Virginia Tech, two other Virginia schools make list of 25 most cost-effective big colleges – WFXRtv.com

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by: Stacker
Posted:
Updated:
by: Stacker
Posted:
Updated:
(STACKER) — Virginia has some of the best public colleges and universities in the country — and as it turns out, attending them won’t break the bank.
Unfortunately, you won’t see smaller schools like William & Mary on this list of large schools (all clocking in at over 10,000 undergraduates), but two other big names in Virginia education made the top 10.
The only other state with two schools in the top 10 is California, cementing Virginia as a Commonwealth punching well above its weight in quality education.
It’s no secret that college is a hefty financial investment, and it’s important to assess which university will provide the best value for each student’s needs. If it’s the major that’s important, choosing a school that’s specialized gains priority. If it’s all about budget, there are many schools that offer academic competitiveness for a lower price tag.
For those looking to come out on top of a competitive job market, a top-ranking school may be a better bet — and this guide will show you the most cost-effective options.
To help in this quest, Stacker compiled a ranking of the 50 best value big colleges using data from Niche’s 2020 Best Value Colleges in America list. The 2020 Best Value Colleges ranking is based on net price, alumni earnings, graduation rates, and student debt using data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni.
The net price, median earnings six years after graduation, acceptance rate, and student-faculty ratio for the schools are included. A detailed breakdown of Niche’s methodology is available here.
– Location: College Park, MD
– Number of undergraduates: 27,708
– Net price: $17,241
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $62,900
– Acceptance rate: 45%
– Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #118
Named the #1 university in Niche’s ranking of top public universities in Maryland, the University of Maryland – College Park is conveniently located in the Washington D.C. area. With a net price of $17,241, this is a great value for the area and for a college that graduates about 85% of its students. Popular College Park majors include information science, biology, and economics.
– Location: Davis, CA
– Number of undergraduates: 29,284
– Net price: $16,446
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,200
– Acceptance rate: 43%
– Student-faculty ratio: 20:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #109
One of the University of California’s most competitive schools, UC Davis is known for its specialization in agriculture and veterinary sciences. The net price of $16,446 is fairly affordable compared to the average starting salary of alumni of $40,400. Other popular majors include research and experimental psychology, economics, and managerial economics.
– Location: Boston, MA
– Number of undergraduates: 13,786
– Net price: $30,784
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,400
– Acceptance rate: 27%
– Student-faculty ratio: 14:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #104
Named #8 in Niche’s ranking of the best design schools in America, Northeastern University is located in the history-rich town of Boston. Northeastern is a competitive private school, accepting only 27% of applicants. Unfortunately, it is also on the more expensive side with a net price of $30,784. However, its highly specialized majors are worth it. Popular majors at Northeastern include business, economics, and mechanical engineering.
– Location: Irvine, CA
– Number of undergraduates: 28,855
– Net price: $13,944
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,400
– Acceptance rate: 37%
– Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #101
While largely a commuter school, UC Irvine still has school pride for its quirky mascot: the anteater. With a somewhat competitive acceptance rate of 37%, this college specializes in its health and medicine-centered majors, including social psychology, biology, and public health.
– Location: Seattle, WA
– Number of undergraduates: 28,759
– Net price: $9,443
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $57,700
– Acceptance rate: 46%
– Student-faculty ratio: 19:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #99
Coming in first place on Niche’s list of the best colleges in Washington, the University of Washington is possibly the best financial value school on this list, with a net price of $9,443. While fairly competitive with an acceptance rate of 46%, the hard work pays of as graduates earn an average starting salary of $44,900. Popular majors here include psychology, communications, and biochemistry and molecular biology.
– Location: Raleigh, NC
– Number of undergraduates: 21,384
– Net price: $13,442
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,500
– Acceptance rate: 51%
– Student-faculty ratio: 13:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #96
The #2 public university in North Carolina per Niche, North Carolina State offers a big Southern college feel with an enrollment of 21,384 undergraduates. Popular majors at this college include business, biology, and engineering. With an alumni average starting salary of $41,200, the net price of $13,442 is quite a deal.
– Location: Harrisonburg, VA
– Number of undergraduates: 18,905
– Net price: $16,154
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,600
– Acceptance rate: 75%
– Student-faculty ratio: 16:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #95
James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg, Va., a small college town with a tight-knit vibe. This public school has a fairly high acceptance rate of about 75% of applicants, accepting fairly large undergraduate enrollment of 18,905. Popular majors at James Madison include community health services and counseling, communications, and liberal arts and humanities.
