths are often less defined than they are for science, technology, engineering and math students. But don’t despair; a degree in the humanities can certainly lead to a wide array of fulfilling and high-paying careers. Just be aware that humanities majors often take longer to settle into their career of choice than engineering majors and other STEM majors. However, history shows that there are many successful humanities majors. Diane Sawyer, Clarence Thomas, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Steve Wynn and Hank Paulson are all examples of famous English majors. And there are many more examples of successful humanities majors: Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, studied philosophy and medieval studies at Stanford and went on to head up a major tech company. Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield also majored in philosophy and went on to work in technology. So take note: rounding out your humanities degree with technical skills learned from a minor in addition to your major is a smart way to increase your worth.