Best Value Colleges in Tennessee

Seeking out the best value colleges in Tennessee? Take a look at the colleges with the best return on investment in the state.

From the soaring peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains to the incredible musical traditions of Nashville, the Volunteer State is a fun and interesting place to attend school. Whether you’re hoping to attend college in Tennessee because of the state’s eclectic array of attractions or simply because it’s home to so many great value schools, consider using Payscale’s data to more capably research the universities that will give you the greatest return on investment for your educational dollars.

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:$631,000Total 4 Year Cost:$299,000Graduation Rate:93%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$36,300
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$542,000Total 4 Year Cost:$91,000Graduation Rate:60%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$24,300
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$453,000Total 4 Year Cost:$103,000Graduation Rate:60%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$25,000
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$364,000Total 4 Year Cost:$129,000Graduation Rate:72%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$36,900
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$337,000Total 4 Year Cost:$255,000Graduation Rate:80%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$21,300
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$325,000Total 4 Year Cost:$191,000Graduation Rate:59%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$27,900
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$310,000Total 4 Year Cost:$144,000Graduation Rate:48%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$30,900
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$298,000Total 4 Year Cost:$105,000Graduation Rate:54%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$22,100
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$254,000Total 4 Year Cost:$136,000Graduation Rate:58%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$21,900
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$253,000Total 4 Year Cost:$93,700Graduation Rate:30%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$25,500

As one of the most highly ranked research institutions in the nation, Vanderbilt University attracts some of the most talented and driven students from around the state, country and world. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Vandy, as it’s affectionately known, has graduated a veritable who’s who of prestigious public figures, including two U.S. Vice Presidents, 25 Rhodes Scholars, seven Nobel Prize laureates and several Fields Medal recipients.

Better known as Tennessee Tech, Tennessee Technological University is located in Cookeville, which is about 70 miles east of Nashville. The school’s undergraduate offerings largely revolve around engineering and technology, but other disciplines are offered, too. The school is famous for offering a solid array of degrees in the STEM field.

Home to the official collections of papers of all three Tennessee-born U.S. presidents, the University of Tennessee has long been a highly regarded institute of higher learning. With more than 300 degree programs, this Knoxville school appeals to a broad range of students while delivering the value of college education Tennessee families need. More than 450 student-run organizations and clubs are available, so there’s never a dull moment on campus.