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The 25 Best Public Colleges

Jul 23, 2014

These institutions are the highest ranked public colleges and universities on the MONEY Best Colleges list. Prices are for in-state students only; out-of-state students will pay considerably more.

SCHOOLLOCATIONOVERALL RANKAVG. NET PRICE OF A DEGREEEARLY CAREER EARNINGS/YR
1. Maine Maritime AcademyCastine, Maine12$104,958$64,100
2. University of California - BerkeleyBerkeley, Calif.13$126,824$54,700
3. University of VirginiaCharlottesville, Va.16$94,139$51,000
4. Virginia Military InstituteLexington, Va.18$89,134$54,200
5. University of Michigan-Ann ArborAnn Arbor, Mich.22$94,523$54,000
6. Texas A & M UniversityCollege Station, Texas24$85,974$51,900
7. University of FloridaGainesville, Fla.28$86,963$47,600
8. University of California-Los AngelesLos Angeles, Calif.31$126,677$49,600
9. University of California-IrvineIrvine, Calif.32$122,860$48,900
10. University of Washington at BothellBothell, Wash.37$125,690$52,100
11. University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill, N.C.40$84,113$44,200
12. Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta, Ga.42$107,806$60,700
12. Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.42$115,317$51,700
14. University of California - San DiegoLa Jolla, Calif.46$124,852$49,300
15. University of Washington at SeattleSeattle, Wash.47$117,473$49,300
16. Massachusetts Maritime AcademyBuzzards Bay, Mass.50$98,721$54,700
17. The University of Texas at AustinAustin, Texas53$116,482$50,400
17. James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, Va.53$98,246$48,000
17. The College of New JerseyEwing, N.J.53$127,531$48,400
20. College of William and MaryWilliamsburg, Va.60$96,219$44,500
21. University of California-DavisDavis, Calif.62$133,424$49,000
21. University of GeorgiaAthens, Ga.62$100,269$43,800
23. Montana Tech of the Univ. of MontanaButte, Mont.66$88,245$63,100
23. University of DelawareNewark, Del.66$98,943$50,300
25. University of Maryland - College ParkCollege Park, Md.68$99,096$50,600
NOTES: Net price of degree is estimated cost from freshman year to graduation, taking into account all scholarships and grants awarded by the school, inflation, and the average time it takes students to graduate. Early career earnings is average annual self-reported earnings for respondents who graduated within the past five years. SOURCES: IPEDS, Peterson’s, Payscale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations.
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