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2021 Best Value Economics Schools

Identifying Quality Schools at More Affordable Prices

477 Colleges
$15,505 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$47,295 Avg Salary

Finding the Best Economics School for You

In 2018-2019, 48,297 economics students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #6 most popular in the country.

With all the business programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Business Degree Central has created the Best Value Economics Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. Our analysis looked at 477 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best value experiences for economics students with the aim of identifying those quality schools that are more affordable than some of their counterparts.

This ranking is not just a list of inexpensive schools. We also consider each school's quality, since we believe a low-quality school may not be a 'bargain' at any price. More specifically, we discount our quality score by the published tuition and fees charged by a school. This gives the cost per unit of quality for each college. The value is determined by how much quality your dollar buys.

For nationwide and regional rankings, we use out-of-state tuition and fees in our calculations. Average in-state tuition and fees are used for our statewide rankings.

2021 Best Value Economics Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best value schools for economics majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality in Economics

$4,208 Average Tuition & Fees

Our analysis found Brigham Young University - Idaho to be the best value school for economics students who want to pursue a degree in the United States. Located in the town of Rexburg, BYU - I is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

BYU - I undergraduate students pay an average of $4,208 in tuition and fees each year.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Brigham Young University - Provo. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Value Economics Schools list. Located in the medium-sized city of Provo, BYU is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

BYU undergraduate students pay an average of $5,790 in tuition and fees each year.

BYU also claimed a spot on our Best Economics Schools list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#3

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa, CA
$8,170 Average Tuition & Fees

Out of the 477 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Santa Rosa Junior College landed the # 3 spot on the list. SRJC is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Santa Rosa.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SRJC are $8,170 per year.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Pennsylvania State University - World Campus. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Value Economics Schools list. Penn State World Campus is a small public school located in the rural area of University Park.

Penn State World Campus undergraduate students pay an average of $13,988 in tuition and fees each year.

In addition to its great value ranking, Penn State World Campus is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Economics Schools list.

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$15,610 Average Tuition & Fees

A rank of #5 on this year’s list means University of Wisconsin - River Falls is a great value for economics students. Located in the distant town of River Falls, UW - River Falls is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

UW - River Falls undergraduate students pay an average of $15,610 in tuition and fees each year.

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$11,265 Average Tuition & Fees

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value economics programs. SIUE is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Edwardsville.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SIUE are $11,265 per year.

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$14,615 Average Tuition & Fees

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. Located in the town of Slippery Rock, SRU is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

SRU undergraduate students pay an average of $14,615 in tuition and fees each year.

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$12,589 Average Tuition & Fees

South Dakota State University came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. Located in the town of Brookings, South Dakota State is a public school with a large student population.

South Dakota State undergraduate students pay an average of $12,589 in tuition and fees each year.

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$16,416 Average Tuition & Fees

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. UW - Whitewater is a large public school located in the distant town of Whitewater.

UW - Whitewater undergraduate students pay an average of $16,416 in tuition and fees each year.

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$15,360 Average Tuition & Fees

Fort Hays State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for economics students. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in the town of Hays, FHSU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at FHSU are $15,360 per year.

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$16,974 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #11, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point did quite well on this year’s best value schools for economics students. UW - Stevens Point is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Stevens Point.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at UW - Stevens Point are $16,974 a year.

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#12

University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD
$12,807 Average Tuition & Fees

University of South Dakota landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value economics programs. USD is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Vermillion.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at USD are $12,807 per year.

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Illinois State University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. Illinois State is a fairly large public school located in the midsize suburb of Normal.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Illinois State are $20,427 per year. Economics majors at Illinois State take out an average of $20,750 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $215.

On top of its placing in our value ranking, Illinois State also did well on our Best Economics Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#14

Shepherd University

Shepherdstown, WV
$18,224 Average Tuition & Fees

Shepherd University came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. Located in the fringe town of Shepherdstown, Shepherd University is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Shepherd University are $18,224 per year.

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$14,610 Average Tuition & Fees

Northern Illinois University landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value economics programs. NIU is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Dekalb.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at NIU are $14,610 a year. Economics majors at NIU take out an average of $21,501 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $223.

