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2021 Best Economics Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

185 Colleges
40,355 Bachelor's Degrees
$38,800 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Economics Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Economics Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsIn 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 Economics Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking looked at 185 colleges that offer a bachelor's in economics. This ranking identifies schools with high-quality economics programs as well as strong support for students classified as non-traditional.

Some of the factors we look at when determining these rankings are overall quality of the economics program at the school, affordability, and non-traditional population. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

More Ways to Rank Economics Schools

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best Economics Schools for Non-Traditional Students list, to help you choose the best school for you.

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 Economics Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the United States

Check out the economics programs at these schools if you want to see which ones are the best for non-traditional students.

Top 25 Economics Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Columbia University in the City of New York has taken the #1 spot in this year's economics ranking for non-traditional students. Located in the city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. Columbia did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #6 on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

The student loan default rate at Columbia is lower than is typical, just 1.8% of students default in three years. There are approximately 1,138 students at Columbia that take at least one class online. There are roughly 5,005 part time students in attendance at Columbia.

Read full report on Economics at Columbia University in the City of New York

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#2

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown University earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. Georgetown also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

About 1.2% of Georgetown students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 2,151 students at Georgetown are exclusively online. There are roughly 4,463 part time students in attendance at Georgetown. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Economics at Georgetown University Report

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#3

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University landed the #3 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. Located in the large city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Johns Hopkins is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

About 1.1% of Johns Hopkins students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 8,722 students at Johns Hopkins are exclusively online. 11,552 of Johns Hopkins students are attending part time.

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#4

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Our rankings recognize Boston College as the #4 school in this year's rankings. Located in the small city of Chestnut Hill, Boston College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Boston College is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

About 1.5% of Boston College students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 316 students at Boston College that take at least one class online. About 1,555 of the students at Boston College are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Economics at Boston College Report

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The #5 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Virginia - Main Campus. Located in the small suburb of Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, University of Virginia also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

About 1.5% of University of Virginia students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 1,445 students at University of Virginia that take at least one class online. There are roughly 2,130 part time students in attendance at University of Virginia.

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#6

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Our rankings recognize Vanderbilt University as the #6 school in this year's rankings. Vanderbilt is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Nashville. Vanderbilt excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

The student loan default rate at Vanderbilt is lower than is typical, just 1.5% of students default in three years. Approximately 574 students take at least one class online at Vanderbilt. There are roughly 960 part time students in attendance at Vanderbilt.

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#7

New York University

New York, NY

The #7 spot in this year's ranking belongs to New York University. NYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, NYU also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 2.2% of NYU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 2,264 students take at least one class online at NYU. About 8,707 of the students at NYU are attending part time.

Full Economics at New York University Report

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#8

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell University landed the #8 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Ithaca. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Cornell is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

The student loan default rate at Cornell is lower than is typical, just 1.0% of students default in three years. Approximately 309 students take at least one class online at Cornell. There are roughly 101 part time students in attendance at Cornell.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison landed the #9 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. UW - Madison is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Madison. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, UW - Madison is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

About 1.3% of UW - Madison students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 6,424 students at UW - Madison that take at least one class online. There are roughly 4,418 part time students in attendance at UW - Madison. UW - Madison does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor landed the #10 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. U-M is a fairly large public school located in the city of Ann Arbor. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, U-M is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.1%. There are approximately 487 students at U-M that take at least one class online. 2,376 students are part time. U-M does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Economics at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Report

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The #11 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of California - Berkeley. UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UC Berkeley also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 2.0% of UC Berkeley students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 930 students at UC Berkeley that take at least one class online. About 3,108 of the students at UC Berkeley are attending part time.

Full Economics at University of California - Berkeley Report

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earned the #12 spot in our 2021 rankings. UIUC is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Champaign. UIUC excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

About 1.9% of UIUC students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 12,503 students at UIUC that take at least one class online. 6,389 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities earned the #13 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a fairly large student population. UMN Twin Cities excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Economics list.

