Design & Applied Arts

2021 Best Value Colleges for Design & Applied Arts

184 Colleges
19,137 Bachelor's Degrees
$26,497 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Design & Applied Arts School for You

Best Value Colleges for Design & Applied ArtsDesign & Applied Arts is the #27 most popular major in the country with 19,137 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019.

For this year's Best Value Colleges for Design & Applied Arts ranking, we looked at 184 colleges that offer a bachelor's in design. To us, 'best value' doesn't just mean the school with the lowest overall costs. For this ranking, we are identifying those design schools that provide their students with a hiqh quality education at a price that is lower than other colleges and universities of the same caliber.

To determine the average cost, we look at total expenses - such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses - and then subtract the average financial award a student receives. Knowing this amount can help you determine how much you may have to borrow in loans or take out of savings. Depending on your income and other factors, the cost for you to attend a particular school may be more or less.

More Ways to Rank Design & Applied Arts Schools

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

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Best Value Design & Applied Arts Schools in the United States

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

Top 25 Best Value Design Schools

Our rankings recognize Brigham Young University - Provo as the #1 school in this year's rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Provo, BYU is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. BYU excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list.

It takes about 5.2 years for the average student at BYU to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $12,239. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from BYU is $64,132. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Design majors at BYU take out an average of $18,040 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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#2

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University earned the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings. Florida State is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Tallahassee. Florida State excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Florida State to complete their degree, and it costs about $27,233 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Florida State is about $115,196. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The average amount in student loans that design majors at Florida State take out while working on their bachelor's is $18,795. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $187.

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#3

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida landed the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value design and applied arts schools. Located in the medium-sized city of Gainesville, U of F is a public college with a very large student population. On top of its placing in our value rankings, U of F also did well on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The average student at U of F graduates in less than 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $28,230. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from U of F is $120,542. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, design graduates from U of F carry an average student debtload of $19,540. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $171, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Our rankings recognize North Dakota State University - Main Campus as the #4 school in this year's rankings. North Dakota State University is a large public school located in the medium-sized city of Fargo.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at North Dakota State University to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $21,224. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the North Dakota State University is $96,145. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The average amount in student loans that design majors at North Dakota State University take out while working on their bachelor's is $26,383.

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Our rankings recognize Appalachian State University as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Appalachian State is a fairly large public school located in the distant town of Boone.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Appalachian State is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,137. 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 Appalachian State is $95,410. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

On average, design graduates from Appalachian State take out $20,691 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $220, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Wisconsin - Stout. UW - Stout is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Menomonie.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UW - Stout is 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $21,392. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - Stout is about $99,045. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

While working on their bachelor's, design majors at UW - Stout accumulate an average of around $23,900 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $270.

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Our rankings recognize Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design as the #7 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Milwaukee, MIAD is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly small student population.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at MIAD is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $29,646. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MIAD be around $123,920. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

On average, design graduates from MIAD take out $27,803 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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Minneapolis College of Art and Design landed the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value design and applied arts schools. MCAD is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Minneapolis. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, MCAD also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts ranking.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at MCAD to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $33,680. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MCAD be around $140,782. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

On average, design graduates from MCAD take out $24,615 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $268, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Western Michigan University earned the #9 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Kalamazoo, WMU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average student at WMU graduates in less than 4.7 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $21,387. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from WMU is $100,305. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

After completing their bachelor's degree, design graduates from WMU carry an average student debtload of $25,413. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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Our rankings recognize Columbus College of Art and Design as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Columbus, CCAD is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. CCAD also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list. It's in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

The average student at CCAD graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $33,155. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the CCAD is $136,267. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Design majors at CCAD take out an average of $28,473 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 North Carolina State University as the #11 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a very large student population. NC State also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

The average student at NC State graduates in less than 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $28,493. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from NC State is $124,799. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

While working on their bachelor's, design majors at NC State accumulate an average of around $21,871 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $253, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Our rankings recognize Kutztown University of Pennsylvania as the #12 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Kutztown, Kutztown University is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

At Kutztown University, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and it costs about $25,269 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University is about $109,415. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

While working on their bachelor's, design majors at Kutztown University accumulate an average of around $24,827 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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Our rankings recognize Bowling Green State University - Main Campus as the #13 school in this year's rankings. BGSU is a fairly large public school located in the town of Bowling Green.

