Best Value Colleges For Nursing Majors

A career in nursing all but ensures a large amount of job security, a respectable salary, a flexible work schedule, and the ability to choose where you work; As the baby boomer generation enters retirement age, nursing jobs will be left vacant and a large number of people will need care. Nursing as a career also lets you focus on helping sick, injured or elderly people, often literally “nursing” patients back to health.

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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
113.3%13.1%16.5%16.1%$1,009,000$1,005,000$1,047,000$1,043,000$90,000$93,90042%6$17,10072%
1California State University-Dominguez Hills(In-State)
Annual ROI13.3%
Annual ROI13.1%
Annual ROI16.5%
Annual ROI16.1%
20 Year Net ROI$1,009,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,005,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,047,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,043,000
Total 4 Year Cost$90,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,900
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$17,100
Grant Money Received72%
213.0%13.2%15.7%16.0%$1,008,000$1,011,000$1,044,000$1,047,000$95,700$92,80049%5$20,50054%
2California State University-Sacramento(In-State)
Annual ROI13.0%
Annual ROI13.2%
Annual ROI15.7%
Annual ROI16.0%
20 Year Net ROI$1,008,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,011,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,044,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,047,000
Total 4 Year Cost$95,700
Total 4 Year Cost$92,800
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$20,500
Grant Money Received54%
311.1%10.9%12.9%12.7%$964,000$960,000$1,003,000$999,000$135,000$139,00042%6$17,10072%
3California State University-Dominguez Hills(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI11.1%
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROI12.9%
Annual ROI12.7%
20 Year Net ROI$964,000
20 Year Net ROI$960,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,003,000
20 Year Net ROI$999,000
Total 4 Year Cost$135,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Grad Rate42%
Time to Graduate6
Loan Amt$17,100
Grant Money Received72%
410.9%11.0%12.5%12.7%$963,000$966,000$999,000$1,002,000$140,000$137,00049%5$20,50054%
4California State University-Sacramento(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROI11.0%
Annual ROI12.5%
Annual ROI12.7%
20 Year Net ROI$963,000
20 Year Net ROI$966,000
20 Year Net ROI$999,000
20 Year Net ROI$1,002,000
Total 4 Year Cost$140,000
Total 4 Year Cost$137,000
Grad Rate49%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$20,500
Grant Money Received54%
512.8%12.8%15.6%15.6%$946,000$946,000$983,000$982,000$93,500$94,20048%5$21,70054%
5California State University-East Bay(In-State)
Annual ROI12.8%
Annual ROI12.8%
Annual ROI15.6%
Annual ROI15.6%
20 Year Net ROI$946,000
20 Year Net ROI$946,000
20 Year Net ROI$983,000
20 Year Net ROI$982,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,500
Total 4 Year Cost$94,200
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,700
Grant Money Received54%
610.6%10.6%12.3%12.3%$902,000$901,000$938,000$937,000$138,000$139,00048%5$21,70054%
6California State University-East Bay(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI10.6%
Annual ROI10.6%
Annual ROI12.3%
Annual ROI12.3%
20 Year Net ROI$902,000
20 Year Net ROI$901,000
20 Year Net ROI$938,000
20 Year Net ROI$937,000
Total 4 Year Cost$138,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,700
Grant Money Received54%
712.1%12.1%14.4%14.5%$901,000$902,000$935,000$936,000$102,000$101,00062%5$22,60039%
7San Jose State University(In-State)
Annual ROI12.1%
Annual ROI12.1%
Annual ROI14.4%
Annual ROI14.5%
20 Year Net ROI$901,000
20 Year Net ROI$902,000
20 Year Net ROI$935,000
20 Year Net ROI$936,000
Total 4 Year Cost$102,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Grad Rate62%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$22,600
Grant Money Received39%
810.1%10.1%11.6%11.6%$856,000$857,000$891,000$892,000$147,000$146,00062%5$22,60039%
8San Jose State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI11.6%
Annual ROI11.6%
20 Year Net ROI$856,000
20 Year Net ROI$857,000
