MONEY best colleges 2016

The Best College in Every State

Well, almost. Sorry, Alaska and New Mexico.

MONEY’s annual Best Colleges rankings and search tools are designed to help families find a great college at a great price. For many college-bound students, that means a campus within a few hours of home. In fact, eight in 10 college freshman attend a school that’s less than 500 miles from home, according to UCLA’s annual survey of college freshman. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of the highest-ranked college in each state. If you’re wondering why you’ll see just 49 schools, it’s because two states—Alaska and New Mexico—don’t have any colleges that made this year’s rankings (but D.C. does have one).

  • Alabama

    Courtesy of Auburn University

    Auburn University

    Overall rank: 206

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $30,300
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $19,100
    • Average student debt: $22,250
    • Early career earnings: $49,000

    With an undergraduate population of about 21,700, Auburn isn’t among the largest colleges in our rankings (or even in its state), but a long-time annual tradition known as Hey Day makes it feel even smaller. Students, faculty, and staff all wear nametags and are encouraged to say “hey” to anyone they see on campus. Full profile.

  • Arizona

    Courtesy of Arizona State

    Arizona State University

    Overall rank: 154

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $25,600
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $15,500
    • Average student debt: $20,375
    • Early career earnings: $48,900

    Popular majors at Arizona State include business, liberal arts, engineering, and the sciences, but the university is also a leader in testing new models for higher education, including blending traditionally separate academic disciplines. Full profile.

  • Arkansas

    University of Arkansas
    Matt Reynolds/Courtesy of University of Arkansas

    University of Arkansas

    Overall rank: 469

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $24,000
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $18,700
    • Average student debt: $21,524
    • Early career earnings: $47,400

    Students at the University of Arkansas can choose from 78 different majors, and the college has especially strong options for those interested in agriculture, architecture, and engineering. The most notable campus landmark is the Senior Walk—three miles of sidewalks engraved with the name of every graduate since the school was founded in the 1870s. Full profile.

  • California

    University of California Berkeley
    Virginia Yeh—Courtesy of University of California Berkeley

    University of California-Berkeley

    Overall rank: 5

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $35,700
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $25,300
    • Average student debt: $14,667
    • Early career earnings: $60,300

    UC-Berkeley, or Cal for short, ranks the highest of eight University of California system schools that made MONEY’s rankings. In fact, Cal is one of the most selective public colleges in country. More than 90% of freshmen graduate within six years, a rate well above even other elite public universities. Full profile.

  • Colorado

    Courtesy of Colorado School of Mining

    Colorado School of Mines

    Overall rank: 139

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $32,700
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $23,800
    • Average student debt: $26,025
    • Early career earnings: $65,600

    Colorado School of Mines is a small public university focused on engineering and applied sciences. Recent graduates do extremely well in the workforce, earning an average salary that tops peers from other schools by roughly 25%. Full profile.

  • Connecticut

    Michael Marsland—Yale University

    Yale University

    Overall rank: 12

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $66,600
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $22,000
    • Average student debt: $12,000
    • Early career earnings: $58,800

    Like its fellow high-ranking Ivy League peers, Princeton and Harvard, Yale is highly selective. But for students who are admitted, the college promises a very generous financial aid package and courses taught by some of the world’s most extraordinary academics. Full profile.

  • Delaware

    University of Delaware
    Evan Krape—Courtesy of University of Delaware

    University of Delaware

    Overall rank: 54

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $27,300
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $19,300
    • Average student debt: $24,127
    • Early career earnings: $50,700

    The University of Delaware helped invent the modern system of collegiate study abroad, when a UD professor created a year-long program in France in 1923. Today, about 40% of Blue Hens take advantage of that opportunity, a high percentage for research universities. Full profile.

