Stacker1 looked at Niche's 2021 list of the best value colleges in America. This ranking includes only public, four-year colleges and weighs the cost of tuition with each school’s acceptance rate, quality of professors, diversity, and the median earnings for alumni six years after graduation.

Read on to see which public colleges have proved their value the most.

50. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Sadads / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Rapid City, SD
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,873
  • Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Tuition: $11,020 in-state; $15,400 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $56,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #159

49. Iowa State University

Iowa State University
SD Dirk / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Ames, IA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 27,929
  • Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Acceptance rate: 92%
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Tuition: $9,320 in-state; $24,508 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $50,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 96%
  • Overall rank: #158

48. University of Washington - Tacoma

University of Washington - Tacoma
Mds08011 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Tacoma, WA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,005
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Acceptance rate: 87%
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Tuition: $11,639 in-state; $38,340 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $57,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 91%
  • Overall rank: #157

47. University of Connecticut - Stamford

University of Connecticut - Stamford
John9474 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Stamford, CT
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,701
  • Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Acceptance rate: 91%
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Tuition: $14,648 in-state; $37,316 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #152

46. Citadel Military College of South Carolina

Citadel Military College of South Carolina
CocoaBeachBoy / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Charleston, SC
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,654
  • Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Acceptance rate: 75%
  • Graduation rate: 74%
  • Tuition: $12,620 in-state; $35,876 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $56,800
  • Two-year employment rate: 96%
  • Overall rank: #149

45. Oregon Institute of Technology

Oregon Institute of Technology
OregonTech / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Klamath Falls, OR
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,311
  • Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 97%
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Tuition: $10,485 in-state; $29,637 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $56,600
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #148

44. CUNY Baruch College

CUNY Baruch College
Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 11,495
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 43%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • Tuition: $7,462 in-state; $15,412 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $57,200
  • Two-year employment rate: 89%
  • Overall rank: #147

43. University of Washington - Bothell

University of Washington - Bothell
Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Bothell, WA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,623
  • Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Graduation rate: 69%
  • Tuition: $11,390 in-state; $38,091 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $57,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 91%
  • Overall rank: #144

42. University of Minnesota Twin Cities

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 30,001
  • Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Acceptance rate: 57%
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Tuition: $15,027 in-state; $33,325 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $51,900
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #142

41. University of California - Santa Barbara

University of California - Santa Barbara
UCSB Library / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 22,601
  • Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
  • Acceptance rate: 30%
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Tuition: $14,445 in-state; $42,199 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $55,300
  • Two-year employment rate: 91%
  • Overall rank: #137

40. University of Connecticut - Avery Point

University of Connecticut - Avery Point
Pi.1415926535 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Groton, CT
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 502
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Acceptance rate: 94%
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Tuition: $14,638 in-state; $37,306 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #135

39. The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey
Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Ewing, NJ
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,823
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance rate: 49%
  • Graduation rate: 86%
  • Tuition: $16,942 in-state; $28,921 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #130

38. University of Connecticut - Waterbury

University of Connecticut - Waterbury
Stacker
  • Location: Waterbury, CT
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 769
  • Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
  • Acceptance rate: 95%
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Tuition: $14,638 in-state; $37,306 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #128

37. University of Delaware

University of Delaware
Cargoudel / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Newark, DE
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 18,355
  • Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 71%
  • Graduation rate: 81%
  • Tuition: $14,280 in-state; $35,710 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $57,000
  • Two-year employment rate: 96%
  • Overall rank: #126

36. Binghamton University, SUNY

Binghamton University, SUNY
Yb20061462 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Vestal, NY
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 13,630
  • Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Acceptance rate: 41%
  • Graduation rate: 82%
  • Tuition: $10,201 in-state; $27,791 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $61,600
  • Two-year employment rate: 92%
  • Overall rank: #124

35. University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut
John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Storrs, CT
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 18,478
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Acceptance rate: 49%
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Tuition: $17,226 in-state; $39,894 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #122

34. University of Georgia

University of Georgia
DXR / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Athens, GA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 27,947
  • Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Acceptance rate: 45%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Tuition: $12,080 in-state; $31,120 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $50,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 92%
  • Overall rank: #117

