The 50 best colleges by value for 2023, ranked

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What are the best value colleges in America for 2023? 

Is your college tuition worth it? Maybe — or maybe not. College research site Niche maintains a yearly ranking of best colleges based on, among other criteria, their value as an investment. 

The site uses several criteria, including yearly net price (the average cost after financial aid), graduation rate, median earnings six years after graduation, student-faculty ratio and other factors. The result: The best colleges that offer the most bang for your tuition buck.

Here’s Niche’s 2023 list of the best colleges by value — those that promise students the best return on their education investment. 

50. Molloy University

Molloy University students

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Molloy University, in Rockville Centre, New York, comes in at No. 50 on Niche’s list of best colleges for value in America. 

The school has an annual net price of $27,454 and 94% of its alumni are employed within two years after graduating.

The institution has a 74% acceptance rate. It was also ranked No. 15 of 1,310 on Niche’s list of safest college campuses in America. 

49. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill via Facebook


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an annual net price of $10,038 and 25% acceptance rate, Niche data reveals.

A total of 94% of its graduates were employed two years after college. 

In addition to value, the school earned high marks from Niche in academics, diversity, campus, athletics, party scene, professors, location, dorms, campus, student life and safety. 

48. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Massachusetts Maritime Academy student

Massachusetts Maritime Academy via Facebook


Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, ranks as a value college for good reason. 

The public university has a net price of $17,635 and 95% of its students receive financial aid, according to Niche data

Median earnings six years after graduation for alumni is $86,600 annually and 97% are employed within two years. 

47. University of Florida

Gainesville, University of Florida

Gainesville, University of Florida, campus entrance with students. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)/Gainesville, University of Florida, campus entrance with students. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group


The University of Florida has a net price of $10,075 and 31% acceptance rate, according to Niche

This Gainesville, Florida, value college ranked sixth on Niche’s 2023 list of top public universities in America and has a 11:1 student-faculty ratio.

It also ranked No. 1 of 1,356 on Niche’s list of best college athletics in America. 

46. Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University

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Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has a net price of $26,324. 

On top of value, it received high marks from Niche in academics, diversity, campus, athletics, party scene, professors, student life and safety. 

Median earnings six years after graduation for alumni is $63,800, and 94% are employed within two years after graduation. 

45. Lafayette College

Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania

Lafayette College via Facebook/Chuck Zovko / Zovko Photograph


Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania, has a net price of $28,735 and a 9:1 student-faculty ratio, according to Niche data

The most popular majors at the private liberal arts college are economics, political science, government and mechanical engineering. 

It boasts a 90% graduation rate, and median earnings for students six years after college is about $68,000.  

44. Colgate University

Colgate University students

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Colgate University, in Hamilton, New York, has a net price of $25,935. 

The average total aid awarded a year is $49,701, and the student-faculty ratio is 9:1, according to Niche data

A poll found that 96% of students believe professors put a lot of effort into teaching classes.

The school also came in at No. 15 on the list of best liberal arts colleges in America for 2023.

43. Purdue University

Purdue University campus

Purdue University


Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana, has a net price of $12,294. 

Niche data reveals 95% of its alumni were employed two years after graduation. 

A poll conducted by Niche found 93% of its students are confident they will find a job in their major after graduation. 

 

42. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign via Facebook


The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is known as a world leader in research. 

According to Niche data, the school’s net price is $13,517, and it has a student-faculty ratio of 13:1. 

The most popular majors are research and experimental psychology, economics and accounting. 

It was also ranked No. 4 of 718 on the list of best Greek life colleges in America. 

41. University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison student

University of Wisconsin-Madison via Facebook


The University of Wisconsin, in Madison, has a $14,030 net price. 

It has an 88% graduation rate, and 95% of its alumni are employed within two years after graduating.

40. Villanova University

Villanova University in Pennsylvania

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Villanova University is the oldest and largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania. 

It is ranked as the fourth-best Catholic college in America. 

Niche data shows 95% of its students are employed two years after college and its net price is $38,303. 

39. Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University

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Michigan Technological University, in Houghton, Michigan, has a net price of $17,356, and 99% of its students receive financial aid, according to Niche data

The average total aid awarded annually to its students is $13,946.

Michigan Technological University was ranked 13 of 651 on Niche’s list of best U.S. colleges with no application fee. 

SAT and ACT scores are considered, but not required. 