  • Florida

    University of Florida
    Ray Carson— Courtesy of University of Florida

    University of Florida

    Overall rank: 15

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $21,400
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $15,500
    • Average student debt: $15,133
    • Early career earnings: $49,700

    The University of Florida is one of the biggest bargains in higher education, with tuition of just $6,300 a year for Floridians. For that low price, students get access to some of the world’s top professors, well-respected programs in fields as diverse as astronomy and journalism, and sports teams that often dominate their leagues. Full profile.

  • Georgia

    Raftermen Photography—Georgia Institute of Technology

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Overall rank: 35

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $25,700
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $17,700
    • Average student debt: $22,750
    • Early career earnings: $63,800

    For in-state students, Georgia Tech provides a low-cost, technology-focused curriculum that can compete with the most elite private tech schools. The typical student has SAT scores in the 700s for each section, and undergraduate classes are known to be demanding. Full profile.

  • Hawaii

    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Courtesy of University of Hawaii

    University of Hawaii at Manoa

    Overall rank: 396

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $27,900
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $19,500
    • Average student debt: $19,509
    • Early career earnings: $43,900

    Hawaii’s flagship university includes the School of Hawaiian Knowledge, the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and the School of Pacific and Asian Studies, allowing students to take advantage of its prime location for studying subjects such as Asian and Pacific cultures, tropical agriculture and medicine, ocean and marine science, volcanology, and international business. Full profile.

  • Idaho

    University of Idaho
    Joe Pallen—Courtesy of University of Idaho

    University of Idaho

    Overall rank: 198

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $20,400
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $15,700
    • Average student debt: $25,000
    • Early career earnings: $46,400

    The university’s 124 majors cover all the traditional subject areas, as well as a solid selection of programs focused on natural resources, including fire ecology and management, forest resources, natural resource conservation, and renewable materials. That’s perhaps unsurprising judging from U of I’s location in the Palouse hills of northern Idaho, where outdoor activities such as skiing, biking, climbing, and whitewater rafting are popular. Full profile.

  • Illinois

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign_IL
    Jason Lindsey—Courtesy of University of Illnois at Urbana-Champaign

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Overall rank: 22

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $30,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $22,100
    • Average student debt: $20,950
    • Early career earnings: $56,800

    Illinois’s flagship university is among the top 15 public schools on the National Science Foundation’s list of high research spenders, and its strongest academic programs include accounting, several types of engineering, and physics. Students also have access to the country’s second largest university library system (only Harvard’s is larger). Full profile.

  • Indiana

    Stephen Allen

    Earlham College

    Overall rank: 28

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $56,700
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,700
    • Average student debt: $27,000
    • Early career earnings: $45,600

    This small liberal arts college prides itself on exposing students to international culture. About 20% of students come from one of the 80 foreign countries represented at the school, and Earlham offers courses in 11 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, and Swahili. More than two-thirds of students also study abroad at some point in their college career. Full profile.

  • Iowa

    160807_50State_IowaStateUniversity_IA
    Alamy Stock Photo—Alamy Stock Photo

    Iowa State University

    Overall rank: 132

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $19,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $13,800
    • Average student debt: $25,250
    • Early career earnings: $50,200

    Iowa State has an excellent agricultural college (no surprise there). But the university also has outstanding math and science departments, and boasts a unique research center devoted to studying virtual reality. Full profile.

  • Kansas

    Tommy Theis—Kansas State University

    Kansas State University

    Overall rank: 330

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $23,200
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $18,200
    • Average student debt: $22,500
    • Early career earnings: $48,400

    Kansas State’s proximity to Fort Riley, its work in military research, and its flexible offerings for soldiers and their families give the school a military flavor that runs through its more than 250 undergraduate majors. Full profile.

  • Kentucky

    Arnold O'Neil

    Berea College

    Overall rank: 123

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $34,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $9,500
    • Average student debt: $5,750
    • Early career earnings: $33,100

    This small liberal arts college is a standout for affordability. There’s no tuition—students instead work 10 to 15 hours a week to help pay their way. More than 84% of students from low-income families, and the college offers scholarships for those who can’t afford room and board. Full profile.

