There are many differences between public and private colleges: Public universities often have larger class sizes and more degree options while private universities are known for better access to professors and greater geographical diversity among students because in-state tuition isn’t a consideration. But the biggest difference for many? Cost.
Stacker looked at Niche's 2021 list of the best value colleges in America. This ranking includes only public, four-year colleges and weighs the cost of tuition with each school’s acceptance rate, quality of professors, diversity, and the median earnings for alumni six years after graduation.
For in-state students, and even some out-of-state students, public universities are usually far less expensive than private institutions (though that doesn’t mean students at these schools graduate debt-free). The difference in price doesn’t mean that value is lost. On the contrary, some of the most prestigious schools in the United States, from the West Coast to the East Coast, are public universities, and many are conducting cutting-edge research that will fuel the technologies of tomorrow. And, in some cases, the return on investment is greater for those attending public programs. But which public colleges have proved their value the most?
Read on to see which public schools prospective students can apply to that will allow them to maximize their educational potential.
You may also like: Colleges with the best student life in every state