– Location: Clemson, SC
– Number of undergraduates: 18,642
– Net price: $18,757
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,400
– Acceptance rate: 47%
– Student-faculty ratio: 16:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #91
Ranked #1 in Niche’s list of the best colleges in South Carolina, Clemson University is rife with school spirit and community. Getting into Clemson is moderately competitive, with an acceptance rate of 47%. With a low student to faculty ratio of 16 students to each faculty member, students at Clemson get the individualized attention they need. Popular majors here include business, biology, and marketing.
– Location: Los Angeles, CA
– Number of undergraduates: 30,458
– Net price: $14,760
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,700
– Acceptance rate: 16%
– Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #88
UCLA boasts high academic rankings, notable sports teams, immense school spirit, and a beautiful location, situated between the glamourous neighborhoods of Bel Air and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. One of California’s top-ranking schools, UCLA has an extremely competitive acceptance rate of 16% of applicants. With a net price of $14,760, this college is quite a value for an education ranked #2 on Niche’s list of top public colleges in America.
– Location: Gainesville, FL
– Number of undergraduates: 31,384
– Net price: $15,283
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,000
– Acceptance rate: 42%
– Student-faculty ratio: 19:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #83
Named the best college in Florida by Niche, the University of Florida balances big school spirit and strong academics. A large enrollment of 31,384 undergraduates gives a large Southern college culture, as does UF’s position as an NCAA-Division I school, and sporting events are a huge part of campus life. Popular majors at this college include biology, psychology, and liberal arts and humanities.
– Location: Madison, WI
– Number of undergraduates: 28,977
– Net price: $15,910
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,200
– Acceptance rate: 54%
– Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #79
Ranked the best university in Wisconsin by Niche, the University of Wisconsin is also a large school, with an enrollment of 28,977 undergraduates. To get in is moderately competitive at a 54% acceptance rate. Though the school is large, the low student to teacher ratio of 18 students to each member of faculty is maintained. Like other schools of this size, this university is bursting with school pride.
– Location: Chapel Hill, NC
– Number of undergraduates: 18,303
– Net price: $11,100
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,600
– Acceptance rate: 24%
– Student-faculty ratio: 13:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #76
One of North Carolina’s top public universities and the #7 public university in America according to Niche, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located near the Raleigh area in, you guessed it, Chapel Hill, N.C. This university is also quite a financial value at $11,100. Popular majors at UNC Chapel Hill include communications, biology, and psychology.
– Location: Austin, TX
– Number of undergraduates: 37,740
– Net price: $14,356
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,200
– Acceptance rate: 36%
– Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #74
Niche’s top public university in Texas, the University of Texas – Austin has the advantage of being in the quirky and youthful town of Austin, Texas. Full of music, art, tech, and culture, the cultural hub of the state offers a lot of career opportunities for graduates. However, this college has a fairly competitive acceptance rate of 36%.
– Location: West Lafayette, IN
– Number of undergraduates: 30,277
– Net price: $12,117
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,100
– Acceptance rate: 57%
– Student-faculty ratio: 13:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #73
This large college in West Lafayette, Ind., is Niche’s top public university in the state. The enrollment is large at 30,277 undergraduates and a moderately competitive acceptance rate of 57%. With a net price of $12,117, this school is a financial value. Popular majors at Purdue include business, mechanical engineering, and industrial engineering.
– Location: Los Angeles, CA
– Number of undergraduates: 18,631
– Net price: $32,892
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $74,000
– Acceptance rate: 17%
– Student-faculty ratio: 9:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #72
The arch rival of the University of California – Los Angeles, USC is its private counterpart in Los Angeles. Earning its spot as the best design college in America according to Niche, USC has a very competitive acceptance rate of 17%. The student to faculty ratio is low here with just nine students to every faculty member. Popular majors at USC include business, communications, and biology.
– Location: Champaign, IL
– Number of undergraduates: 32,613
– Net price: $16,638
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,500
– Acceptance rate: 62%
– Student-faculty ratio: 20:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #71
Named Niche’s best public university in Illinois, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a large Midwestern school with an enrollment of 32,613 undergraduates. Known for its strong research facilities, popular majors include research and experimental psychology, economics, and accounting. At a fairly affordable net price of $16,638, this great school is also a great value, with alumni earning a starting salary of $47,100.
