Iowa State University, which sits about 30 miles north of Des Moines, has an excellent agricultural college, as you might expect. But the math and science departments are also among the best at any state university. In fact, some of the school's 31,000 students come from all around the world to study there (although 60% of all undergraduate students are Iowan).

Iowa State is an even more attractive option when considering the low tuition costs, since the net price of a degree for in-state students, as calculated by Money, is about $72,000 before federal and state aid are included.

Iowa State is a leader in virtual reality, with a research center it says is "aimed broadly at enhancing the productivity and creativity of people." Students often mention the amazing friendships they've made at ISU. This could be attributed to the school's many clubs or events designed to promote school spirit. Or it could be the excellent academics. Or it could just be because Iowans are a friendly bunch. But whatever the reason, graduates seem to agree that their time spent at ISU was worthwhile.

Iowa State's graduation rate of 72% is above that of similar schools. After college, the median early-career earnings are about $61,000, according to Money’s calculations.