20 Year Net ROI$891,000
20 Year Net ROI$892,000
Total 4 Year Cost$147,000
Total 4 Year Cost$146,000
Grad Rate62%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$22,600
Grant Money Received39%
912.3%12.4%15.0%15.3%$839,000$842,000$874,000$877,000$92,100$89,20069%5$21,90046%
9California State University-Chico(In-State)
Annual ROI12.3%
Annual ROI12.4%
Annual ROI15.0%
Annual ROI15.3%
20 Year Net ROI$839,000
20 Year Net ROI$842,000
20 Year Net ROI$874,000
20 Year Net ROI$877,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,100
Total 4 Year Cost$89,200
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,900
Grant Money Received46%
1012.8%12.2%16.7%15.6%$812,000$803,000$852,000$843,000$80,800$89,60057%5$19,00064%
10California State University-Fresno(In-State)
Annual ROI12.8%
Annual ROI12.2%
Annual ROI16.7%
Annual ROI15.6%
20 Year Net ROI$812,000
20 Year Net ROI$803,000
20 Year Net ROI$852,000
20 Year Net ROI$843,000
Total 4 Year Cost$80,800
Total 4 Year Cost$89,600
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$19,000
Grant Money Received64%
118.6%8.2%11.5%10.8%$803,000$789,000$883,000$868,000$192,000$207,00070%4$31,50030%
11Azusa Pacific University(Private)
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI8.2%
Annual ROI11.5%
Annual ROI10.8%
20 Year Net ROI$803,000
20 Year Net ROI$789,000
20 Year Net ROI$883,000
20 Year Net ROI$868,000
Total 4 Year Cost$192,000
Total 4 Year Cost$207,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$31,500
Grant Money Received30%
12 (tie)10.1%10.2%11.7%11.9%$794,000$797,000$829,000$832,000$137,000$134,00069%5$21,90046%
12 (tie)California State University-Chico(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI10.2%
Annual ROI11.7%
Annual ROI11.9%
20 Year Net ROI$794,000
20 Year Net ROI$797,000
20 Year Net ROI$829,000
20 Year Net ROI$832,000
Total 4 Year Cost$137,000
Total 4 Year Cost$134,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,900
Grant Money Received46%
12 (tie)11.3%12.0%13.2%14.2%$794,000$806,000$824,000$836,000$105,000$93,40073%5$26,00028%
12 (tie)San Diego State University(In-State)
Annual ROI11.3%
Annual ROI12.0%
Annual ROI13.2%
Annual ROI14.2%
20 Year Net ROI$794,000
20 Year Net ROI$806,000
20 Year Net ROI$824,000
20 Year Net ROI$836,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Total 4 Year Cost$93,400
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,000
Grant Money Received28%
1410.3%9.9%12.4%11.9%$767,000$759,000$807,000$799,000$125,000$134,00057%5$19,00064%
14California State University-Fresno(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI10.3%
Annual ROI9.9%
Annual ROI12.4%
Annual ROI11.9%
20 Year Net ROI$767,000
20 Year Net ROI$759,000
20 Year Net ROI$807,000
20 Year Net ROI$799,000
Total 4 Year Cost$125,000
Total 4 Year Cost$134,000
Grad Rate57%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$19,000
Grant Money Received64%
159.4%9.8%10.6%11.2%$749,000$761,000$779,000$791,000$150,000$138,00073%5$26,00028%
15San Diego State University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI9.4%
Annual ROI9.8%
Annual ROI10.6%
Annual ROI11.2%
20 Year Net ROI$749,000
20 Year Net ROI$761,000
20 Year Net ROI$779,000
20 Year Net ROI$791,000
Total 4 Year Cost$150,000
Total 4 Year Cost$138,000
Grad Rate73%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$26,000
Grant Money Received28%

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

Nursing school programs vary in length and intensity depending on the desired degree or certification. But regardless of where you intend to study, it’s important to make sure the school where you’re earning your degree will provide you with a solid return on investment. Use PayScale’s College ROI report to make sure you don’t start your career at a financial disadvantage.

Nurses need to be compassionate, responsible, and possess an emotional stability that enables them to handle emergency situations and to be engaged with emotional and physical suffering, illness, and injury. Nursing degrees help provide these future healthcare professionals with the faculties of sound judgment, enabling them to assess and evaluate the conditions of patients.


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What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.