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The 25 Best Public Colleges

Stanford And Berkeley Rank Among Top 3 Universities In The World
Pedestrians walk by Sather Gate on the UC Berkeley campus on May 22, 2014 in Berkeley, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

These 25 state schools aced the test in MONEY's Best Colleges rankings this year.

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.

SCHOOL LOCATION OVERALL RANK AVG. NET PRICE OF A DEGREE EARLY CAREER EARNINGS/YR
1. Maine Maritime Academy Castine, Maine 12 $104,958 $64,100
2. University of California – Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. 13 $126,824 $54,700
3. University of Virginia Charlottesville, Va. 16 $94,139 $51,000
4. Virginia Military Institute Lexington, Va. 18 $89,134 $54,200
5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, Mich. 22 $94,523 $54,000
6. Texas A & M University College Station, Texas 24 $85,974 $51,900
7. University of Florida Gainesville, Fla. 28 $86,963 $47,600
8. University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, Calif. 31 $126,677 $49,600
9. University of California-Irvine Irvine, Calif. 32 $122,860 $48,900
10. University of Washington at Bothell Bothell, Wash. 37 $125,690 $52,100
11. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, N.C. 40 $84,113 $44,200
12. Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Ga. 42 $107,806 $60,700
12. Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va. 42 $115,317 $51,700
14. University of California – San Diego La Jolla, Calif. 46 $124,852 $49,300
15. University of Washington at Seattle Seattle, Wash. 47 $117,473 $49,300
16. Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, Mass. 50 $98,721 $54,700
17. The University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 53 $116,482 $50,400
17. James Madison University Harrisonburg, Va. 53 $98,246 $48,000
17. The College of New Jersey Ewing, N.J. 53 $127,531 $48,400
20. College of William and Mary Williamsburg, Va. 60 $96,219 $44,500
21. University of California-Davis Davis, Calif. 62 $133,424 $49,000
21. University of Georgia Athens, Ga. 62 $100,269 $43,800
23. Montana Tech of the Univ. of Montana Butte, Mont. 66 $88,245 $63,100
23. University of Delaware Newark, Del. 66 $98,943 $50,300
25. University of Maryland – College Park College 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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