 

38. Bowdoin College

Rebekah Beaulieu, the associate art director of the Bowdoin Art Museum, walks through the College's quad as a snow a snow storm moved across Coastal and Central Maine Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

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Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, has a $25,622 net price. 

Niche named it the fourth-best college for liberal arts nationwide. 

The school is very competitive, with a 9% acceptance rate, and was ranked No. 17 on the list of hardest colleges to get into in America for 2023. 

37. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a private university in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology via Twitter


The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a private university in Terre Haute, Indiana, with a net price of $43,606. 

For 2023, it ranked No. 35 of 969 on Niche’s list of best small colleges in America. 

This leading American value college earned high marks from Niche in academics, professors and student life. 

36. California State University Maritime Academy

California State University Maritime Academy

California State University Maritime Academy via Facebook


California State University Maritime Academy, in Vallejo, California, is a leading 2023 value college. 

The school’s annual net price is $21,069 and it has a 12:1 student faculty ratio, according to Niche data

Some of the top majors at the school include marine science, mechanical engineering and business. 

35. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

University of Michigan

University of Michigan via Facebook


The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is one of the state’s most esteemed colleges. 

Its annual net price to attend is $17,832. The school was ranked No. 2 of 601 on Niche’s list of top public universities in America for 2023.  

34. Hamilton College

Hamilton College

Hamilton College via Facebook


The net price to attend Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, is $23,936.

Median earnings six years after graduation for alumni is $60,200.  

More than 90% of its graduates are employed two years after college.  

 

33. Wellesley College

Wellesley College campus

Wellesley College/Facebook


Wellesley College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has a net price of $21,614 to attend. 

Its student-faculty ratio is 7:1. The school is ranked as Niche’s No. 2 best women’s college in America and has a 20% acceptance rate. 

Applicants are not required to take SATs or ACTs, but they are considered.

32. Cornell University

Students at Cornell University

Cornell University via Facebook


Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., has a net price of $27,522 to attend, according to Niche’s latest reported data.

It has a 95% graduation rate and 93% of its alumni are employed within two years of graduating. 

The prestigious Ivy League school has a 11% acceptance rate. 

It’s named by Niche as the No.1 U.S. college for agricultural sciences for 2023. 

31. University of Virginia

Statue of Thomas Jefferson in front of The Rotunda on the campus of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

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The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a leading value college in America. 

The net price to attend the research university is $19,043. 

Along with value, it earned high marks in academics, diversity, campus, athletics, party scene, professors, location, dorms, student life and safety. 

 

30. Johns Hopkins University

Campus of John Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University


The net price to attend Johns Hopkins University is $25,241. 

More than 90% of students are employed after college, per Niche. Median earnings six years after graduation is more than $70,000. 

This world-renowned institution, based in Baltimore, Maryland, has an 11% acceptance rate. 

It ranks No. 1 as the best college for public health and is hailed for its STEM programs. 

29. Boston College

Boston College

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Boston College has an annual net price of $30,192. 

In addition to value, it received high marks from Niche in academics, diversity, campus, athletics, party scene, professors, location, dorms, campus, student life and safety. 

28. Columbia University

Prospective students wait for a tour to begin February 24, 2022 on the campus of Columbia University in New York City.

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Columbia University in New York has a net price of $22,126 and 7% acceptance rate. 

Niche data reveals the median earnings for graduates six years after college is $83,300 a year. 

The Ivy League school has a 96% graduation rate and 89% of its graduates are employed after college. 

27. Brown University

Brown University

Brown University via Facebook


Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island, has a net price of $27,659. 

The student-faculty ratio is 7:1. 

For 2023, the Ivy League college ranks No. 2 in best colleges for English studies and is widely known for its global studies program. 

The college has an 8% acceptance rate and was ranked by Niche as the No. 10 hardest college to get into in America in 2023. 

26. Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College via Facebook


Getting into Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania is not easy. 

This private liberal arts college has a a 9% acceptance rate. It also tops Ivy League schools Brown University and Columbia University on the list of best value colleges in America. 

The small institution is known for its biology, economics and information science programs. 

25. Washington University in St. Louis

Campus of Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis via Twitter


Washington University in St. Louis has a lot to offer students as a top value college. The school has a net price of $27,233 and 4:1 student-faculty ratio. 

It’s routinely named by Niche as having one of the best college campuses. This year, it’s listed as No. 2 on the list of best college campuses. 

