Best Value Colleges For Humanities Majors

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.

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
1N/AN/AN/AN/A$843,000N/A$843,000N/A$0N/A86%4N/AN/A
1United States Military Academy(Service Academy)
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$843,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$843,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$0
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan AmtN/A
Grant Money ReceivedN/A
2N/AN/AN/AN/A$784,000N/A$784,000N/A$0N/A86%4N/AN/A
2United States Naval Academy(Service Academy)
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$784,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$784,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$0
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan AmtN/A
Grant Money ReceivedN/A
36.7%N/A14.1%N/A$701,000N/A$894,000N/A$261,000N/A98%4$21,50017%
3Yale University(Private)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$701,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$894,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$261,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate98%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$21,500
Grant Money Received17%
46.7%N/A14.0%N/A$633,000N/A$810,000N/A$240,000N/A97%4$18,10017%
4Princeton University(Private)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.0%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$633,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$810,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$18,100
Grant Money Received17%
56.1%6.1%12.1%12.1%$594,000$594,000$769,000$769,000$262,000$262,00095%4$28,60014%
5University of Pennsylvania(Private)
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI12.1%
Annual ROI12.1%
20 Year Net ROI$594,000
20 Year Net ROI$594,000
20 Year Net ROI$769,000
20 Year Net ROI$769,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,600
Grant Money Received14%
69.2%N/A13.1%N/A$532,000N/A$589,000N/A$111,000N/A78%6$34,40013%
6Virginia Military Institute(In-State)
Annual ROI9.2%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$532,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$589,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$34,400
Grant Money Received13%
75.8%N/A8.6%N/A$528,000N/A$630,000N/A$253,000N/A87%4$31,40012%
7Union College (New York)(Private)
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$528,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$630,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$253,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate87%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$31,400
Grant Money Received12%
85.6%N/A13.4%N/A$500,000N/A$692,000N/A$254,000N/A97%4$27,40016%
8Harvard University(Private)
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.4%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$500,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$692,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$27,400
Grant Money Received16%
95.6%N/A10.9%N/A$492,000N/A$650,000N/A$251,000N/A92%4$20,50015%
9Hamilton College(Private)
Annual ROI5.6%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$492,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$650,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$20,500
Grant Money Received15%
10 (tie)5.4%N/A11.8%N/A$489,000N/A$672,000N/A$265,000N/A97%4$24,70015%
10 (tie)Dartmouth College(Private)
Annual ROI5.4%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.8%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$489,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$672,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$265,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,700
Grant Money Received15%
10 (tie)5.7%N/A11.1%N/A$489,000N/A$643,000N/A$243,000N/A92%4$23,6006%
10 (tie)Washington and Lee University(Private)
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$489,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$643,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$243,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,600
Grant Money Received6%
125.3%N/A12.2%N/A$469,000N/A$657,000N/A$262,000N/A95%4$24,70012%
12Duke University(Private)
Annual ROI5.3%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI12.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$469,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$657,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,700
Grant Money Received12%
136.1%N/A10.3%N/A$458,000N/A$566,000N/A$201,000N/A72%4$28,60023%
13Wabash College(Private)
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.3%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$458,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$566,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$201,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate72%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$28,600
Grant Money Received23%
147.4%8.3%11.6%13.8%$446,000$467,000$520,000$541,000$139,000$118,00092%4$23,90023%
14University of California-Berkeley(In-State)
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI8.3%
Annual ROI11.6%
Annual ROI13.8%
20 Year Net ROI$446,000
20 Year Net ROI$467,000
20 Year Net ROI$520,000
20 Year Net ROI$541,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,900
Grant Money Received23%
156.0%N/A7.7%N/A$442,000N/A$498,000N/A$201,000N/A78%6$34,40013%
15Virginia Military Institute(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI7.7%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$442,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$498,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$201,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate78%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$34,400
Grant Money Received13%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

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.


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