It takes the average student at BGSU about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,327. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the BGSU is $101,706. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

While working on their bachelor's, design majors at BGSU accumulate an average of around $26,421 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $271.

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Cornish College of the Arts earned the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings. Cornish College of the Arts is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Seattle.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Cornish College of the Arts is 4.0 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $31,526. This means that the average student pays around $127,365 to get a bachelor’s degree from Cornish College of the Arts. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

On average, design graduates from Cornish College of the Arts take out $26,270 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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#15

Bradley University

Peoria, IL

Bradley University landed the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value design and applied arts schools. Located in the city of Peoria, Bradley is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

It takes the average student at Bradley about 4.3 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $30,832. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Bradley is $131,344. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Design majors at Bradley take out an average of $22,210 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $254, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Arizona State University - Tempe earned the #16 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Tempe, ASU - Tempe is a public college with a very large student population. ASU - Tempe also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list. It's in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

The average student at ASU - Tempe graduates in less than 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $32,198. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost 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, design graduates from ASU - Tempe take out $21,350 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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#17

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Our rankings recognize Purdue University - Main Campus as the #17 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of West Lafayette, Purdue is a public school with a very large student population. In addition to its great value ranking, Purdue is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list.

At Purdue, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $28,495. 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. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

On average, design graduates from Purdue take out $22,897 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $253, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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California State University - Long Beach earned the #18 spot in our 2021 rankings. Cal State Long Beach is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Long Beach.

At Cal State Long Beach, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 5.0 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $24,708. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach is $122,552. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Design majors at Cal State Long Beach take out an average of $21,118 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 $211.

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#19

Kansas City Art Institute

Kansas City, MO

The #19 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Kansas City Art Institute. Kansas City Art Institute is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Kansas City. In addition to its great value ranking, Kansas City Art Institute is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Kansas City Art Institute to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $34,542. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Kansas City Art Institute is $143,695. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

While working on their bachelor's, design majors at Kansas City Art Institute accumulate an average of around $25,104 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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Iowa State University comes in at #20 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Ames, Iowa State is a public college with a very large student population.

At Iowa State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $26,749. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Iowa State is $118,231. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The average amount in student loans that design majors at Iowa State take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,011. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $265.

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University of Cincinnati - Main Campus earned the #21 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Cincinnati, Cincinnati is a public school with a very large student population. On top of its placing in our value rankings, Cincinnati also did well on our Best Colleges for Design & Applied Arts list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

It takes the average student at Cincinnati about 4.6 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $31,678. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Cincinnati is $144,135. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

While working on their bachelor's, design majors at Cincinnati accumulate an average of around $25,372 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $277, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#22

University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO

University of Central Missouri comes in at #22 in this year's ranking. UCM is a large public school located in the distant town of Warrensburg.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at UCM to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $19,956. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UCM be around $89,802. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

On average, design graduates from UCM take out $23,295 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $260, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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The #23 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Minnesota State University - Moorhead. Minnesota State University - Moorhead is a medium-sized public school located in the midsize suburb of Moorhead.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Minnesota State University - Moorhead is 4.4 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $24,047. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University - Moorhead is $106,288. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Design majors at Minnesota State University - Moorhead take out an average of $25,768 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $275, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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University of North Texas earned the #24 spot in our 2021 rankings. UNT is a very large public school located in the city of Denton.

The average student at UNT graduates in less than 4.5 years, and it costs about $24,179 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UNT is $109,773. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

After completing their bachelor's degree, design graduates from UNT carry an average student debtload of $25,072. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $270.

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The #25 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Kent State University at Kent. Kent State is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Kent.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Kent State to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $26,092. 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 Kent State is $115,848. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

Design majors at Kent State take out an average of $26,275 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 $270.

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#27

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Design & Applied Arts students that almost earned our Best Value Colleges for Design & Applied Arts award.

Rank College Location
28 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
29 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
30 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
31 John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR
32 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
33 Montserrat College of Art Beverly, MA
34 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
35 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
36 SUNY New Paltz New Paltz, NY

Design & Applied Arts by Region

View the Best Value Colleges for Design & Applied Arts for a specific region near you.

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

One of 9 majors within the Visual & Performing Arts area of study, Design & Applied Arts has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 25,815
Music 15,747
Drama & Theater Arts 12,791
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 11,308
General Visual & Performing Arts 3,315

View All Design 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).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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