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.

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.  Read More

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511Kutztown University of Pennsylvania(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$47,300
Total 4 Year Cost$93,600
Grad Rate55%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,500
512University at Brockport(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$47,100
Total 4 Year Cost$85,200
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,500
513Florida International University (FIU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$46,300
Total 4 Year Cost$92,700
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,000
514University of Nebraska at Omaha(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$45,000
Total 4 Year Cost$79,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$20,600
515Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$44,800
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$31,500
516University of California - Riverside (UCR)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$44,400
Total 4 Year Cost$223,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,900
517University of Wisconsin (UWW) - Whitewater(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$43,800
Total 4 Year Cost$69,000
Grad Rate58%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,700
518Davidson College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$43,100
Total 4 Year Cost$236,000
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,500
519Ball State University (BSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$42,600
Total 4 Year Cost$90,200
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$29,400
520 (tie)Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$42,400
Total 4 Year Cost$95,500
Grad Rate30%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
520 (tie)Rhodes College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$42,400
Total 4 Year Cost$218,000
Grad Rate80%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,500
522University of New Orleans (UNO)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$41,900
Total 4 Year Cost$134,000
Grad Rate34%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$19,900
523Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$41,800
Total 4 Year Cost$142,000
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$33,100
524Wayne State University - Detroit, MI(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$41,700
Total 4 Year Cost$145,000
Grad Rate34%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,900
525Rhode Island College(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$41,600
Total 4 Year Cost$125,000
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,400

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

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.