Best Public Colleges

The majority of students attend a public college in their home state. For many, it’s the most affordable option. If you live in one of the states below, set your sights on these nationally competitive public universities.

Published on Aug. 12, 2019. 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 2019-20 without aid
Est. price 2019-20 with avg. grant
% with need who get grants
Average student debt
Early career earnings
College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Median SAT/ACT score
Est. price 2019-20 without aid
Est. price 2019-20 with avg. grant
% with need who get grants
Average student debt
Early career earnings
1
1
1260/29 $35,400 $14,900 96% $16,500 $57,700
2
2
1270/NA $33,200 $4,900 92% $10,720 $57,100
4
3
1340/32 $35,400 $15,800 96% $15,000 $60,000
5
4
1250/29 $37,300 $17,600 97% $14,000 $59,400
8
5
1420/32 $30,800 $17,500 80% $19,150 $62,000
9
6
1310/30 $33,600 $15,600 94% $17,500 $61,300
10
7
Charlottesville, VA
1410/31 $33,600 $17,700 86% $19,000 $62,300
11
8
1370/32 $38,600 $19,400 93% $13,200 $68,300
12
9
1200/26 $36,200 $13,200 98% $19,000 $54,000
13
10
1130/23 $25,100 $10,300 80% $15,000 $51,100
18
11
1250/28 $29,700 $20,900 82% $18,520 $59,000
20
12
1420/29 $31,400 $17,800 83% $20,130 $61,000
21
13
Gainesville, FL
1320/30 $22,100 $16,300 63% $16,200 $54,200
22
14
1100/22 $28,600 $9,100 81% $14,800 $49,400
22
14
1310/30 $27,800 $10,100 85% $15,000 $59,900
25
16
1120/23 $26,800 $15,500 65% $26,930 $67,200
27
17
1310/32 $30,000 $16,900 52% $23,750 $70,800
28
18
1340/30 $26,600 $15,300 81% $21,500 $59,100
29
19
1020/20 $23,100 $6,400 85% $13,830 $49,600
30
20
1300/31 $37,700 $17,200 95% $16,300 $57,300
33
21
1360/30 $27,300 $17,900 81% $19,500 $58,900
34
22
1270/28 $27,400 $20,000 71% $23,250 $60,900
35
23
1130/NA $36,500 $4,400 82% $10,500 $50,100
36
24
990/18 $26,000 $4,200 96% $12,500 $49,200
40
25
1310/29 $24,800 $14,300 91% $20,710 $55,800
41
26
1120/24 $27,200 $13,500 80% $18,500 $56,000
42
27
1300/29 $32,400 $20,000 72% $21,500 $57,700
43
28
1380/31 $27,700 $18,400 76% $19,500 $60,000
45
29
1390/31 $39,000 $18,600 87% $19,340 $57,100
46
30
1370/29 $26,800 $17,000 79% $22,240 $55,700
47
31
Stony Brook, NY
1310/29 $26,600 $15,300 85% $18,960 $57,000
48
32
1250/NA $36,000 $24,400 42% $23,250 $57,200
49
33
1190/26 $32,000 $17,200 76% $23,900 $63,900
50
34
1300/NA $33,000 $17,100 70% $22,250 $57,800
51
35
1010/19 $21,300 $6,300 89% $14,370 $49,800
52
36
1370/31 $26,700 $11,800 89% $16,660 $53,500
53
37
1060/NA $35,400 $5,200 78% $10,000 $44,600
55
38
West Lafayette, IN
1270/28 $23,800 $12,900 73% $20,430 $60,200
56
39
1080/22 $25,500 $15,100 79% $16,750 $55,100
57
40
Harrisonburg, VA
1180/26 $27,300 $17,200 52% $20,500 $55,800
59
41
1210/26 $29,700 $17,800 71% $25,200 $53,900
63
42
1070/21 $24,400 $12,000 82% $13,750 $48,700
64
43
1200/27 $30,500 $19,900 82% $19,500 $57,200
68
44
NA/NA $21,500 $7,200 88% $14,220 $48,000
69
45
1230/27 $29,000 $17,400 83% $24,250 $56,700
70
46
1000/19 $25,300 $9,300 95% $15,000 $47,900
71
47
1230/26 $28,500 $19,400 92% $19,200 $51,800
73
48
1210/23 $32,000 $12,700 82% $18,110 $55,000
74
49
1190/26 $29,500 $14,300 72% $15,000 $53,400
75
50
