Best Colleges in America 2022

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 May 16, 2022. Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.
College Name
Overall Score
Acceptance rate
Est. full price 2022-23
Est. price with average grant
% of students who get any grants
Graduation rate
Early career earnings
Rank College Name Overall Score
1

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

89.41
89.41 23% $32,400 $18,800 53% 92% $75,840
2

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

86.22
86.22 23% $25,200 $10,600 53% 89% $61,920
3

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

86.11
86.11 24% $36,700 $20,100 48% 94% $77,050
4

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Buzzards Bay, MA

86.07
86.07 91% $31,600 $18,600 43% 73% $91,670
5

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

85.90
85.90 12% $37,800 $17,400 72% 91% $73,740
6

Virginia Military Institute

Lexington, VA

85.14
85.14 60% $33,300 $20,000 85% 78% $71,910
7

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

84.87
84.87 21% $30,600 $18,400 71% 87% $88,200
8

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL

84.78
84.78 59% $32,000 $14,300 61% 84% $71,540
9

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

84.67
84.67 16% $42,700 $20,400 59% 92% $80,360
10

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

83.65
83.65 37% $22,000 $10,600 85% 88% $64,460
11

University of California, Irvine

Irvine, CA

83.49
83.49 27% $37,100 $13,800 69% 83% $71,960
12

University of California, Davis

Davis, CA

83.13
83.13 39% $38,700 $18,000 69% 86% $69,770
13

University of California, San Diego

La Jolla, CA

82.21
82.21 31% $36,300 $16,100 59% 86% $74,770
14

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, NJ

81.81
81.81 73% $39,700 $19,400 69% 65% $80,040
15

California State University Maritime Academy

Vallejo, CA

81.79
81.79 76% $29,200 $22,200 56% 61% $91,460
16

Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME

81.45
81.45 45% $29,500 $19,800 67% 73% $72,840
17

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI

81.41
81.41 54% $27,900 $14,800 42% 87% $65,210
18

California State University, Long Beach

Long Beach, CA

81.39
81.39 39% $24,900 $11,200 72% 69% $57,120
19

California State University, Stanislaus

Turlock, CA

81.37
81.37 89% $24,300 $7,800 82% 58% $53,960
20

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA

80.97
80.97 70% $28,500 $21,400 57% 83% $73,160
21

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA

80.31
80.31 28% $29,700 $21,600 53% 82% $80,640
22

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

Seattle, WA

79.77
79.77 52% $30,100 $10,200 48% 83% $68,930
23

Texas A & M University-College Station

College Station, TX

79.45
79.45 58% $32,300 $21,000 62% 82% $66,570
24

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA

79.35
79.35 55% $29,000 $15,300 69% 71% $63,730
25

California State University, Fresno

Fresno, CA

78.95
78.95 58% $22,900 $7,300 78% 54% $52,200
26

California State University, Fullerton

Fullerton, CA

78.47
78.47 53% $29,500 $8,800 68% 68% $54,590
27

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

78.41
78.41 64% $29,800 $16,900 60% 65% $67,370
28

Iowa State University

Ames, IA

78.00
78.00 92% $22,600 $17,000 97% 74% $57,350
29

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

77.77
77.77 32% $29,700 $17,800 49% 83% $67,840
30

The College of New Jersey

Ewing, NJ

77.44
77.44 49% $36,500 $26,000 43% 86% $65,480
31

University of California, Riverside

Riverside, CA

77.38
77.38 57% $36,500 $12,600 91% 74% $58,880
32

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Rolla, MO

77.35
77.35 79% $24,600 $14,200 84% 62% $80,290
33

California State University, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

76.88
76.88 48% $29,900 $4,100 86% 48% $52,000
34

CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

New York, NY

76.68
76.68 43% $34,700 $4,100 71% 66% $67,140
35

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

76.44
76.44 57% $29,600 $18,700 56% 80% $61,200
36

University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

76.35
76.35 30% $38,000 $18,200 63% 82% $66,490
37

California State University, Chico

Chico, CA

76.33
76.33 72% $25,400 $17,000 64% 66% $56,270
38

California State University, Sacramento

Sacramento, CA

76.30
76.30 82% $28,600 $12,100 72% 51% $56,810
39

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA

76.20
76.20 77% $26,900 $4,900 82% 45% $47,340
40

California State University, Northridge

Northridge, CA

76.07
76.07 59% $24,000 $9,400 75% 54% $53,360
41

California State University, San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA

76.06
76.06 69% $23,200 $9,000 80% 57% $50,960
42

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

76.00
76.00 34% $31,100 $13,900 53% 74% $59,030
43

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, IL

75.82
75.82 73% $31,800 $13,300 72% 59% $59,780
44

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

75.72
75.72 60% $23,400 $13,000 50% 81% $65,260
45

Colorado School of Mines

Golden, CO

75.68
75.68 53% $38,200 $29,200 76% 83% $90,060
46

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI

75.64
75.64 74% $32,200 $18,300 94% 68% $73,540
47

California State University, East Bay

Hayward, CA

75.44
75.44 76% $28,200 $14,000 68% 48% $60,920
48

SUNY Maritime College

Throggs Neck, NY

75.39
75.39 74% $28,100 $19,500 55% 66% $84,440
49

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

75.15
75.15 71% $30,000 $17,600 60% 79% $61,100
50

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

75.03
75.03 49% $36,100 $23,500 65% 83% $72,460