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2021 Best Value Colleges for Economics

273 Colleges
40,355 Bachelor's Degrees
$28,573 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Economics School for You

Best Value Colleges for EconomicsIn 2018-2019, 40,355 people earned their bachelor's in economics, making the major the #14 most popular in the United States.

This year's Best Value Colleges for Economics ranking analyzed 273 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in economics. Note that the phrase 'best value' does not mean the absolute lowest-priced. We are more focused on economics schools that offer a high quality education at a price lower that other schools of similar academic excellence.

Average cost figures start with estimating tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses. We then subtract the average amount of financial aid that a student receives. You can use this as a gauge to estimate how much you may need to pay out of pocket to cover costs when financial aid isn't enough. Your cost may be different from the average one, depending on your income and other factors.

More Ways to Rank Economics Schools

The economics school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Value Economics Schools.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

2021 Best Value Economics Schools in the United States

Check out the economics programs at these schools if you want to get the best value for your money.

Top 25 Best Value Economics Schools

#1

Centre College

Danville, KY

Centre College earned the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the distant town of Danville, Centre College of Kentucky is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Centre College of Kentucky is 4.0 years, and it costs about $25,121 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $100,986 to get a bachelor’s degree from Centre College of Kentucky. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Economics majors at Centre College of Kentucky take out an average of $24,042 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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#2

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Tallahassee, Florida State is a public college with a very large student population.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Florida State to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $27,233. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Florida State be around $115,196. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

On average, economics graduates from Florida State take out $19,987 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $213.

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The #3 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC Chapel Hill is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Chapel Hill. In addition to its great value ranking, UNC Chapel Hill is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

It takes the average student at UNC Chapel Hill about 4.1 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $26,820. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill be around $109,694. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

On average, economics graduates from UNC Chapel Hill take out $15,663 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $158.

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#4

Wabash College

Crawfordsville, IN

Wabash College comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. Located in the town of Crawfordsville, Wabash is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population.

It takes the average student at Wabash about 4.1 years to graduate, and it costs about $29,099 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $118,433 to get a bachelor’s degree from Wabash. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

Economics majors at Wabash take out an average of $23,448 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $269, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Brigham Young University - Provo comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. BYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Provo.

It takes the average student at BYU about 5.2 years to graduate, and it costs about $12,239 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from BYU is $64,132. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

On average, economics graduates from BYU take out $14,040 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $130, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Economics at Brigham Young University - Provo Report

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#6

Saint Johns University

Collegeville, MN

Saint Johns University landed the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value economics schools. Located in the rural area of Collegeville, SJU is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

It takes the average student at SJU about 4.1 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $32,414. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from SJU is about $133,546. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Economics majors at SJU take out an average of $21,727 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $265.

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University of South Florida - Main Campus comes in at #7 in this year's ranking. USF Tampa is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Tampa.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at USF Tampa is 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,095. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from USF Tampa is about $99,308. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

While working on their bachelor's, economics majors at USF Tampa accumulate an average of around $23,141 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $225, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Economics at University of South Florida - Main Campus Report

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Our rankings recognize University of Florida as the #8 school in this year's rankings. U of F is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Gainesville.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at U of F is 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $28,230. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from U of F is about $120,542. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Economics majors at U of F take out an average of $16,045 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $166.

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#9

Binghamton University

Vestal, NY

Binghamton University landed the #9 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value economics schools. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Vestal, Binghamton University is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average student at Binghamton University graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $31,957. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University is $131,982. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

After completing their bachelor's degree, economics graduates from Binghamton University carry an average student debtload of $18,975. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $202, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#10

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

Our rankings recognize DePauw University as the #10 school in this year's rankings. DePauw is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Greencastle.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at DePauw to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $36,859. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from DePauw is $149,279. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at DePauw take out while working on their bachelor's is $21,815. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $259, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#11

Hanover College

Hanover, IN

Hanover College earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. Hanover is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Hanover.

It takes about 4.0 years for the average student at Hanover to complete their degree, and it costs about $25,334 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Hanover is about $102,349. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Economics majors at Hanover take out an average of $25,056 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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Our rankings recognize University of Minnesota - Twin Cities as the #12 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a very large student population. UMN Twin Cities excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

The average student at UMN Twin Cities graduates in less than 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $33,989. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMN Twin Cities is about $143,094. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Economics majors at UMN Twin Cities take out an average of $19,352 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $202, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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The #13 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. UIUC is a fairly large public school located in the city of Champaign. UIUC excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

It takes the average student at UIUC about 4.2 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $32,679. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UIUC is about $137,252. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

While working on their bachelor's, economics majors at UIUC accumulate an average of around $19,996 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $218.