– Location: College Station, TX
– Number of undergraduates: 46,724
– Net price: $19,554
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,000
– Acceptance rate: 71%
– Student-faculty ratio: 21:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #70
This traditional Southern university boasts big school spirit and a lively sports culture. In College Station, Texas, Texas A&M is by no means a small school, with an enrollment of 46,724 undergraduates. Getting in is somewhat competitive at a 71% acceptance rate. Popular majors here include liberal arts and humanities, foods, nutrition, and wellness studies, and agricultural business.
– Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
– Number of undergraduates: 20,584
– Net price: $19,002
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $66,900
– Acceptance rate: 35%
– Student-faculty ratio: 22:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #65
Known by locals as SLO, San Luis Obispo is home to California Polytechnic State University, one of the two polytechnic state universities in California, the other being Pomona. Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo is a fairly large school with an enrollment of 20,584 undergraduates, however the acceptance rate is fairly competitive at 35% of applicants. Popular majors here are centered on math and sciences, including business, mechanical engineering, and biology.
– Location: Berkeley, CA
– Number of undergraduates: 29,351
– Net price: $18,178
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $64,700
– Acceptance rate: 17%
– Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #58
The first University of California, Berkeley was founded in 1868 and was the start of the legacy of academics in the University of California system. Known by students as “Cal,” Berkeley is situated just across the bay from San Francisco, giving students access to the booming job market in the city. A large school with an enrollment of nearly 30,000, this school has just as much school spirit as it does academic accolades. With an acceptance rate of 17%, this school is highly competitive and ranked #6 on Niche’s list of top public universities in America.
– Location: Blacksburg, VA
– Number of undergraduates: 26,603
– Net price: $18,700
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $62,500
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Student-faculty ratio: 14:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #50
This highly rated public university is a large institution and was ranked #10 in Niche’s ranking of the top public universities in America. Virginia Tech has an enrollment of 26,603 and an acceptance rate of 70% of applicants. Popular majors here include mechanical engineering, management sciences and information systems, and finance.
– Location: Ann Arbor, MI
– Number of undergraduates: 28,702
– Net price: $16,408
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,400
– Acceptance rate: 27%
– Student-faculty ratio: 11:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #49
Named the top public university in America by Niche, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor has a competitive acceptance rate of 27% of applicants. This university is definitely a financial value with a net price of $16,408. Popular majors here include information science, business, and research and experimental psychology.
– Location: Charlottesville, VA
– Number of undergraduates: 15,766
– Net price: $16,594
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,200
– Acceptance rate: 27%
– Student-faculty ratio: 15:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #34
In Charlottesville, this moderately large public university has a competitive acceptance rate of 27% and a total undergraduate enrollment of 15,766. Alumni earn a starting salary of $50,300, which is quite a deal considering the net price of tuition is $16,594. Popular majors at the University of Virginia include liberal arts and humanities, economics, and business.
– Location: Ithaca, NY
– Number of undergraduates: 14,898
– Net price: $31,449
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $77,200
– Acceptance rate: 13%
– Student-faculty ratio: 9:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #24
This private university is part of the Ivy League universities and is located in Ithaca, N.Y. With a very competitive acceptance rate of 13% of applicants, Cornell promises a very individualized curriculum with a very low ratio of students to faculty, with nine students to every faculty member. It was ranked #7 in Niche’s ranking of best colleges for business and the most popular majors include biology, computer science, and of course, business.
– Location: Atlanta, GA
– Number of undergraduates: 13,974
– Net price: $15,873
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,100
– Acceptance rate: 23%
– Student-faculty ratio: 22:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #13
In the heart of the city of Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology is a competitive university with an acceptance rate of 23% of applicants. While it has a higher student to faculty ratio of 22 students to each faculty member, the school still retains a moderately smaller feel with an undergraduate enrollment of only 13,974. For the bargain net tuition price of $15,873, there’s a lot of academic punch. Popular majors include mechanical engineering, information science, and industrial engineering.
– Location: Philadelphia, PA
– Number of undergraduates: 10,496
– Net price: $24,539
– Median earnings six years after graduation: $85,900
– Acceptance rate: 9%
– Student-faculty ratio: 6:1
– Overall Niche best value rank: #11
And taking the top slot as the best value big college in America is the University of Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, this elite private university is highly selective, with a very low acceptance rate of 9% of applicants. The competitive nature of this university is matched with an individualized curriculum and a very low student to faculty ratio of six students to every faculty member. While a net price just shy of $25,000, the payoff of going to this university is large, with most alumni earning a starting salary of $71,600. Popular majors at Penn include finance, nursing, and economics.
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