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Best value colleges in every state

Best value colleges in every state

When it comes to higher education, definitions of what constitutes a valuable collegiate experience and reasons for enrolling are as varied as the people providing the answers. 2020 is presenting additional considerations and challenges: Some are balking at attending online-only classes, and expecting reduced tuition or fees if online is their only option.

A tuition-to-salary comparison is generally not sufficient in assessing the value a school offers. It’s important to take the immediate financial costs and benefits into consideration, but also consider the quality of life and campus culture it can offer its students. In an age where student debt is skyrocketing, many of America's students are anxious about whether their degree will be worthwhile in the long run. The average debt carried by one of the 45 million student-loan borrowers after graduation is nearly $30,000. As the student debt crisis grows alongside the staggering rise of college tuition, a school's overall value matters: namely, where scholarly investments will pay off with less debt to start and a higher-paying career within reach after graduation.

Stacker referenced a 2020 Niche list of Best Value Colleges in America to report the best value college in every state. The methodology accounted for student surveys, cost, post-graduate financial earnings, and a handful of other factors that capture a school’s well-rounded value. While some colleges may lure students in with a vibrant campus life or famous professors, those details are generally not good indicators of the value of a school to a student's lifelong career prospects.

Read on to see if your alma mater is the best value college in its state.

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Alabama: Auburn University

- Location: Auburn, AL
- Undergraduate enrollment: 22,460
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 19:1
- Acceptance rate: 75%
- Graduation rate: 78%
- In-state tuition: $11,276
- Out-of-state tuition: $30,524
- Six-year median earnings: $48,800
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

Alaska: University of Alaska Fairbanks

- Location: Fairbanks, AK
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,783
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 76%
- Graduation rate: 32%
- In-state tuition: $6,657
- Out-of-state tuition: $20,218
- Six-year median earnings: $38,700
- Two-year employment rate: 85%

Arizona: Arizona State University - West Campus

- Location: Glendale, AZ
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,521
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 82%
- Graduation rate: 70%
- In-state tuition: $9,840
- Out-of-state tuition: $25,576
- Six-year median earnings: $47,700
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

Arkansas: Ouachita Baptist University

- Location: Arkadelphia, AR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,529
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 64%
- Graduation rate: 64%
- Tuition: $26,790
- Six-year median earnings: $41,200
- Two-year employment rate: 93%

California: Stanford University

- Location: Stanford, CA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 7,087
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1
- Acceptance rate: 4%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Tuition: $51,354
- Six-year median earnings: $94,000
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

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Colorado: Colorado School of Mines

- Location: Golden, CO
- Undergraduate enrollment: 4,709
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 49%
- Graduation rate: 80%
- In-state tuition: $18,964
- Out-of-state tuition: $38,584
- Six-year median earnings: $84,900
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

Connecticut: Yale University

- Location: New Haven, CT
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,939
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
- Acceptance rate: 6%
- Graduation rate: 97%
- Tuition: $55,500
- Six-year median earnings: $83,200
- Two-year employment rate: 92%

Delaware: University of Delaware

- Location: Newark, DE
- Undergraduate enrollment: 18,355
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 66%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- In-state tuition: $13,680
- Out-of-state tuition: $34,310
- Six-year median earnings: $57,000
- Two-year employment rate: 96%

Florida: University of Florida

- Location: Gainesville, FL
- Undergraduate enrollment: 32,209
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
- Acceptance rate: 39%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- In-state tuition: $6,381
- Out-of-state tuition: $28,659
- Six-year median earnings: $56,000
- Two-year employment rate: 92%

Georgia: Georgia Institute of Technology

- Location: Atlanta, GA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 14,318
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Graduation rate: 87%
- In-state tuition: $12,424
- Out-of-state tuition: $33,020
- Six-year median earnings: $79,100
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

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Hawaii: University of Hawaii - West Oahu

- Location: Kapolei, HI
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,711
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
- Acceptance rate: 75%
- Graduation rate: 32%
- In-state tuition: $7,512
- Out-of-state tuition: $20,472
- Six-year median earnings: $38,600
- Two-year employment rate: 87%

