Best Value Public Colleges

Though they may not always enjoy the same prestigious reputation of well-known private schools, public colleges and universities often provide an incredible education at the fraction of the price. They certainly offer some of the best value for many students, especially if you attend a school in your home state and enjoy lower tuition costs than out-of-state students.

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:$1,111,000Total 4 Year Cost:$34,900Graduation Rate:76%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$20,000
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$1,074,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:86%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:3School Name:
United States Naval Academy (Service Academy)
20 Year Net ROI:$1,029,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:86%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$1,009,000Total 4 Year Cost:$95,300Graduation Rate:57%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$29,600
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$988,000Total 4 Year Cost:$126,000Graduation Rate:77%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$26,700
Rank:6School Name:
SUNY Maritime College (Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI:$970,000Total 4 Year Cost:$134,000Graduation Rate:57%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$29,600
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$953,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:83%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$919,000Total 4 Year Cost:$195,000Graduation Rate:77%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$26,700
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$897,000Total 4 Year Cost:$87,700Graduation Rate:62%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,600
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$880,000Total 4 Year Cost:$101,000Graduation Rate:86%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$33,500

If you don’t want to go into debt to pay for a quality education, a public school may be the right choice for you. There are public schools located in every state in the country, and they tend to have high enrollments, which means that they typically offer more activities, events and athletic programs than their private competitors. The specific return on investment for each public college varies; here are some of those that offer the best return on investment.

Located on the Bronx’s Throgs Neck peninsula, directly across the East River from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, SUNY – Maritime College was founded in 1874. Most of the degree programs at SUNY – Maritime may be completed while concurrently preparing for the United States Merchant Marine officer’s license as a third mate or third assistant engineer.

Located in Golden, Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) has a student population of around 5,600 and is split into three colleges: The College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering, the College of Applied Science and Engineering and the College of Engineering and Computational Sciences. CSM specializes in conferring degrees in engineering and the applied sciences and is a worthwhile option for students who’d like to attend a public school offering an exceptional return on their investment.

With its location in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a fun and exciting place to attend school. The public university is located on a 400-acre campus and boasts a student population of around 23,100 students. Of the many prominent alumni from the school, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is undoubtedly the most noteworthy.

The University of California, Berkeley, is more often than not a high-ranking school on our College ROI list. The Golden Bears are the crown jewel for California’s excellent public school system, and most Cal students can look forward to an excellent return on investment from their choice of school.