Full Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Report

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#14

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University - Main Campus landed the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value economics schools. Purdue is a fairly large public school located in the small city of West Lafayette.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Purdue to complete their degree, and it costs about $28,495 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Purdue is $124,238. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

While working on their bachelor's, economics majors at Purdue accumulate an average of around $20,825 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $214, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Our rankings recognize University of Massachusetts Amherst as the #15 school in this year's rankings. UMass Amherst is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Amherst. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UMass Amherst also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

The average student at UMass Amherst graduates in less than 4.1 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $36,714. This means that the average student pays around $151,996 to get a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at UMass Amherst take out while working on their bachelor's is $21,301. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $241, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#16

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN

St Olaf College comes in at #16 in this year's ranking. St. Olaf is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Northfield.

The average student at St. Olaf graduates in less than 4.0 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $32,599. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf is $132,026. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

On average, economics graduates from St. Olaf take out $20,976 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $228, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#17

Gustavus Adolphus College

Saint Peter, MN

The #17 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Gustavus Adolphus College. Located in the town of Saint Peter, Gustavus Adolphus is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

It takes the average student at Gustavus Adolphus about 4.0 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $31,332. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus is $125,955. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Economics majors at Gustavus Adolphus take out an average of $21,423 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $241, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#18

University at Albany

Albany, NY

The #18 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University at Albany. UAlbany is a large public school located in the city of Albany.

At UAlbany, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $30,041. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UAlbany be around $124,971. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

While working on their bachelor's, economics majors at UAlbany accumulate an average of around $19,912 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $222.

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#19

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

The #19 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Pomona College. Pomona is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Claremont. Pomona excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Pomona to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $24,580. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Pomona is $100,778. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

After completing their bachelor's degree, economics graduates from Pomona carry an average student debtload of $14,939.

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#20

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

The #20 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Vanderbilt University. Vanderbilt is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Nashville. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Vanderbilt also is in the top 5% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

The average student at Vanderbilt graduates in less than 4.0 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $31,704. This means that the average student pays around $128,401 to get a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

On average, economics graduates from Vanderbilt take out $14,913 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $156, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#21

Rice University

Houston, TX

Rice University earned the #21 spot in our 2021 rankings. Rice is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Houston. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Rice also is in the top 5% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Rice is 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $31,696. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Rice be around $130,271. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, economics graduates from Rice carry an average student debtload of $13,388. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $122.

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Our rankings recognize University of Wisconsin - La Crosse as the #22 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of La Crosse, UW - La Crosse is a public school with a large student population.

At UW - La Crosse, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and it costs about $19,185 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UW - La Crosse is $85,373. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

After completing their bachelor's degree, economics graduates from UW - La Crosse carry an average student debtload of $20,109. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $231.

Full Economics at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Report

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Iowa State University earned the #23 spot in our 2021 rankings. Iowa State is a very large public school located in the city of Ames.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Iowa State to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $26,749. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State is $118,231. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

While working on their bachelor's, economics majors at Iowa State accumulate an average of around $19,086 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $198.

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Arizona State University - Tempe earned the #24 spot in our 2021 rankings. ASU - Tempe is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Tempe.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at ASU - Tempe is 4.3 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $32,198. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from ASU - Tempe is $138,451. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

On average, economics graduates from ASU - Tempe take out $18,843 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $186, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#25

Utah State University

Logan, UT

Utah State University comes in at #25 in this year's ranking. USU is a very large public school located in the city of Logan.

It takes the average student at USU about 4.8 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,962. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from USU be around $115,976. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The average amount in student loans that economics majors at USU take out while working on their bachelor's is $16,014. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $136, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#26

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
#28

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY
#29

University of Houston

Houston, TX
#30

Canisius College

Buffalo, NY
#31

Allegheny College

Meadville, PA
#32

Macalester College

Saint Paul, MN
#34

Howard University

Washington, DC
#35

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA
#36

SUNY Geneseo

Geneseo, NY
#37

Creighton University

Omaha, NE
#38

Trinity University

San Antonio, TX
#39

Drew University

Madison, NJ
#40

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Honorable Mentions

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

Rank College Location
41 Stanford University Stanford, CA
42 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
43 Williams College Williamstown, MA
44 Sewanee - The University of the South Sewanee, TN
45 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
46 Yale University New Haven, CT
47 Saint Norbert College De Pere, WI
48 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
49 Denison University Granville, OH
50 University of Delaware Newark, DE
51 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
52 Knox College Galesburg, IL
53 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
54 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH

Economics by Region

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

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

Economics is one of 13 different types of Social Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Political Science & Government 41,811
Sociology 29,920
International Relations & National Security 9,868
Anthropology 9,040
Criminology 8,478

View All Economics Related Majors >

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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