The student loan default rate at UMN Twin Cities is lower than is typical, just 2.2% of students default in three years. Approximately 13,571 students take at least one class online at UMN Twin Cities. About 10,971 of the students at UMN Twin Cities are attending part time. UMN Twin Cities does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Economics at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Report

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Our rankings recognize University of California - Los Angeles as the #14 school in this year's rankings. UCLA is a very large public school located in the large city of Los Angeles. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UCLA also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 1.3% of UCLA students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 2,288 students at UCLA that take at least one class online. About 1,642 of the students at UCLA are attending part time.

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Our rankings recognize University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as the #15 school in this year's rankings. UNC Chapel Hill is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Chapel Hill. UNC Chapel Hill also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

The student loan default rate at UNC Chapel Hill is lower than is typical, just 1.7% of students default in three years. Approximately 3,101 students take at least one class online at UNC Chapel Hill. 4,791 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#16

George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University landed the #16 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, GWU also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

About 1.9% of GWU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 5,374 students at GWU are exclusively online. About 9,073 of the students at GWU are attending part time.

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University of Massachusetts Amherst earned the #17 spot in our 2021 rankings. UMass Amherst is a very large public school located in the suburb of Amherst. UMass Amherst also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 3.0%. 3,607 students at UMass Amherst are exclusively online. 6,250 of UMass Amherst students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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The University of Texas at Austin comes in at #18 in this year's ranking. UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Austin. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UT Austin also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The student loan default rate at UT Austin is lower than is typical, just 2.6% of students default in three years. Approximately 12,546 students take at least one class online at UT Austin. There are roughly 3,290 part time students in attendance at UT Austin. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Economics at The University of Texas at Austin Report

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University of California - Santa Barbara landed the #19 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized suburb of Santa Barbara. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UCSB also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.3%. Approximately 365 students take at least one class online at UCSB. About 656 of the students at UCSB are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize Texas A&M University - College Station as the #20 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of College Station, Texas A&M College Station is a public college with a fairly large student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.1%. Approximately 4,608 students take at least one class online at Texas A&M College Station. 9,459 of Texas A&M College Station students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Economics at Texas A&M University - College Station Report

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Our rankings recognize Southern Methodist University as the #21 school in this year's rankings. SMU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Dallas. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, SMU also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.7%. There are approximately 603 students at SMU that take at least one class online. 2,754 of SMU students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Economics at Southern Methodist University Report

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#22

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

The #22 spot in this year's ranking belongs to George Mason University. Located in the suburb of Fairfax, GMU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

About 2.1% of GMU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 10,589 students at GMU that take at least one class online. About 11,606 of the students at GMU are attending part time. GMU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

Full Economics at George Mason University Report

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University of Southern California landed the #23 spot in our 2021 best economics schools for non-traditional students. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, USC also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.6%. 6,707 students at USC are exclusively online. About 6,358 of the students at USC are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#24

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University comes in at #24 in this year's ranking. Located in the midsize city of Santa Clara, SCU is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, SCU also did well on our Best Colleges for Economics list. It's in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The student loan default rate at SCU is lower than is typical, just 0.7% of students default in three years. 1,073 students are part time.

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#25

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Our rankings recognize Northeastern University as the #25 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Northeastern also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Economics ranking.

The student loan default rate at Northeastern is lower than is typical, just 2.0% of students default in three years. There are approximately 1,838 students at Northeastern that take at least one class online. 842 students are part time.

Full Economics at Northeastern University Report

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Rest of the Top Schools for Best Economics Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

#27

Boston University

Boston, MA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Economics Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
28 Emory University Atlanta, GA
29 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
30 Villanova University Villanova, PA
31 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
32 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
33 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
34 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
35 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
36 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
37 Binghamton University Vestal, NY

Economics by Region

View the best for non-traditional students Economics colleges in 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 46,598
Sociology 37,511
General Social Sciences 19,551
International Relations & National Security 14,810
Anthropology 11,607

View All Economics Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • 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).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to pixabay.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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