Best Colleges in the South

Maybe you want to study close to home, or maybe you want to find a warmer place to call home. (No one wants to trudge through a snowstorm after an all-night study session.) These colleges notched the best combination of educational quality, affordability, and high-earning alumni in the South.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations.

College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Median SAT/ACT score
Est. price 2017-18 without aid
Est. price 2017-18 with avg. grant
% who get need-based grants
% who get merit grants
Early career earnings
College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Median SAT/ACT score
Est. price 2017-18 without aid
Est. price 2017-18 with avg. grant
% who get need-based grants
% who get merit grants
Early career earnings
11
1
1360/31 $31,221 $15,702 27% 2% $58,000
12
2
Houston, TX
1470/33 $62,697 $24,259 37% 1% $63,100
15
3
1510/33 $67,074 $24,772 45% 20% $57,900
16
4
1400/32 $30,660 $13,755 38% 25% $65,600
16
4
1390/32 $65,737 $23,089 41% 10% $53,200
18
6
Gainesville, FL
1270/29 $21,813 $15,779 33% 39% $49,800
23
7
1220/NA $26,241 $19,870 31% 15% $57,400
31
8
1290/29 $27,789 $18,755 33% 12% $53,900
34
9
1200/27 $26,153 $14,821 39% 3% $55,000
41
10
1160/26 $30,709 $16,413 44% 24% $55,600
46
11
Harrisonburg, VA
1140/26 $25,984 $18,018 21% 4% $49,900
50
12
1250/28 $23,647 $14,661 44% 6% $52,500
60
13
1320/30 $25,706 $11,648 41% 2% $46,800
61
14
1250/29 $29,371 $17,952 37% 23% $54,100
62
15
1240/28 $26,535 $14,342 40% 7% $47,800
64
16
Durham, NC
1460/33 $70,898 $22,999 40% 4% $62,000
70
17
Davidson, NC
1340/30 $67,059 $24,694 51% 17% $49,900
73
18
University of Richmond, VA
1330/31 $65,990 $23,484 39% 7% $51,600
76
19
1370/31 $37,019 $15,455 28% 12% $50,400
108
20
San Antonio, TX
1270/29 $57,209 $28,258 41% 9% $44,400
118
21
Winston Salem, NC
NA/NA $69,245 $26,923 31% 18% $51,400
127
22
Atlanta, GA
1370/31 $66,573 $28,002 39% 12% $54,100
127
22
1150/26 $28,651 $18,701 42% 9% $52,100
131
24
1090/23 $28,537 $18,535 45% 10% $54,600
162
25
1150/25 $27,137 $13,924 52% 5% $49,900
178
26
1260/28 $26,951 $9,696 48% 4% $52,600
180
27
1200/26 $26,563 $18,262 27% 25% $50,000
194
28
940/20 $22,911 $5,868 67% 13% $42,200
195
29
1150/25 $26,124 $15,184 51% 3% $52,400
219
30
Berea, KY
1120/25 $36,297 $3,375 100% N/A $34,500
234
31
1120/24 $24,226 $14,445 54% 31% $50,500
246
32
1120/26 $27,186 $14,636 38% 1% $48,200
251
33
1210/28 $23,301 $18,045 48% 34% $44,100
255
34
1110/25 $23,552 $15,360 40% 3% $47,000
261
35
1100/25 $23,835 $16,205 42% 16% $51,700
261
35
1070/24 $20,480 $9,617 51% 12% $48,300
267
37
Memphis, TN
1290/29 $60,998 $32,032 39% 13% $45,300
277
38
Coral Gables, FL
1320/30 $65,804 $38,280 13% 18% $51,300
286
39
1110/25 $57,913 $24,515 59% 45% $45,400
296
40
1100/24 $25,877 $15,679 39% 50% $53,300
307
41
Danville, KY
1230/29 $54,069 $27,352 56% N/A $41,300
314
42
1110/25 $27,441 $21,453 23% 9% $47,400
319
43
870/18 $20,703 $9,446 75% 7% $44,300
320
44
Spartanburg, SC
1170/27 $56,765 $27,147 61% 18% $44,700
325
45
1320/31 $70,063 $34,641 35% 9% $46,200
325
45
NA/NA $27,178 $16,838 48% 4% $50,800
333
47
1310/30 $71,733 $39,530 24% 21% $51,900
344
48
Mississippi State, MS
1130/25 $24,202 $16,660 54% 5% $47,000
356
49
Atlanta, GA
1000/22 $47,563 $34,545 66% 2% $49,700