  • Louisiana

    Louisana Tech University
    Courtesy of Louisiana Tech University

    Louisiana Tech University

    Overall rank: 235

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $19,400
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $13,800
    • Average student debt: $20,985
    • Early career earnings: $47,600

    Louisiana Tech offers a wide range of degrees, but the standouts at this public research university are its science and engineering programs. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, for example, have designated the university as a National Center of Academic Excellence in cyber defense education and research and information assurance research. Full profile.

  • Maine

    Michele Stapleton

    Bowdoin College

    Overall rank: 43

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $64,100
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $25,800
    • Average student debt: $19,500
    • Early career earnings: $48,900

    As part of Bowdoin’s classic liberal arts approach, students are required to take courses in all the major subject areas, including math, science, and the arts. Eighty-six percent of freshmen graduate within four years, one of the highest rates in the country. Full profile.

  • Maryland

    University of Maryland College Park
    John T. Consoli— University of Maryland College Park

    University of Maryland-College Park

    Overall rank: 19

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $25,300
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $17,600
    • Average student debt: $19,500
    • Early career earnings: $54,500

    Like most large public universities, the University of Maryland has vast academic offerings and some all-star professors. The faculty roster boasts three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, and, thanks to the campus’s proximity to the District of Columbia, leaders in major positions at federal agencies such as NASA and the National Institutes of Health. Full profile.

  • Massachusetts

    Rose Lincoln—Harvard University

    Harvard University

    Overall rank: 3

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $64,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $14,300
    • Average student debt: $6,000
    • Early career earnings: $62,900

    Harvard may be the most recognizable school in the world, and it’s practically synonymous with the prestigious Ivy League. Like many of its peers, Harvard excels in MONEY’s rankings not only because of the outstanding education it provides, but also thanks to its generous financial aid program. Full profile.

  • Michigan

    University of Michigan
    Dave Lauridsen for MONEY

    University of Michigan

    Overall rank: 2

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $28,100
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $14,300
    • Average student debt: $22,000
    • Early career earnings: $59,000

    The University of Michigan accepts less than a third of the nearly 50,000 students who apply annually, and it’s nearly as popular with out-of-staters as with Michiganders. State residents who do get in receive an especially good deal at the school, though. It is one of only 11 colleges in MONEY’s top 50 where the average in-state cost of a degree totals less than $100,000. Full profile.

  • Minnesota

    Saint John's University
    MICHAEL BECKER—Courtesy of Saint John's University

    Saint John’s University

    Overall rank: 25

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $52,400
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $28,300
    • Average student debt: $27,000
    • Early career earnings: $47,400

    Saint John’s University is a Catholic school for men that partners with a nearby women’s school, College of Saint Benedict, to share academic programs and campuses resources. Nearly 80% of students at Saint John’s graduate within six years, 12% higher than similar schools. Full profile.

  • Mississippi

    Mississippi State University
    Megan Bean—Courtesy of Mississippi State University

    Mississippi State University

    Overall rank: 274

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $23,500
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $13,900
    • Average student debt: $23,250
    • Early career earnings: $46,100

    Founded as a land-grant school in 1878 in tiny Starkville, Miss., Mississippi State now has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students. Greek life and supporting the Bulldogs athletics teams are important parts of campus culture, and students ring cowbells by the thousands to cheer on their athletes. Full profile.

  • Missouri

    James Byard—WUSTL Photos

    Washington University-St. Louis

    Overall rank: 87

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $69,100
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $34,100
    • Average student debt: $20,125
    • Early career earnings: $55,900

    Washington University is known for its highly regarded pre-med track, but academics in any discipline are rigorous, and students say A’s are hard to come by. Still, the private university has a very high six-year graduation rate of 95%. Full profile.

