Best Value Art Colleges

With PayScale’s College ROI Report for Art Schools, students and their parents can quickly and easily identify the arts schools and colleges that provide the highest return on investment.

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:$156,000Total 4 Year Cost:$206,000Graduation Rate:45%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$31,100
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$157,000Total 4 Year Cost:$184,000Graduation Rate:65%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$30,700
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$173,000Total 4 Year Cost:$189,000Graduation Rate:72%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$35,900
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$99,800Total 4 Year Cost:$167,000Graduation Rate:45%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$31,000
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$135,000Total 4 Year Cost:$150,000Graduation Rate:62%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,700
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$122,000Total 4 Year Cost:$221,000Graduation Rate:63%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$27,500
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$221,000Total 4 Year Cost:$212,000Graduation Rate:58%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$37,400
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$236,000Total 4 Year Cost:$255,000Graduation Rate:90%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$33,200
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$185,000Total 4 Year Cost:$253,000Graduation Rate:66%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$40,000
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$194,000Total 4 Year Cost:$90,400Graduation Rate:62%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,700

Students with creative talent seek out art schools in order to pursue careers in a wide range of fields, including fashion design, graphic design and photography. Numerous art and design schools are located across the nation, but some deliver better value than others. If you have your heart set on attending a school that focuses on art, design or music, consider availing yourself of PayScale’s data to zero in on the best value art schools before you apply.

Consistently ranked among the top art schools in the United States, the Rhode Island School of Design, or RISD, earns a well-deserved slot on our art schools return on investment list. The Providence-based school was founded in 1877 and is located on a 13-acre campus that’s contiguous with the campus of Brown University, a top Ivy League school. RISD offers 17 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate majors in many fields, including ceramics, architecture, graphic design and illustration, photography and sculpture. The school counts among its famous alumni Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, fashion designer Nicole Miller and actor/director James Franco.

Rounding out our list of best value art and design schools is the Pratt Institute, which is located in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill. With five schools offering programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design and many other fields, the private university has long attracted some of the most talented creative types in the nation. Many prominent alumni have come out of the prestigious private school, with fashion designer Betsey Johnson being a particular standout.