361
50
1200/27 $54,582 $29,191 61% N/A $45,700
1
Clemson, SC
Money rank
61
Median SAT/ACT score
1250/29
2
Williamsburg, VA
Money rank
76
Median SAT/ACT score
1370/31
3
Fairfax, VA
Money rank
127
Median SAT/ACT score
1150/26
4
Charleston, SC
Money rank
131
Median SAT/ACT score
1090/23
5
Tempe, AZ
Money rank
162
Median SAT/ACT score
1150/25
6
Richardson, TX
Money rank
178
Median SAT/ACT score
1260/28
7
Houston, TX
Money rank
195
Median SAT/ACT score
1150/25
8
Cookeville, TN
Money rank
296
Median SAT/ACT score
1100/24
9
Danville, KY
Money rank
307
Median SAT/ACT score
1230/29
10
Spartanburg, SC
Money rank
320
Median SAT/ACT score
1170/27
11
Mississippi State, MS
Money rank
344
Median SAT/ACT score
1130/25
12
Lexington, VA
Money rank
16
Median SAT/ACT score
1390/32
13
Austin, TX
Money rank
31
Median SAT/ACT score
1290/29
14
College Station, TX
Money rank
34
Median SAT/ACT score
1200/27
15
Lexington, VA
Money rank
41
Median SAT/ACT score
1160/26
16
Raleigh, NC
Money rank
50
Median SAT/ACT score
1250/28
17
Winston Salem, NC
Money rank
118
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
18
Berea, KY
Money rank
219
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/25
19
Baton Rouge, LA
Money rank
246
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/26
20
Tallahassee, FL
Money rank
251
Median SAT/ACT score
1210/28
21
Stillwater, OK
Money rank
255
Median SAT/ACT score
1110/25
22
Fredericksburg, VA
Money rank
314
Median SAT/ACT score
1110/25
23
Houston, TX
Money rank
12
Median SAT/ACT score
1470/33
24
Atlanta, GA
Money rank
16
Median SAT/ACT score
1400/32
25
Gainesville, FL
Money rank
18
Median SAT/ACT score
1270/29
26
Athens, GA
Money rank
62
Median SAT/ACT score
1240/28
27
San Antonio, TX
Money rank
108
Median SAT/ACT score
1270/29
28
Norman, OK
Money rank
180
Median SAT/ACT score
1200/26
29
Ruston, LA
Money rank
261
Median SAT/ACT score
1070/24
30
Lubbock, TX
Money rank
261
Median SAT/ACT score
1100/25
31
Coral Gables, FL
Money rank
277
Median SAT/ACT score
1320/30
32
Winston-Salem, NC
Money rank
319
Median SAT/ACT score
870/18
33
Charlottesville, VA
Money rank
11
Median SAT/ACT score
1360/31
34
Blacksburg, VA
Money rank
23
Median SAT/ACT score
1220/NA
35
Chapel Hill, NC
Money rank
60
Median SAT/ACT score
1320/30
36
Durham, NC
Money rank
64
Median SAT/ACT score
1460/33
37
University of Richmond, VA
Money rank
73
Median SAT/ACT score
1330/31
38
El Paso, TX
Money rank
194
Median SAT/ACT score
940/20
39
Austin, TX
Money rank
286
Median SAT/ACT score
1110/25
40
Tucson, AZ
Money rank
325
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
41
Atlanta, GA
Money rank
356
Median SAT/ACT score
1000/22
42
Nashville, TN
Money rank
15
Median SAT/ACT score
1510/33
43
Harrisonburg, VA
Money rank
46
Median SAT/ACT score
1140/26
44
Davidson, NC
Money rank
70
Median SAT/ACT score
1340/30
45
Atlanta, GA
Money rank
127
Median SAT/ACT score
1370/31
46
Winston-Salem, NC
Money rank
234
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/24
47
Memphis, TN
Money rank
267
Median SAT/ACT score
1290/29
48
New Orleans, LA
Money rank
325
Median SAT/ACT score
1320/31
49
Dallas, TX
Money rank
333
Median SAT/ACT score
1310/30
50
Irving, TX
Money rank
361
Median SAT/ACT score
1200/27
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