33. University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland - College Park
Ryan Kosmides / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: College Park, MD
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 28,501
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 44%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Tuition: $10,779 in-state; $36,891 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $62,900
  • Two-year employment rate: 93%
  • Overall rank: #115

32. University of Washington

University of Washington
Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,496
  • Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Acceptance rate: 52%
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Tuition: $11,465 in-state; $38,166 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $57,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 91%
  • Overall rank: #105

31. Clemson University

Clemson University
Yousef Abdul-Husein / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Clemson, SC
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 18,971
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Acceptance rate: 51%
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Tuition: $15,558 in-state; $38,550 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $52,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #103

30. California State University Maritime Academy

California State University Maritime Academy
imwilliam / Flickr
  • Location: Vallejo, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 975
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance rate: 76%
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Tuition: $7,160 in-state; $19,040 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $82,900
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #102

29. New Jersey Institute of Technology

New Jersey Institute of Technology
jedhakuro / Flickr
  • Location: Newark, NJ
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,827
  • Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Acceptance rate: 73%
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Tuition: $17,674 in-state; $33,386 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $68,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 92%
  • Overall rank: #101

28. University of California - Irvine

University of California - Irvine
Allyunion / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Irvine, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,251
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 27%
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Tuition: $13,727 in-state; $43,481 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 90%
  • Overall rank: #99

27. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University
Cbg628 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 22,317
  • Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Acceptance rate: 45%
  • Graduation rate: 82%
  • Tuition: $9,100 in-state; $29,220 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $52,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #97

26. University of California - San Diego

University of California - San Diego
loustejskal / Flickr
  • Location: La Jolla, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,491
  • Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Acceptance rate: 31%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Tuition: $14,415 in-state; $44,169 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $59,900
  • Two-year employment rate: 89%
  • Overall rank: #96

25. University of California - Davis

University of California - Davis
Bev Sykes / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Davis, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,967
  • Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Acceptance rate: 39%
  • Graduation rate: 87%
  • Tuition: $14,495 in-state; $44,249 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,200
  • Two-year employment rate: 91%
  • Overall rank: #94

24. James Madison University

James Madison University
James Madison University Creative Media / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Harrisonurg, VA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 18,881
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Graduation rate: 84%
  • Tuition: $12,330 in-state; $29,230 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $56,600
  • Two-year employment rate: 96%
  • Overall rank: #91

23. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Caroline Culler / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 18,526
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance rate: 23%
  • Graduation rate: 91%
  • Tuition: $8,980 in-state; $36,159 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $55,600
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #84

22. University of California - Los Angeles

University of California - Los Angeles
Bogdan Migulski / Flickr
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 31,009
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 12%
  • Graduation rate: 92%
  • Tuition: $13,240 in-state; $42,994 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $60,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 89%
  • Overall rank: #79

21. University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin
Jon Kees / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,375
  • Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Acceptance rate: 54%
  • Graduation rate: 88%
  • Tuition: $10,725 in-state; $37,785 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $56,200
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #76

20. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
adam_jones / Flickr
  • Location: Champaign, IL
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 32,757
  • Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Acceptance rate: 59%
  • Graduation rate: 85%
  • Tuition: $15,122 in-state; $32,264 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $61,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #74

19. University of Texas - Austin

University of Texas - Austin
Utexas / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 38,097
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 32%
  • Graduation rate: 86%
  • Tuition: $10,824 in-state; $38,326 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,200
  • Two-year employment rate: 93%
  • Overall rank: #73

18. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University
Stu Seeger / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: College Station, TX
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 47,399
  • Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 82%
  • Tuition: $12,153 in-state; $38,602 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,000
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #70

17. Purdue University

Purdue University
Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: West Lafayette, IN
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 31,849
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance rate: 60%
  • Graduation rate: 82%
  • Tuition: $9,992 in-state; $28,794 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $55,100
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #67

