Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Find Schools Near

2022 Best Schools for the Money (No Aid) in the Great Lakes Region

375 Colleges
$8,381 Avg Undergrad Tuition & Fees*
$6,844 Avg Room & Board*

It's not easy to decide which school to attend when you have so many options available. College Factual was founded, in part, to help students make the decision as to what would be the best school for them. Our Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking is part of that endeavor.

See What's Included in This Value Report:

Your Choice of School Matters

We analyzed 375 schools across the Great Lakes Region to determine which have the best value programs. To come up with this ranking of the best value schools, we look at factors that are all objective measurements. In the next few paragraphs, we'll talk a little about what we use in our analysis and why.

Our Methodology

To determine the value of a school in our Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking, we first add average tuition, fees, and room and board costs (without aid) together. But, a school that excels in providing value for your money must also be a great school overall as well.

To account for this we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Find out more about our best value ranking methodology.

Keep scrolling for the top schools in this ranking or select one of the other rankings methods below.

Want to see the list of best value schools for families with specific income levels or whether or not aid is being applied? Click on one of the tiles above. If you'd rather work on your degree in a specific area of the country, you might be interested in our rankings by place. Also, you may want to check out our other college rankings.

If you know what major you want to study, check out our list of the best value schools by major. If you're interested in other degree levels, you can view one of the lists below.

Best Value Schools (No Aid) in the Great Lakes Region

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Madison Area Technical College

Madison, Wisconsin

Our 2022 rankings named Madison Area Technical College the best value (no aid) school in the Great Lakes Region . This fairly large public school is located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Not only is Madison Area Technical College a great value, but it is also ranked #12 in Wisconsin for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,316 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,316 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Madison Area Technical College

#2

Oakland Community College

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Out of the 375 schools in the Great Lakes Region that were part of this year’s ranking, Oakland Community College landed the #2 spot on the list. Located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the school is a fairly large public institution.

Not only is Oakland Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #9 in Michigan for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $12,512 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,800 a year.

Learn More About Value at Oakland Community College

#3

Joliet Junior College

Joliet, Illinois

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Joliet Junior College. It ranked #3 on our 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Joliet Junior College is a fairly large public school situated in Joliet, Illinois.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Joliet Junior College is ranked #30 for quality in the state of Illinois. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $13,032 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $8,592 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Joliet Junior College

#4

Elgin Community College

Elgin, Illinois

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list means Elgin Community College is a great place for students working on their degree. ECC is a public institution located in Elgin, Illinois.

Elgin Community College has the honor of being ranked #20 in Illinois for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $15,141 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $5,625 a year.

Read full value report on Elgin Community College

A rank of #5 on our Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list means Cuyahoga Community College District is a great place for students working on their degree. Cuyahoga Community College District is a fairly large public school located in Cleveland, Ohio.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Cuyahoga Community College District is ranked #26 for quality in the state of Ohio. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,136 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $6,000 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Cuyahoga Community College District

#6

Gateway Technical College

Kenosha, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #6, Gateway Technical College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Gateway Technical College is a public institution located in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Gateway Technical College has the honor of being ranked #23 in Wisconsin for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,341 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,636 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Gateway Technical College

#7

Fox Valley Technical College

Appleton, Wisconsin

Fox Valley Technical College came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Appleton, Wisconsin is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. It is a public school.

Not only is Fox Valley Technical College a great value, but it is also ranked #22 in Wisconsin for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,397 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,636 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Fox Valley Technical College

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College ranked #8 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, the school is a medium-sized public institution.

Not only is Cincinnati State Technical and Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #27 in Ohio for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,220 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $5,130 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

#9

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Chippewa Valley Technical College landed the #9 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. CVTC is located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and has a medium-sized student population. It is a public school.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Chippewa Valley Technical College is ranked #25 for quality in the state of Wisconsin. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,225 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,636 a year.

Learn More About Value at Chippewa Valley Technical College

University of Northwestern Ohio landed the #10 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Lima, Ohio is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. It is a private not-for-profit school.

Not only is University of Northwestern Ohio a great value, but it is also ranked #11 in Ohio for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $18,688 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $17,698 a year.