The institution earned high marks from Niche in the areas of academics, value, diversity, campus, athletics and party scene. It has a 16% acceptance rate. 

24. Vanderbilt University

Nashville Cityscapes And City Views

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Graduates of Nashville’s Vanderbilt University have promising futures. 

Data from Niche reveals 94% of its students are employed two years after college and the institution has a 93% graduation rate. The school’s acceptance rate is 12%. 

It’s ranked by Niche as the No. 1 college in the country to study education

23. Lehigh University

Lehigh University in Autumn

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Students at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, get quite a bit out of their college experience. Its net price is $29,098. 

The private research university earned high marks from Niche in the categories of academics, value, diversity, campus, athletics and party scene. 

Lehigh University was ranked No. 17 of 829 on Niche’s list of best U.S. colleges for accounting and finance for 2023. 

It is also ranked No. 18 of 718 on Niche’s list of best Greek life. 

22. Northwestern University

Students at Northwestern University

Northwestern University via Facebook


Northwestern University has a 9% acceptance rate and is widely known as home to the Medill School of Journalism. 

It has a net price of $28,344 and 92% of its alumni are employed within two years after graduation. 

The Evanston, Illinois, university is the No. 1 college in America for communications, according to Niche

21. Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University via Twitter


Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, has well-paid alumni. 

Niche data reveals students’ median earnings six years after graduation is $76,100 a year. 

The school has a 93% graduation rate and 94% of its alumni are employed two years after graduation. 

The private liberal arts university has a 25% acceptance rate. 

20. Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines campus

Colorado School of Mines via Twitter


Colorado School of Mines is a public research university that offers degrees in engineering, science, and mathematics and primarily focuses on energy and the environment. 

The Golden, Colorado-based school has a 55% acceptance rate and helps make college more affordable for students. Niche data shows 90% of its students receive financial aid. 

19. University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame student

University of Notre Dame via Facebook


The University of Notre Dame earned very high grades from Niche for academics, value, diversity, campus, athletics and party scene, making its high ranking on this list no surprise. 

Niche ranks the Indiana university as the No. 2 Catholic college in the country for 2023. University of Notre Dame has a 19% acceptance rate. 

18. Williams College

Williams College and the town of Williamstown

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Williams College is a private liberal arts school in Williamstown, Massachusetts. 

The small institution is highly competitive, with a 15% acceptance rate and has a 6:1 student-faculty ratio. 

Niche reports more than 60% of the students earn financial aid; the annual net price to attend is $22,356. 

17. Georgetown University

Pakistani student Varsha Thebo, 27, poses on the campus of the International Student House where she resides, on the day of her graduation from Georgetown University in Washington, DC on May 15, 2020. - Varsha studied Global Human Development, her graduation ceremony was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so she is celebrating online instead.

AGNES BUN/AFP via Getty Images


It is no surprise that Georgetown University is among the top on the list of best value colleges. 

Along with value, Niche rates the Washington, D.C., school highly for academics, diversity and its lively party scene. It has a 17% acceptance rate. 

16. Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College campus

Dartmouth College via Twitter


Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, has a 9% acceptance rate.

The Ivy League institution is known for its rigorous academics. Along with value, it earned high marks from Niche in the areas of academics, diversity, athletics, campus and party scene. 

15. Georgia Institute of Technology

ACC Mascots Visit the Empire State Building in Advance of the Tournament

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Georgia Institute of Technology offers students a first-class education at an affordable cost. 

According to Niche data, its net price is $17,410 a year.

The acceptance rate at Georgia Institute of Technology is 21% and it was ranked No. 49 on the list of hardest colleges to get into for 2023. 

The Atlanta-based school, often referred to as Georgia Tech, ranks No. 3 on Niche’s list of top public U.S. universities, and No. 6 on the list of the best colleges for computer science.

14. Amherst College

Amherst College students

Amherst College via Facebook


Amherst College, in Massachusetts, has a 12% acceptance rate and is ranked the fourteenth best value college in the country with its $18,832 net price. 

According to Niche data, 65% of students receive financial aid. 

It’s among the most diverse colleges in the country.  

13. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University via Twitter


Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is high on the list of best colleges for value in America, coming in at No. 13.

It was also ranked No. 1 for information technology studies; the No. 3 best college for design and No. 4 best college for computer science by Niche. 