16. University of Florida

University of Florida
Spohpatuf / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Gainesville, FL
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 32,209
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Graduation rate: 88%
  • Tuition: $6,381 in-state; $28,659 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $56,000
  • Two-year employment rate: 92%
  • Overall rank: #66

15. University of California - Berkeley

University of California - Berkeley
Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,570
  • Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Acceptance rate: 16%
  • Graduation rate: 93%
  • Tuition: $14,253 in-state; $44,007 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $64,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 88%
  • Overall rank: #61

14. Missouri University of Science & Technology

Missouri University of Science & Technology
Steveewatkins / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Rolla, MO
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,065
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Graduation rate: 66%
  • Tuition: $8,568 in-state; $26,660 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $71,200
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #60

13. Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University
Jcvertin / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Houghton, MI
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,465
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Graduation rate: 70%
  • Tuition: $15,660 in-state; $34,896 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $66,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 97%
  • Overall rank: #58

12. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Rob Bulmahn / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 20,333
  • Student to faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Acceptance rate: 28%
  • Graduation rate: 82%
  • Tuition: $9,943 in-state; $23,833 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $66,900
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #56

11. College of William & Mary

College of William & Mary
Jrcla2 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Williamsburg, VA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 6,300
  • Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Acceptance rate: 38%
  • Graduation rate: 90%
  • Tuition: $17,434 in-state; $40,089 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $58,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #55

10. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
Jimmy and Sasha Reede / Flickr
  • Location: Blacksburg, VA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 27,180
  • Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Acceptance rate: 70%
  • Graduation rate: 86%
  • Tuition: $13,691 in-state; $32,835 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $62,500
  • Two-year employment rate: 96%
  • Overall rank: #54

9. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Stacker
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 29,245
  • Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Acceptance rate: 23%
  • Graduation rate: 93%
  • Tuition: $15,558 in-state; $51,200 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $63,400
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #47

8. Maine Maritime Academy

Maine Maritime Academy
Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Castine, ME
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 958
  • Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Acceptance rate: 45%
  • Graduation rate: 71%
  • Tuition: $13,792 in-state; $27,820 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $95,600
  • Two-year employment rate: 96%
  • Overall rank: #43

7. University of Virginia

University of Virginia
Ben Lunsford / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Charlottesville, VA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 15,990
  • Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 24%
  • Graduation rate: 95%
  • Tuition: $17,798 in-state; $50,900 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $61,200
  • Two-year employment rate: 94%
  • Overall rank: #42

6. SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College
Jim.henderson / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Throggs Neck, NY
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,542
  • Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Graduation rate: 75%
  • Tuition: $7,070 in-state; $16,980 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $82,800
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #29

5. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy
massmaritime / Flickr
  • Location: Buzzards Bay, MA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,614
  • Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Acceptance rate: 91%
  • Graduation rate: 76%
  • Tuition: $10,018 in-state; $25,752 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $86,600
  • Two-year employment rate: 97%
  • Overall rank: #24

4. Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines
cogdogblog / Flickr
  • Location: Golden, CO
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 4,709
  • Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Acceptance rate: 53%
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Tuition: $19,062 in-state; $39,762 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $84,900
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #22

3. Virginia Military Institute

Virginia Military Institute
koocbur / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Lexington, VA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 1,685
  • Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Acceptance rate: 60%
  • Graduation rate: 79%
  • Tuition: $19,118 in-state; $45,962 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $65,700
  • Two-year employment rate: 97%
  • Overall rank: #21

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology
JJohahJackalope / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 14,318
  • Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Acceptance rate: 21%
  • Graduation rate: 90%
  • Tuition: $12,682 in-state; $33,794 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $79,100
  • Two-year employment rate: 95%
  • Overall rank: #13

1. United States Merchant Marine Academy

United States Merchant Marine Academy
Jim.henderson / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Kings Point, NY
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 996
  • Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Acceptance rate: 25%
  • Graduation rate: 80%
  • Tuition: $1,050 in-state; $1,050 out-of-state
  • Six-year median earnings: $88,100
  • Two-year employment rate: 97%
  • Overall rank: #1

1Best Vallue Public Colleges in America, Stacker

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