  • Montana

    Courtesy of University of Montana

    University of Montana Western

    Overall rank: 172

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $16,700
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $11,000
    • Average student debt: $25,524
    • Early career earnings: $33,000

    Like many colleges these days, the most popular majors at the University of Montana are education, biology, and business. Unique among colleges, however, UMW also offers a four-year degree in natural horsemanship. Full profile.

     

     

  • Nebraska

    Andrew Marinkovich

    Wayne State College

    Overall rank: 145

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $16,500
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $14,400
    • Average student debt: $21,270
    • Early career earnings: $37,500

    Wayne State College started as a school for training teachers, and while education is still the most popular major, it has broadened its offerings to include some 90 undergraduate programs. While the college requires applicants to submit standardized test scores, they’re used largely for course placement and not admissions decisions. Full profile.

     

  • Nevada

    University of Nevada-Reno
    Courtesy of University of Nevada

    University of Nevada-Reno

    Overall rank: 601

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $23,500
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $21,500
    • Average student debt: $18,744
    • Early career earnings: $48,300

    University of Nevada-Reno’s largest school is the College of Liberal Arts, but some of the smaller schools have also earned wide recognition. The Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, for example, offers unique specializations in geology and mining science, and the journalism school has produced six Pulitzer Prize winners. Full profile.

  • New Hampshire

    Courtesy of Dartmouth

    Dartmouth College

    Overall rank: 33

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $67,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,500
    • Average student debt: $11,625
    • Early career earnings: $60,200

    The smallest school in the Ivy League, Dartmouth operates on an unusual, year-round quarter system, giving students the flexibility to arrange internships and study-abroad trips during the fall or winter without falling a semester behind. Also somewhat unusual: Professors teach all classes at Dartmouth. Full profile.

  • New Jersey

    Princeton University
    Courtesy of Princeton University

    Princeton University

    Overall rank: 1

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $61,300
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $20,100
    • Average student debt: $6,810
    • Early career earnings: $62,800

    Princeton University’s generous financial aid makes it, according to MONEY’s analysis, the most affordable member of the Ivy League. The school gives such large grants to the six in 10 families who qualify (families earning less than $250,000 generally get some aid) that more than 83% of students graduate without any debt. Full profile.

     

  • New York

    Mario Morgado

    Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

    Overall rank: 8

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $62,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $22,200
    • Average student debt: $17,570
    • Early career earnings: $63,200

    Cooper Union is unique—a small, urban school that offers degrees only in art, architecture, and engineering. Though Cooper Union no longer has the free tuition policy it was founded with, it’s still much more affordable than other elite private colleges. Full profile.

     

  • North Carolina

    Megan Morr—Duke Photography

    Duke University

    Overall rank: 39

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $66,600
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,900
    • Average student debt: $6,500
    • Early career earnings: $61,600

    As one of the most selective colleges in the South, Duke attracts students with SAT scores in the mid-700s in math and reading, and accepts only about 11% of applicants. The university has a very low student-to-faculty ratio (7-to-1), meaning there’s plenty of opportunity to connect with professors. Full profile.

  • North Dakota

    North Dakota State University
    Dan Koeck—Courtesy of North Dakota State University

    North Dakota State University

    Overall rank: 224

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $20,700
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $16,700
    • Average student debt: $25,050
    • Early career earnings: $49,600

    Founded as a land-grant university, North Dakota State maintains strong programs in agriculture and animal science. Thanks in part to tuition agreements that reduce out-of-state tuition, NDSU has an unusually high percentage (57%) of students from beyond its state borders. Full profile.

  • Ohio

    Getty Images

    Ohio State University

    Overall rank: 130

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $26,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $18,400
    • Average student debt: $22,250
    • Early career earnings: $50,100

    Ohio State is one of the largest universities in the country, and alumni are fiercely supportive of the Buckeyes. The university’s 84% graduation rate is 8% higher than would be expected for students with similar academic and economic backgrounds. Full profile.

