Best Value Liberal Arts Colleges

Typically small, private and best known for concentrating on undergraduate studies, liberal arts colleges offer a wide range of degree programs and opportunities for students from all walks of life. Beyond that, even in today’s tech-dominated culture, the perceived value of a degree in liberal arts seems to be on the rise.

Read more

FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD BE PAID

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$1,041,000N/A$1,041,000N/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$1,041,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,041,000
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$1,004,000N/A$1,004,000N/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$1,004,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,004,000
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
37.9%N/A11.7%N/A$978,000N/A$1,114,000N/A$272,000N/A93%4$25,50011%
3Harvey Mudd College(Private)
Annual ROI7.9%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.7%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$978,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$1,114,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$272,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$25,500
Grant Money Received11%
4N/AN/AN/AN/A$905,000N/A$905,000N/A$0N/A83%4N/AN/A
4United States Air Force Academy(Service Academy)
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$905,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$905,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$0
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate83%
Time to Graduate4
Loan AmtN/A
Grant Money ReceivedN/A
510.3%N/A14.3%N/A$680,000N/A$736,000N/A$111,000N/A78%6$34,40013%
5Virginia Military Institute(In-State)
Annual ROI10.3%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.3%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$680,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$736,000
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%
66.5%N/A12.0%N/A$614,000N/A$768,000N/A$243,000N/A92%4$23,6006%
6Washington and Lee University(Private)
Annual ROI6.5%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI12.0%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$614,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$768,000
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%
76.2%N/A10.4%N/A$604,000N/A$747,000N/A$262,000N/A93%4$23,90013%
7Claremont McKenna College(Private)
Annual ROI6.2%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.4%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$604,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$747,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,900
Grant Money Received13%
87.1%N/A8.9%N/A$590,000N/A$646,000N/A$201,000N/A78%6$34,40013%
8Virginia Military Institute(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.1%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI8.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$590,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$646,000
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%
96.0%N/A9.5%N/A$566,000N/A$690,000N/A$257,000N/A88%4$32,70012%
9Bucknell University(Private)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI9.5%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$566,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$690,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$257,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate88%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,700
Grant Money Received12%
105.9%N/A13.2%N/A$559,000N/A$752,000N/A$261,000N/A94%4$19,80022%
10Williams College(Private)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$559,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$752,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$261,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$19,800
Grant Money Received22%
115.9%N/A10.8%N/A$543,000N/A$693,000N/A$251,000N/A89%4$34,00010%
11Lafayette College(Private)
Annual ROI5.9%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.8%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$543,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$693,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$251,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate89%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$34,000
Grant Money Received10%
125.8%N/A11.8%N/A$538,000N/A$708,000N/A$255,000N/A90%4$27,80015%
12Colgate University(Private)
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.8%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$538,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$708,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$255,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$27,800
Grant Money Received15%
136.7%N/A10.9%N/A$534,000N/A$643,000N/A$201,000N/A72%4$28,60023%
13Wabash College(Private)
Annual ROI6.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$534,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$643,000
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%
145.8%N/A11.2%N/A$529,000N/A$686,000N/A$251,000N/A92%4$20,50015%
14Hamilton College(Private)
Annual ROI5.8%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI11.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$529,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$686,000
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%
155.7%N/A8.5%N/A$514,000N/A$616,000N/A$253,000N/A87%4$31,40012%
15Union College (New York)(Private)
Annual ROI5.7%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$514,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$616,000
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%

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

“That ‘useless’ liberal arts degree has become tech’s hottest ticket,” declared Forbes Magazine in July of 2015. The article goes on to detail the story of tech unicorn Slack, a company valued at about $2 billion and founded by Stewart Butterfield, proud holder of degrees in philosophy and history. Indeed, famously successful liberal arts students include former governor of New York Mario Cuomo, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, CNN founder Ted Turner, Late Night host Conan O’Brien, Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling and Oscar-winning Director Steven Spielberg. So take that, business majors!

Before you enroll in a quaint little liberal arts college, you should use the College ROI Report to find out which liberal arts colleges give alumni a high return on investment and prepare them for successful careers.

Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, ranks highly in terms of 20 Year Net ROI. Located on a 38-acre campus about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, the school is a part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, and students can attend classes at other schools in the system as well. The school offers four-year degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, engineering and computer science. Harvey Mudd College traditionally has the highest rate of science and engineering PhD production in the U.S., and numerous astronauts, business leaders and other prominent members of society have graduated from the private school through the years.

When it comes to liberal arts colleges return on investment, you can’t go wrong with Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Founded in 1749, the school gets its name from two sources: George Washington endowed it with stock shortly after its founding, and Robert E. Lee served as president from 1865 through 1870. The school is consistently ranked in the first tier for liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. 42 undergraduate majors and 22 minors are offered by its three academic units, and notable alumni include three U.S. Supreme Court justices, 27 U.S. Senators, 31 state governors and several Pulitzer Prize winners.

The largest private liberal arts university in the U.S., Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, is located on a 445-acre rural campus. The school confers degrees from its three schools and colleges across a variety of disciplines, including social sciences, education, engineering and management.


Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

WHAT AM I WORTH?

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

Get Your Pay Report

WHAT AM I WORTH?

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