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 August 25, 2020. Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/College Measures calculations.

College Name
Overall
Money
Rank
Est. price 2020-21 without aid
Est. price with average grant
% of students with need who get grants
Graduation rate
Average student debt
Early career earnings
College Name
Overall
Money
Rank
Est. price 2020-21 without aid
Est. price with average grant
% of students with need who get grants
Graduation rate
Average student debt
Early career earnings
4
1
$31,000 $17,600 81% 92% $16,610 $63,700
6
2
Charlottesville, VA
$34,200 $18,600 87% 94% $17,760 $61,400
9
3
$33,700 $14,100 95% 86% $16,810 $59,300
10
4
$36,100 $16,400 97% 86% $13,000 $57,100
11
5
$30,500 $20,000 82% 82% $18,500 $59,200
13
6
$35,200 $15,700 96% 83% $15,890 $55,900
15
7
$29,800 $13,300 80% 71% $17,790 $55,500
16
8
Gainesville, FL
$21,700 $11,800 62% 90% $16,250 $54,100
17
9
$39,000 $18,700 94% 91% $13,750 $65,800
19
10
$35,500 $15,700 96% 91% $15,000 $57,600
20
11
$28,400 $10,200 85% 84% $15,000 $58,200
21
12
$29,500 $17,700 88% 87% $23,750 $69,600
22
13
$30,900 $16,500 83% 84% $19,000 $61,200
23
14
West Lafayette, IN
$23,500 $12,400 80% 81% $19,500 $61,500
24
15
$30,100 $15,200 76% 65% $15,720 $60,600
26
16
$32,300 $15,500 77% 78% $21,630 $59,300
27
17
$25,400 $9,900 77% 69% $15,000 $48,800
28
18
$26,700 $14,800 77% 87% $20,500 $55,000
29
19
$27,300 $14,800 77% 83% $20,000 $57,900
31
20
Williamsburg, VA
$40,100 $16,300 89% 91% $18,330 $53,300
33
21
$33,400 $4,300 92% 69% $11,500 $55,600
34
22
$28,600 $8,600 82% 68% $15,000 $47,300
35
23
$24,500 $15,400 92% 81% $20,500 $56,700
36
24
$28,700 $16,000 76% 73% $26,650 $63,700
37
25
$27,800 $19,200 69% 84% $22,900 $61,300