Idaho: University of Idaho

- Location: Moscow, ID
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,984
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 77%
- Graduation rate: 59%
- In-state tuition: $7,864
- Out-of-state tuition: $25,500
- Six-year median earnings: $41,900
- Two-year employment rate: 92%

Illinois: Northwestern University

- Location: Evanston, IL
- Undergraduate enrollment: 8,161
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $54,568
- Six-year median earnings: $69,000
- Two-year employment rate: 92%

Indiana: University of Notre Dame

- Location: Notre Dame, IN
- Undergraduate enrollment: 8,607
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 18%
- Graduation rate: 97%
- Tuition: $53,391
- Six-year median earnings: $78,400
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

Iowa: Drake University

- Location: Des Moines, IA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,834
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 68%
- Graduation rate: 78%
- Tuition: $41,396
- Six-year median earnings: $58,300
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

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Kansas: University of Kansas

- Location: Lawrence, KS
- Undergraduate enrollment: 17,333
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
- Acceptance rate: 92%
- Graduation rate: 65%
- In-state tuition: $11,148
- Out-of-state tuition: $27,358
- Six-year median earnings: $48,800
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

Kentucky: Centre College

- Location: Danville, KY
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,433
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 73%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Tuition: $41,700
- Six-year median earnings: $45,500
- Two-year employment rate: 93%

Louisiana: Tulane University

- Location: New Orleans, LA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,898
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
- Acceptance rate: 17%
- Graduation rate: 85%
- Tuition: $54,820
- Six-year median earnings: $61,700
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

Maine: Bowdoin College

- Location: Brunswick, ME
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,825
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $53,922
- Six-year median earnings: $65,500
- Two-year employment rate: 93%

Maryland: Johns Hopkins University

- Location: Baltimore, MD
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,595
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Tuition: $53,740
- Six-year median earnings: $73,200
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

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Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

- Location: Cambridge, MA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 4,557
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Tuition: $51,832
- Six-year median earnings: $104,700
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

Michigan: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

- Location: Ann Arbor, MI
- Undergraduate enrollment: 29,245
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 23%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- In-state tuition: $15,558
- Out-of-state tuition: $51,200
- Six-year median earnings: $63,400
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

Minnesota: Carleton College

- Location: Northfield, MN
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,077
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 20%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Tuition: $54,759
- Six-year median earnings: $54,200
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

Mississippi: Millsaps College

- Location: Jackson, MS
- Undergraduate enrollment: 792
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
- Acceptance rate: 59%
- Graduation rate: 64%
- Tuition: $39,910
- Six-year median earnings: $48,100
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

Missouri: Washington University in St. Louis

- Location: Saint Louis, MO
- Undergraduate enrollment: 7,146
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $56,300
- Six-year median earnings: $70,100
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

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Montana: Carroll College

- Location: Helena, MT
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,195
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 78%
- Graduation rate: 69%
- Tuition: $35,486
- Six-year median earnings: $45,900
- Two-year employment rate: 93%

Nebraska: Creighton University

- Location: Omaha, NE
- Undergraduate enrollment: 4,291
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 71%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Tuition: $39,916
- Six-year median earnings: $59,700
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

Nevada: University of Nevada - Reno

- Location: Reno, NV
- Undergraduate enrollment: 15,200
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 19:1
- Acceptance rate: 88%
- Graduation rate: 58%
- In-state tuition: $7,599
- Out-of-state tuition: $22,236
- Six-year median earnings: $47,000
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

New Hampshire: Dartmouth College

- Location: Hanover, NH
- Undergraduate enrollment: 4,357
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
- Acceptance rate: 9%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $53,496
- Six-year median earnings: $75,500
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

New Jersey: Princeton University

- Location: Princeton, NJ
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,321
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1
- Acceptance rate: 5%
- Graduation rate: 96%
- Tuition: $50,340
- Six-year median earnings: $74,700
- Two-year employment rate: 87%

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New Mexico: New Mexico Tech

- Location: Socorro, NM
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,269
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
- Acceptance rate: 23%
- Graduation rate: 56%
- In-state tuition: $7,770
- Out-of-state tuition: $22,268
- Six-year median earnings: $50,000
- Two-year employment rate: 90%

