Best Value Sober Colleges

If you’re planning to spend more time studying and less time doing keg-stands, a more socially conservative college or ‘sober school’ will likely be on your list. While many colleges and universities across the United States are known as partying havens — especially for undergraduates — a select minority have strong policies regarding alcohol.

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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:$1,074,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:86%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:2School 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:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$953,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:83%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$781,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:87%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$723,000Total 4 Year Cost:$247,000Graduation Rate:87%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$33,300
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$600,000Total 4 Year Cost:$236,000Graduation Rate:71%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$27,300
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$431,000Total 4 Year Cost:$105,000Graduation Rate:81%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$46,700
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$291,000Total 4 Year Cost:$224,000Graduation Rate:74%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$49,100
Rank:9School Name:
Simmons College (Private)
20 Year Net ROI:$270,000Total 4 Year Cost:$219,000Graduation Rate:74%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$35,700
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$254,000Total 4 Year Cost:$95,700Graduation Rate:59%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$28,700

The majority of colleges and universities that restrict the use of alcohol on campus are affiliated with various religions, but some of them simply have more conservative reputations and ideologies. Students who prefer to steer clear of alcohol may have fewer schools to choose from, but there are certainly options. PayScale’s rankings for the best value sober schools in the country are based on The Princeton Review’s list of the top 20 sober schools in the United States.

Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, is frequently on our list of best sober schools when it comes to ROI. BYU, or ‘The Y’, is closely affiliated with the Church of Latter Day Saints. The LDS faith, or Mormon faith, expressly prohibits the use of alcohol, and the honor code of BYU — whose student population is 98 percent Mormon — reflects this. Students are expected to abstain from drinking alcohol and may be warned or expelled for failing to do so. The university’s 11 colleges and schools span a number of programs, including engineering, law, management and the liberal arts. Perennially named the #1 ‘Stone-Cold Sober School’ in the U.S. by the Princeton Review, BYU offers a sober schools return on investment students can benefit from enormously.

Despite not being a private school or being affiliated with any particular religion, the University of Houston is among the best value sober schools students can attend. Through the years, the school has earned a reputation for not being much of a party school, which may explain why it appears on Princeton Review’s list of the Top 20 Sober Schools.

Grove City College, a private, non-denominational Christian college in Grove City, Pennsylvania, has a strong alcohol use policy. Essentially, students are not permitted to partake on campus. Located about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh, the small college strives to provide a “thoroughly Christian environment,” which explains why alcohol use is frowned upon. Offering 55 majors in the liberal arts, engineering and the sciences, Grove City College has many strong think tank connections and offers more than 150 clubs and organizations for students.