ADVERTISEMENT

Career skills to jumpstart your future.
40
26
Harrisonburg, VA
$28,200 $18,500 55% 84% $20,500 $53,800
41
27
$30,100 $16,600 N/A 83% $24,390 $56,200
43
28
$24,300 $12,200 91% 89% $16,120 $50,700
45
29
$23,700 $8,900 84% 54% $14,490 $48,600
46
30
$33,200 $20,500 71% 85% $21,500 $58,400
47
31
$27,000 $4,600 96% 48% $13,380 $47,500
48
32
$36,400 $13,500 95% 75% $19,000 $51,600
51
33
$29,000 $20,900 89% 82% $19,500 $64,300
52
34
$25,500 $14,800 79% 66% $16,850 $54,500
55
35
$37,800 $17,700 95% 82% $15,310 $54,800
55
35
$22,700 $7,200 88% 58% $14,250 $46,900
55
35
$29,500 $16,900 73% 80% $25,000 $53,300
58
38
$25,300 $12,500 80% 78% $20,500 $50,900
58
38
$28,500 $17,400 85% 80% $19,500 $55,600
62
40
$22,000 $7,100 89% 54% $15,000 $48,000
64
41
$31,800 $12,800 85% 59% $17,400 $55,400
66
42
$25,800 $11,900 94% 48% $15,330 $54,400
67
43
$32,000 $20,400 82% 83% $21,500 $56,500
68
44
$35,800 $24,500 42% 86% $23,740 $56,200
69
45
Stony Brook, NY
$26,900 $15,500 86% 74% $19,000 $55,200
70
46
$27,300 $10,300 90% 51% $15,570 $52,100
72
47
$31,600 $22,700 89% 80% $23,250 $55,000
73
48
$27,600 $17,200 83% 81% $19,500 $56,200
74
49
$24,400 $4,700 85% 45% $14,500 $46,500
75
50
$21,700 $15,300 97% 75% $22,980 $55,100
Rank
1
West Lafayette, IN
Money rank
23
Est. price after average aid
$12,400
2
Austin, TX
Money rank
29
Est. price after average aid
$14,800
3
Fullerton, CA
Money rank
34
Est. price after average aid
$8,600
4
Buzzards Bay, MA
Money rank
36
Est. price after average aid
$16,000
5
Blacksburg, VA
Money rank
37
Est. price after average aid
$19,200
6
Harrisonburg, VA
Money rank
40
Est. price after average aid
$18,500
7
Northridge, CA
Money rank
45
Est. price after average aid
$8,900
8
Fresno, CA
Money rank
62
Est. price after average aid
$7,100
9
Chicago, IL
Money rank
64
Est. price after average aid
$12,800
10
Ewing, NJ
Money rank
68
Est. price after average aid
$24,500
11
Vestal, NY
Money rank
73
Est. price after average aid
$17,200
12
College Station, TX
Money rank
11
Est. price after average aid
$20,000
13
Gainesville, FL
Money rank
16
Est. price after average aid
$11,800
14
Berkeley, CA
Money rank
17
Est. price after average aid
$18,700
15
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
19
Est. price after average aid
$15,700
16
Atlanta, GA
Money rank
21
Est. price after average aid
$17,700
17
New York, NY
Money rank
33
Est. price after average aid
$4,300
18
Storrs, CT
Money rank
46
Est. price after average aid
$20,500
19
Riverside, CA
Money rank
48
Est. price after average aid
$13,500
20
San Luis Obispo, CA
Money rank
51
Est. price after average aid
$20,900
21
Chico, CA
Money rank
52
Est. price after average aid
$14,800
22
Hayward, CA
Money rank
66
Est. price after average aid
$11,900
23
Charlottesville, VA
Money rank
6
Est. price after average aid
$18,600
24
Davis, CA
Money rank
10
Est. price after average aid
$16,400
25
Irvine, CA
Money rank
13
Est. price after average aid
$15,700

ADVERTISEMENT

Career skills to jumpstart your future.
26
San Jose, CA
Money rank
24
Est. price after average aid
$15,200
27
Williamsburg, VA
Money rank
31
Est. price after average aid
$16,300
28
Newark, DE
Money rank
41
Est. price after average aid
$16,600
29
Turlock, CA
Money rank
55
Est. price after average aid
$7,200
30
Santa Barbara, CA
Money rank
55
Est. price after average aid
$17,700
31
Bloomington, IN
Money rank
58
Est. price after average aid
$12,500
32
Clemson, SC
Money rank
67
Est. price after average aid
$20,400
33
Ann Arbor, MI
Money rank
4
Est. price after average aid
$17,600
34
Pomona, CA
Money rank
15
Est. price after average aid
$13,300
35
Champaign, IL
Money rank
22
Est. price after average aid
$16,500
36
Lexington, VA
Money rank
26
Est. price after average aid
$15,500
37
Madison, WI
Money rank
28
Est. price after average aid
$14,800
38
Chapel Hill, NC
Money rank
43
Est. price after average aid
$12,200
39
Minneapolis, MN
Money rank
58
Est. price after average aid
$17,400
40
Sacramento, CA
Money rank
70
Est. price after average aid
$10,300
41
Carson, CA
Money rank
74
Est. price after average aid
$4,700
42
La Jolla, CA
Money rank
9
Est. price after average aid
$14,100
43
Seattle, WA
Money rank
20
Est. price after average aid
$10,200
44
Long Beach, CA
Money rank
27
Est. price after average aid
$9,900
45
Raleigh, NC
Money rank
35
Est. price after average aid
$15,400
46
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
47
Est. price after average aid
$4,600
47
East Lansing, MI
Money rank
55
Est. price after average aid
$16,900
48
Stony Brook, NY
Money rank
69
Est. price after average aid
$15,500
49
Amherst, MA
Money rank
72
Est. price after average aid
$22,700
50
Ames, IA
Money rank
75
Est. price after average aid
$15,300

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up to receive the latest updates and smartest advice from the editors of Money

SUBSCRIBE