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#16

SUNY Cortland

Cortland, NY
$18,716 Average Tuition & Fees

SUNY Cortland came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. SUNY Cortland is a moderately-sized public school located in the town of Cortland.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SUNY Cortland are $18,716 per year.

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$36,670 Average Tuition & Fees

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. Located in the distant town of Winona, SMU MN is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SMU MN are $36,670 per year.

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University of Wisconsin - La Crosse landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value economics programs. UW - La Crosse is a large public school located in the small city of La Crosse.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at UW - La Crosse are $17,946 a year.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UW - La Crosse also is in the top 15% of our Best Economics Schools ranking.

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#19

Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud, MN
$16,948 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #19, Saint Cloud State University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for economics students. Located in the city of Saint Cloud, St. Cloud State University is a public college with a fairly large student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at St. Cloud State University are $16,948 a year.

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#20

Worcester State University

Worcester, MA
$16,241 Average Tuition & Fees

Worcester State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for economics students. It came in at #20 on the list. Worcester State is a moderately-sized public school located in the city of Worcester.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Worcester State are $16,241 per year.

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$12,940 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #20, Western Illinois University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for economics students. Located in the town of Macomb, WIU is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

WIU undergraduate students pay an average of $12,940 in tuition and fees each year.

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$15,726 Average Tuition & Fees

California University of Pennsylvania did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for economics students. It came in at #22 on the list. Located in the suburb of California, Cal U is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Cal U are $15,726 per year.

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#23

SUNY Oneonta

Oneonta, NY
$18,650 Average Tuition & Fees

SUNY Oneonta landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value economics programs. SUNY Oneonta is a moderately-sized public school located in the remote town of Oneonta.

SUNY Oneonta undergraduate students pay an average of $18,650 in tuition and fees each year.

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Minnesota State University - Mankato ranked #24 on this year’s Best Value Economics Schools list. Located in the small city of Mankato, Minnesota State Mankato is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Minnesota State Mankato are $16,730 per year. Economics majors at Minnesota State Mankato take out an average of $23,999 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $249, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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$15,998 Average Tuition & Fees

University of Central Arkansas came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Economics Schools ranking. Located in the city of Conway, UCA is a public college with a fairly large student population.

UCA undergraduate students pay an average of $15,998 in tuition and fees each year.

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Rest of the Top Best Value Economics Schools

#26

Framingham State University

Framingham, MA
#28

University of Northern Iowa

Cedar Falls, IA
#29

Butte College

Oroville, CA
#30

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#31

Westfield State University

Westfield, MA
#32

Salisbury University

Salisbury, MD
#33

York College

Jamaica, NY
#37

SUNY Geneseo

Geneseo, NY
#38

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, IL
#43

Pomona College

Claremont, CA
#43

Baruch College

New York, NY
#45

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA
#50

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Value Economics Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 477 different United States economics schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Missouri State University - Springfield Springfield, MO
52 Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
53 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
53 Utah State University Logan, UT
55 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
55 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
55 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
58 Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, MA
59 Stanford University Stanford, CA
60 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
61 California State University - Channel Islands Camarillo, CA
62 Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA
62 Hunter College New York, NY
64 Palomar College San Marcos, CA
64 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
66 Duke University Durham, NC
67 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
67 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
69 Radford University Radford, VA
69 Queens College Queens, NY
71 John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York, NY

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great value schools for Economics students seeking value that almost earned our Best Value Economics Schools award.

Rank College Location
72 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
72 Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Bowling Green, OH
72 Iowa State University Ames, IA
75 SUNY Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, NY
75 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
77 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
77 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
77 University of Wisconsin - Superior Superior, WI
77 Montclair State University Montclair, NJ
77 Florida International University Miami, FL
82 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
82 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
82 Eastern Connecticut State University Willimantic, CT
85 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
85 Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater, OK
87 Princeton University Princeton, NJ
88 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
89 Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH
89 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN
89 Rice University Houston, TX
92 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
93 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
93 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
93 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
93 Cornell University Ithaca, NY

Economics by Region

View the Best Value Economics Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Economics Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General Economics 34,159
Econometrics & Quantitative Economics 11,931
Applied Economics 727
Development Economics & International Development 628
Other Economics 488
International Economics 364

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to pixabay.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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