Best Value Colleges For Political Science Majors

If you’re interested in a career in public office, or as a lobbyist for a company, organization or cause in which you believe, studying political science is a good way to get started. Poli sci is also a great education to pursue if you have interest in becoming a lawyer, journalist or – wait for it – political scientist.

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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
18.3%N/A14.9%N/A$1,052,000N/A$1,236,000N/A$265,000N/A97%4$24,70015%
1Dartmouth College(Private)
Annual ROI8.3%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,052,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,236,000
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%
211.9%11.5%15.8%15.0%$910,000$902,000$963,000$955,000$107,000$115,00084%4$24,30019%
2University of Washington-Seattle Campus(In-State)
Annual ROI11.9%
Annual ROI11.5%
Annual ROI15.8%
Annual ROI15.0%
20 Year Net ROI$910,000
20 Year Net ROI$902,000
20 Year Net ROI$963,000
20 Year Net ROI$955,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Total 4 Year Cost$115,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,300
Grant Money Received19%
37.6%N/A15.5%N/A$835,000N/A$1,028,000N/A$254,000N/A97%4$27,40016%
3Harvard University(Private)
Annual ROI7.6%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI15.5%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$835,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,028,000
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%
48.6%8.4%10.4%10.1%$823,000$815,000$876,000$868,000$194,000$202,00084%4$24,30019%
4University of Washington-Seattle Campus(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI8.6%
Annual ROI8.4%
Annual ROI10.4%
Annual ROI10.1%
20 Year Net ROI$823,000
20 Year Net ROI$815,000
20 Year Net ROI$876,000
20 Year Net ROI$868,000
Total 4 Year Cost$194,000
Total 4 Year Cost$202,000
Grad Rate84%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,300
Grant Money Received19%
510.1%10.1%14.7%14.7%$762,000$762,000$834,000$834,000$129,000$129,00091%4$33,4009%
5College of William and Mary(In-State)
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI10.1%
Annual ROI14.7%
Annual ROI14.7%
20 Year Net ROI$762,000
20 Year Net ROI$762,000
20 Year Net ROI$834,000
20 Year Net ROI$834,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Total 4 Year Cost$129,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received9%
67.3%7.3%9.5%9.5%$674,000$674,000$746,000$746,000$217,000$217,00091%4$33,4009%
6College of William and Mary(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI9.5%
20 Year Net ROI$674,000
20 Year Net ROI$674,000
20 Year Net ROI$746,000
20 Year Net ROI$746,000
Total 4 Year Cost$217,000
Total 4 Year Cost$217,000
Grad Rate91%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received9%
79.7%9.7%16.0%15.9%$617,000$617,000$693,000$693,000$114,000$114,00094%4$30,10012%
7University of Virginia-Main Campus(In-State)
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI9.7%
Annual ROI16.0%
Annual ROI15.9%
20 Year Net ROI$617,000
20 Year Net ROI$617,000
20 Year Net ROI$693,000
20 Year Net ROI$693,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Total 4 Year Cost$114,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,100
Grant Money Received12%
88.8%9.5%12.8%14.4%$605,000$620,000$676,000$692,000$138,000$122,00077%4$23,40036%
8University of California-Santa Cruz(In-State)
Annual ROI8.8%
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI12.8%
Annual ROI14.4%
20 Year Net ROI$605,000
20 Year Net ROI$620,000
20 Year Net ROI$676,000
20 Year Net ROI$692,000
Total 4 Year Cost$138,000
Total 4 Year Cost$122,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,400
Grant Money Received36%
910.2%9.5%12.7%11.8%$588,000$576,000$625,000$613,000$99,300$111,00086%4$32,40014%
9University of Maryland-College Park(In-State)
Annual ROI10.2%
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROI12.7%
Annual ROI11.8%
20 Year Net ROI$588,000
20 Year Net ROI$576,000
20 Year Net ROI$625,000
20 Year Net ROI$613,000
Total 4 Year Cost$99,300
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,400
Grant Money Received14%
105.7%N/A11.2%N/A$522,000N/A$683,000N/A$254,000N/A89%4$18,60019%
10Smith College(Private)
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$522,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$683,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate89%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$18,600
Grant Money Received19%
115.9%6.3%7.9%8.4%$507,000$523,000$579,000$595,000$235,000$219,00077%4$23,40036%
11University of California-Santa Cruz(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI6.3%
Annual ROI7.9%
Annual ROI8.4%
20 Year Net ROI$507,000
20 Year Net ROI$523,000
20 Year Net ROI$579,000
20 Year Net ROI$595,000
Total 4 Year Cost$235,000
Total 4 Year Cost$219,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,400
Grant Money Received36%
126.9%6.5%8.1%7.7%$506,000$494,000$542,000$531,000$182,000$194,00086%4$32,40014%
12University of Maryland-College Park(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.9%
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI7.7%
20 Year Net ROI$506,000
20 Year Net ROI$494,000
20 Year Net ROI$542,000
20 Year Net ROI$531,000
Total 4 Year Cost$182,000
Total 4 Year Cost$194,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,400
Grant Money Received14%
13 (tie)9.1%8.7%11.2%10.6%$502,000$494,000$535,000$527,000$106,000$115,00070%4$33,40028%
13 (tie)George Mason University(In-State)
Annual ROI9.1%
Annual ROI8.7%
Annual ROI11.2%
Annual ROI10.6%
20 Year Net ROI$502,000
20 Year Net ROI$494,000
20 Year Net ROI$535,000
20 Year Net ROI$527,000
Total 4 Year Cost$106,000
Total 4 Year Cost$115,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received28%
13 (tie)6.0%6.0%8.1%8.1%$502,000$502,000$578,000$578,000$229,000$229,00094%4$30,10012%
13 (tie)University of Virginia-Main Campus(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI8.1%
Annual ROI8.1%
20 Year Net ROI$502,000
20 Year Net ROI$502,000
20 Year Net ROI$578,000
20 Year Net ROI$578,000
Total 4 Year Cost$229,000
Total 4 Year Cost$229,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,100
Grant Money Received12%
156.1%5.9%7.1%6.8%$422,000$413,000$455,000$447,000$187,000$195,00070%4$33,40028%
15George Mason University(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROI7.1%
Annual ROI6.8%
20 Year Net ROI$422,000
20 Year Net ROI$413,000
20 Year Net ROI$455,000
20 Year Net ROI$447,000
Total 4 Year Cost$187,000
Total 4 Year Cost$195,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$33,400
Grant Money Received28%

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

Though salaries for these jobs vary, regardless of your post-graduation plans, it’s important to do your homework regarding what you can expect in terms of a return on investment from your school and degree. So before you choose where you want to go to college or university, use PayScale’s College ROI report to make sure you don’t start your career at a financial disadvantage.

A few celebrities who majored in political science include Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, Elisabeth Shue, Alec Baldwin and Jerry Springer. Yes, that Jerry Springer.


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