  • Oklahoma

    Alamy

    Southern Nazarene University

    Overall rank: 125

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $34,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $21,700
    • Average student debt: $18,750
    • Early career earnings: $43,000

    This small Christian liberal-arts college assigns freshman to small “communities” where they take some courses together and share faculty mentors. Education and early-childhood development are popular and well-regarded programs, and in keeping with the university’s Nazarene affiliation, it also offers theology and ministry programs. Full profile.

  • Oregon

    Courtesy of University of Portland

    University of Portland

    Overall rank: 173

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $58,500
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $36,600
    • Average student debt: $25,000
    • Early career earnings: $52,000

    The founder of the University of Portland envisioned the school becoming the “Notre Dame of the Pacific Northwest.” Today, the private Catholic university may not have the name recognition of Notre Dame, but it has made a name for itself. One example: its Entrepreneur Scholars Program, which combines classes, meetings with local and international businesspeople, and the opportunity to test new ventures. Full profile.

  • Pennsylvania

    University of Pennsylvania
    Lamont W. Abrams Jr.—Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania

    University of Pennsylvania

    Overall rank: 26

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $66,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $26,400
    • Average student debt: $21,500
    • Early career earnings: $60,700

    Among the most prestigious and demanding departments within UPenn are business and economics. The demands prove worthwhile, though, as alums earn among the highest salaries of any undergraduate business program, according to Payscale.com. Students in other majors thrive, too, reporting average earnings 7% above students from similar schools. Full profile.

  • Rhode Island

    Mike Cohea—Brown University

    Brown University

    Overall rank: 31

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $65,200
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,600
    • Average student debt: $16,000
    • Early career earnings: $57,500

    Brown is known for giving its students a high level of academic freedom. They’re required to take at least one writing course by the end of sophomore year, but otherwise, they can take any course they want, choose to take courses pass-fail, and design their own majors. Full profile.

  • South Carolina

    Courtesy of Clemson University

    Clemson University

    Overall rank: 21

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $30,300
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $22,700
    • Average student debt: $22,389
    • Early career earnings: $53,100

    Clemson was founded as an agricultural college, and while agricultural science is still a specialty, other programs, such as business, are more popular today. Most everyone at this rural campus is united by pride, especially around Clemson’s celebrated football team. Full profile.

  • South Dakota

    South Dakota State University
    Courtesy of South Dakota State University

    South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

    Overall rank: 304

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $31,900
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,000
    • Average student debt: $25,799
    • Early career earnings: $45,200

    Mining was the main industry in the Dakota Territory in 1885 when this school was established. Today, the School of Mines offers undergrad programs in applied biological sciences, geology, and paleontology, as well as numerous areas of engineering. Students can also expect their coursework to feature lots of hands-on learning through field research. Full profile

  • Tennessee

    courtesy of Vanderbilt University

    Vanderbilt University

    Overall rank: 27

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $64,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,600
    • Average student debt: $13,750
    • Early career earnings: $58,300

    Vanderbilt has a world-class medical school, and its pre-med undergrads receive extra advising, research opportunities, and other assistance, leading to a 70% medical school acceptance rate—well above the national average. Although fewer than half of Vanderbilt’s students are from the South, alumni like Al Gore, Lamar Alexander, and Rosanne Cash make up a Who’s Who of Southern politics and culture. Full profile.

  • Texas

    Rice University
    Courtesy of Rice University

    Rice University

    Overall rank: 4

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $58,600
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,300
    • Average student debt: $8,413
    • Early career earnings: $63,700

    The typical Rice student majors in engineering, economics, or biology, but the university is also well known for in the field of political science. Graduates of the selective private school fare well in the workforce: Recent grads out-earn their peers from similar schools by 16%, according to salary data from Payscale.com. Full profile.

