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.  Read More

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31Tennessee Wesleyan College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$93,600
Total 4 Year Cost$127,000
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,500
32Cumberland University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$88,300
Total 4 Year Cost$137,000
Grad Rate37%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,800
33Sewanee: The University of the South(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$77,900
Total 4 Year Cost$196,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$20,300
34Lincoln Memorial University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$76,200
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate6 Years
Loan Amt$20,200
35Freed-Hardeman University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$64,500
Total 4 Year Cost$133,000
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$19,700
36Lee University - Cleveland, TN(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$59,600
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,800
37The University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$49,800
Total 4 Year Cost$130,000
Grad Rate47%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,200
38East Tennessee State University (ETSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$45,500
Total 4 Year Cost$157,000
Grad Rate43%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,700
39Le Moyne-Owen College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$43,700
Total 4 Year Cost$73,200
Grad Rate20%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$33,000
40Maryville College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$43,400
Total 4 Year Cost$180,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$28,800
41Carson Newman College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$31,200
Total 4 Year Cost$143,000
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,400
42Lane College - Jackson, TN(Private)
20 Year Net ROI($55,200)
Total 4 Year Cost$76,400
Grad Rate32%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$34,100
43Johnson Bible College(Private)
20 Year Net ROI($99,300)
Total 4 Year Cost$87,700
Grad Rate67%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$25,900

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

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.

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.