 

 

 

12. Duke University

Students at Duke University

Duke University via Facebook


Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina, claims the title of the No. 12 best value college in America, and has a $26,932 annual net price. 

It is known for its high-quality athletics programs and public policy education. 

For 2023, it earned the title of No. 1 college for public policy in the United States from Niche. 

The esteemed institution has an 8% acceptance rate. 

11. Pomona College

Pomona College

Pomona College via Facebook


Pomona College, based in Claremont, California, ranks in at No. 11 on the list of best value colleges in America. 

The annual net cost to attend the school is $30,392. 

Along with value, it earned high grades from Niche in the categories of academics, diversity and campus. 

The school has a 9% acceptance rate and is also named by Niche as the No. 2 liberal arts college in the country for 2023.

10. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania students

University of Pennsylvania via Facebook


The University of Pennsylvania was ranked by Niche as the No. 10 value college in the country. 

Based in Philadelphia, the Ivy League school has a 9% acceptance rate.

It was also ranked by Niche as the best college for business for 2023. 

9. Claremont McKenna College

Students at Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College via Facebook


Claremont McKenna College is the No. 9 best value college in the country and has a 13% acceptance rate, according to Niche. 

The annual net price for students to attend is $22,004. 

This Claremont, California-based private liberal arts college’s curriculum focuses on international relations, public affairs, government, economics and finance. 

8. Yale University

Yale University campus

Yale University via Facebook


The New Haven, Connecticut-based prestigious Ivy League School has an annual net price of $17,511. 

Median earnings six years after graduation for alumni is $83,200, and 92% of its graduates are employed within two years, according to Niche data

For the second consecutive year, Niche has ranked Yale University’s professors as the best in America. 

The school’s history program is also ranked at No. 1 again.

7. Rice University

Rice University, Houston, Texas

Carol Highsmith / Getty Images


Niche ranked Rice University as the No. 7 best value college nationwide with its annual $19,215 net price.  

Niche has ranked the Houston school the No. 1 college for physical therapy and has labeled it No. 1 in sports management for the upcoming school year. 

It has an 11% acceptance rate. 

6. Harvard University

JK Rowling Address Headlines Harvard Univ. Commencement

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Harvard University ranked No. 6 on the list of best colleges for value in America. 

Its annual net price is $18,037, and it has a competitive, 5% acceptance rate. 

The student-faculty ratio is 3:1, and median earnings six years after graduation for alumni is $89,700 annually. 

Harvard University ranked No. 1 on the list of hardest colleges to get into in America for 2023. 

5. Princeton University

Princeton University's McCosh Hall

Oliver Morris / Getty Images


A New Jersey-based Ivy League school, Princeton University is the No. 5 best value college in America. 

It has an annual $18,685 net price to attend and 87% of its alumni are employed within two years after college, per Niche data. 

Median earnings six years after graduation is $74,700 annually. 

Princeton University is also the third-hardest college to get into for 2023 with its 6% acceptance rate.

4. Stanford University

Students at Stanford University

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Stanford University comes in as No. 4 on the list of best value colleges in the country, with its annual net price of $20,023. 

The California college was also named by Niche as the No. 2 school for the best academics in 2023. 

While it isn’t a part of the prestigious Ivy League family, Stanford University topped many of them on the list of hardest colleges to get into in America, where it came in at No. 2. 

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via Facebook

MIT


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, is ranked the No. 3 best value college in America for 2023, with its $19,998 annual net price. 

Niche reports the average total aid awarded annually is $53,162. 

For the upcoming year, it ranks as Niche’s No. 1 college in the United States for engineering

Mathematics, computer science and mechanical engineering are some of the most popular majors at the institution. The school also has a 7% acceptance rate.

2. Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College

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Harvey Mudd College comes in at No. 2 on the list of best value colleges in America. 

It has an annual net price of $37,192 to attend. Median earnings for alumni six years after graduation is $88,800, per Niche data. 

With its 18% acceptance rate, Harvey Mudd College also ranked as No. 2 on the list of best small colleges in America and holds the title of best liberal arts college in America for 2023. 

1. California Institute of Technology

Students standing outside the California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology via Twitter


The California Institute of Technology is the No. 1 best value college in America.

It has an annual net price of $26,591, and the annual average aid awarded is $48,172. 

Median earnings six years after graduation for alumni is $85,900 and 89% are employed within two years after graduation. 

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