New York: United States Merchant Marine Academy

- Location: Kings Point, NY
- Undergraduate enrollment: 996
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Graduation rate: 84%
- Tuition: $1,080
- Six-year median earnings: $88,100
- Two-year employment rate: 97%

North Carolina: Duke University

- Location: Durham, NC
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,659
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
- Acceptance rate: 9%
- Graduation rate: 96%
- Tuition: $55,695
- Six-year median earnings: $84,400
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

North Dakota: University of Jamestown

- Location: Jamestown, ND
- Undergraduate enrollment: 868
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 62%
- Graduation rate: 43%
- Tuition: $21,976
- Six-year median earnings: $43,800
- Two-year employment rate: 95%

Ohio: Kenyon College

- Location: Gambier, OH
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,721
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
- Acceptance rate: 36%
- Graduation rate: 87%
- Tuition: $55,930
- Six-year median earnings: $48,700
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

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Oklahoma: University of Tulsa

- Location: Tulsa, OK
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,156
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 41%
- Graduation rate: 74%
- Tuition: $41,509
- Six-year median earnings: $48,500
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

Oregon: University of Portland

- Location: Portland, OR
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,702
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
- Acceptance rate: 75%
- Graduation rate: 82%
- Tuition: $45,904
- Six-year median earnings: $58,800
- Two-year employment rate: 96%

Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania

- Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 10,605
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $55,584
- Six-year median earnings: $85,900
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

Rhode Island: Brown University

- Location: Providence, RI
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,735
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $55,466
- Six-year median earnings: $67,500
- Two-year employment rate: 91%

South Carolina: Clemson University

- Location: Clemson, SC
- Undergraduate enrollment: 18,971
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
- Acceptance rate: 47%
- Graduation rate: 83%
- In-state tuition: $15,374
- Out-of-state tuition: $37,128
- Six-year median earnings: $52,400
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

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South Dakota: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

- Location: Rapid City, SD
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,873
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 83%
- Graduation rate: 50%
- In-state tuition: $10,560
- Out-of-state tuition: $14,820
- Six-year median earnings: $56,500
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

Tennessee: Vanderbilt University

- Location: Nashville, TN
- Undergraduate enrollment: 6,789
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Tuition: $49,816
- Six-year median earnings: $69,000
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

Texas: Rice University

- Location: Houston, TX
- Undergraduate enrollment: 3,899
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $47,350
- Six-year median earnings: $65,400
- Two-year employment rate: 92%

Utah: Brigham Young University

- Location: Provo, UT
- Undergraduate enrollment: 28,253
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1
- Acceptance rate: 64%
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Tuition: $5,620
- Six-year median earnings: $59,700
- Two-year employment rate: 80%

Vermont: Middlebury College

- Location: Middlebury, VT
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,551
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
- Acceptance rate: 17%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Tuition: $54,450
- Six-year median earnings: $58,200
- Two-year employment rate: 87%

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Virginia: Washington & Lee University

- Location: Lexington, VA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 1,825
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
- Acceptance rate: 21%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Tuition: $52,455
- Six-year median earnings: $76,100
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

Washington: Gonzaga University

- Location: Spokane, WA
- Undergraduate enrollment: 5,237
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 66%
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Tuition: $42,370
- Six-year median earnings: $56,100
- Two-year employment rate: 94%

West Virginia: Wheeling University

- Location: Wheeling, WV
- Undergraduate enrollment: 755
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
- Acceptance rate: 86%
- Graduation rate: 56%
- Tuition: $29,290
- Six-year median earnings: $46,200
- Two-year employment rate: 93%

Wisconsin: Milwaukee School of Engineering

- Location: Milwaukee, WI
- Undergraduate enrollment: 2,491
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 63%
- Graduation rate: 74%
- Tuition: $39,039
- Six-year median earnings: $71,300
- Two-year employment rate: 97%

Wyoming: University of Wyoming

- Location: Laramie, WY
- Undergraduate enrollment: 8,457
- Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
- Acceptance rate: 96%
- Graduation rate: 57%
- In-state tuition: $5,791
- Out-of-state tuition: $19,531
- Six-year median earnings: $47,300
- Two-year employment rate: 93%

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