  • Utah

    Mark A. Philbrick

    Brigham Young University-Provo

    Overall rank: 5

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $18,500
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $14,700
    • Average student debt: $11,000
    • Early career earnings: $51,800

    BYU-Provo is the main campus of a private college system specializing in educating members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Non-Mormons can also attend, but they are charged more for tuition and must obey the school’s strict code of conduct. The university has a high graduation rate, competitive salaries for recent graduates, and a very affordable price for a private education. Full profile.

  • Vermont

    Middlebury College
    Bridget Besaw; Courtesy of Middlebury College

    Middlebury College

    Overall rank: 48

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $63,600
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $24,400
    • Average student debt: $19,500
    • Early career earnings: $49,300

    Middlebury, an elite liberal-arts college, is known for promoting “gap years,” allowing students to defer enrollment to travel, work, or volunteer. There’s an entire February admissions cohort made up of freshman who chose to start college in the spring rather than the fall. Full profile.

  • Virginia

    160807_50state_university_virginia_VA
    Cole Geddy—U.Va. Public Affairs

    University of Virginia

    Overall rank: 9

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $28,100
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $12,000
    • Average student debt: $19,500
    • Early career earnings: $55,400

    UVA boasts the highest graduation rate of any public university in the country, at 93%. The university’s academic strengths are wide-ranging, and the campus is the only U.S. college to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its connection to founder Thomas Jefferson. Full profile.

  • Washington

    Yue Deng—University of Washington

    University of Washington-Seattle

    Overall rank: 30

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $27,800
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $19,700
    • Average student debt: $16,326
    • Early career earnings: $54,000

    Because of its proximity to Boeing’s manufacturing facilities, the flagship Seattle campus of the University of Washington has developed a particular expertise in aeronautics. UW also has encouraging admissions odds for such a top-rated school: The typical student has SAT scores of roughly 1350, and the school accepts about 55% of applicants. Full profile.

     

  • West Virginia

    Kevin R. Cooke—Graule Studios

    Wheeling Jesuit University

    Overall rank: 416

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $38,100
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $22,000
    • Average student debt: $27,000
    • Early career earnings: $38,100

    Wheeling Jesuit University is one of 28 Jesuit colleges in the U.S., and in keeping with the order’s traditions, a devotion to service and social justice underscores much of student life. During school breaks, for example, WJU offers immersion trips to experience areas with social challenges, such as New Orleans, El Paso, and El Salvador. The school also is home to the WJU Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality, devoted to examining moral and economic foundations of a free society. Full profile.

  • Wisconsin

    Bryce Richter—University of Wisconsin-Madison

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Overall rank: 63

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $25,400
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $18,800
    • Average student debt: $23,000
    • Early career earnings: $50,100

    Students come from all over to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which provides all the perks of a large flagship state university. Tens of thousands of students? Check. Fierce athletic competition and traditions? Check. Large courses and endless program offerings? Check. Full profile.

  • Wyoming

    Ted Brummond—UW Photo Service

    University of Wyoming

    Overall rank: 168

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $19,400
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $14,600
    • Average student debt: $19,000
    • Early career earnings: $49,000

    The University of Wyoming is the state’s only four-year college, aside from a small Catholic college founded a decade ago. While the university’s graduation rate is comparatively low, recent graduates do well in the job market, reporting average earnings that are 12% higher than graduates of similar schools. Full profile.

  • Washington, D.C.

    Phil Humnicky—Georgetown University

    Georgetown University

    Overall rank: 84

    • Estimated price for 2016-17 without aid: $67,100
    • Estimated price for 2016-17 with average aid: $28,600
    • Average student debt: $17,500
    • Early career earnings: $52,900

    Georgetown is one of the most expensive schools in MONEY’s rankings. But a key reason for that, its location in Washington D.C., is also one of Georgetown’s biggest draws, especially for students interested in studying politics or international relations. The university frequently gets Washington’s elite to lecture or teach classes, recently including former CIA director George Tenet, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and veteran campaign strategist Donna Brazile. Full profile.

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