1290/29 $28,400 $20,300 88% $18,630 $63,500
Rank
1
Seattle, WA
Money rank
22
Median SAT/ACT score
1310/30
2
Northridge, CA
Money rank
29
Median SAT/ACT score
1020/20
3
Blacksburg, VA
Money rank
34
Median SAT/ACT score
1270/28
4
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
36
Median SAT/ACT score
990/18
5
Raleigh, NC
Money rank
40
Median SAT/ACT score
1310/29
6
Pomona, CA
Money rank
41
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/24
7
Williamsburg, VA
Money rank
45
Median SAT/ACT score
1390/31
8
Harrisonburg, VA
Money rank
57
Median SAT/ACT score
1180/26
9
East Lansing, MI
Money rank
59
Median SAT/ACT score
1210/26
10
Turlock, CA
Money rank
68
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
11
Chicago, IL
Money rank
73
Median SAT/ACT score
1210/23
12
Ann Arbor, MI
Money rank
8
Median SAT/ACT score
1420/32
13
Berkeley, CA
Money rank
11
Median SAT/ACT score
1370/32
14
Riverside, CA
Money rank
12
Median SAT/ACT score
1200/26
15
Long Beach, CA
Money rank
13
Median SAT/ACT score
1130/23
16
Champaign, IL
Money rank
20
Median SAT/ACT score
1420/29
17
Vestal, NY
Money rank
33
Median SAT/ACT score
1360/30
18
Madison, WI
Money rank
46
Median SAT/ACT score
1370/29
19
Ewing, NJ
Money rank
48
Median SAT/ACT score
1250/NA
20
Lexington, VA
Money rank
49
Median SAT/ACT score
1190/26
21
New Brunswick, NJ
Money rank
50
Median SAT/ACT score
1300/NA
22
Seaside, CA
Money rank
63
Median SAT/ACT score
1070/21
23
New York, NY
Money rank
2
Median SAT/ACT score
1270/NA
24
Davis, CA
Money rank
5
Median SAT/ACT score
1250/29
25
La Jolla, CA
Money rank
9
Median SAT/ACT score
1310/30
26
Fullerton, CA
Money rank
22
Median SAT/ACT score
1100/22
27
Santa Barbara, CA
Money rank
30
Median SAT/ACT score
1300/31
28
Storrs, CT
Money rank
42
Median SAT/ACT score
1300/29
29
Fresno, CA
Money rank
51
Median SAT/ACT score
1010/19
30
Chapel Hill, NC
Money rank
52
Median SAT/ACT score
1370/31
31
West Lafayette, IN
Money rank
55
Median SAT/ACT score
1270/28
32
Fairfax, VA
Money rank
64
Median SAT/ACT score
1200/27
33
Irvine, CA
Money rank
1
Median SAT/ACT score
1260/29
34
Charlottesville, VA
Money rank
10
Median SAT/ACT score
1410/31
35
Gainesville, FL
Money rank
21
Median SAT/ACT score
1320/30
36
Buzzards Bay, MA
Money rank
25
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/23
37
Austin, TX
Money rank
28
Median SAT/ACT score
1340/30
38
College Park, MD
Money rank
43
Median SAT/ACT score
1380/31
39
Chico, CA
Money rank
56
Median SAT/ACT score
1080/22
40
San Bernardino, CA
Money rank
70
Median SAT/ACT score
1000/19
41
San Diego, CA
Money rank
74
Median SAT/ACT score
1190/26
42
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
4
Median SAT/ACT score
1340/32
43
College Station, TX
Money rank
18
Median SAT/ACT score
1250/28
44
Atlanta, GA
Money rank
27
Median SAT/ACT score
1310/32
45
Brooklyn, NY
Money rank
35
Median SAT/ACT score
1130/NA
46
Stony Brook, NY
Money rank
47
Median SAT/ACT score
1310/29
47
New York, NY
Money rank
53
Median SAT/ACT score
1060/NA
48
Newark, DE
Money rank
69
Median SAT/ACT score
1230/27
49
Syracuse, NY
Money rank
71
Median SAT/ACT score
1230/26
50
San Luis Obispo, CA
Money rank
75
Median SAT/ACT score
1290/29
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