Learn More About Value at University of Northwestern Ohio

#11

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse ranked #11 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. La Crosse, Wisconsin is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. It is a public school.

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse has the honor of being ranked #2 in Wisconsin for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $24,573 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $26,632 a year.

Learn More About Value at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

#12

Macomb Community College

Warren, Michigan

Macomb Community College came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This fairly large public school is located in Warren, Michigan.

Macomb Community College has the honor of being ranked #14 in Michigan for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $15,467 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,932 a year.

Full Macomb Community College Value Report

#13

Western Technical College

La Crosse, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #13, Western Technical College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Western Technical College is a small public school located in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Not only is Western Technical College a great value, but it is also ranked #26 in Wisconsin for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $13,372 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $6,788 a year.

Learn More About Value at Western Technical College

#14

Moraine Valley Community College

Palos Hills, Illinois

With a ranking of #14, Moraine Valley Community College did quite well on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Moraine Valley Community College is a fairly large public school located in Palos Hills, Illinois.

Not only is Moraine Valley Community College a great value, but it is also ranked #38 in Illinois for overall quality. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,693 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $5,302 a year.

Full Moraine Valley Community College Value Report

#14

Northcentral Technical College

Wausau, Wisconsin

Northcentral Technical College landed the #14 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. North Central Technical College is located in Wausau, Wisconsin and has a medium-sized student population. It is a public school.

Not only is Northcentral Technical College a great value, but it is also ranked #39 in Wisconsin for overall quality. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $11,587 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $6,248 a year.

Read full value report on Northcentral Technical College

#16

Waukesha County Technical College

Pewaukee, Wisconsin

Waukesha County Technical College did quite well in the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking, coming in at #16. WCTC is a medium-sized public school situated in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

Waukesha County Technical College has the honor of being ranked #27 in Wisconsin for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $14,144 a year for undergraduates. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,636 a year.

Read full value report on Waukesha County Technical College

#17

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

River Falls, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - River Falls ranked #17 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. UW - River Falls is a public institution located in River Falls, Wisconsin.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, University of Wisconsin - River Falls is ranked #5 for quality in the state of Wisconsin. The average cost without aid for the school is $22,536 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $25,133 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at University of Wisconsin - River Falls

Columbus State Community College landed the #18 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. This large public school is located in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Columbus State Community College is ranked #24 for quality in the state of Ohio. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $17,665 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,668 a year.

Read full value report on Columbus State Community College

#18

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, Indiana

Ivy Tech Community College landed the #18 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Ivy Tech Community College is a public institution located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ivy Tech Community College has the honor of being ranked #17 in Indiana for overall quality on top of being a good value. The average cost without aid for the school is $15,775 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $6,848 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Ivy Tech Community College

#20

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

Fennimore, Wisconsin

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College landed the #20 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Southwest Tech is a small public school situated in Fennimore, Wisconsin.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is ranked #28 for quality in the state of Wisconsin. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,220 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $7,636 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

#21

Rasmussen University - Illinois

Rockford, Illinois

Rasmussen University - Illinois came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. Rasmussen University - Illinois is a private for-profit institution located in Rockford, Illinois.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Rasmussen University - Illinois is ranked #8 for quality in the state of Illinois. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $21,939 a year. The average cost without aid for the school is $18,358 per year for graduate students.

Learn More About Value at Rasmussen University - Illinois

#21

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee Area Technical College ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Milwaukee Area Technical College is a fairly large public school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Milwaukee Area Technical College is ranked #31 for quality in the state of Wisconsin. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,370 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,556 a year.

Learn More About Value at Milwaukee Area Technical College

#23

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College landed the #23 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. NWTC is a fairly large public school situated in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is ranked #32 for quality in the state of Wisconsin. The average cost for undergraduates to attend the school if you don’t receive any aid is $14,543 a year. The average cost to attend the school for graduate students if you don’t receive any aid is $7,800 a year.

Full Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Value Report

#24

Eastern Gateway Community College

Steubenville, Ohio

Eastern Gateway Community College ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region list. Eastern Gateway Community College is a public institution located in Steubenville, Ohio.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Eastern Gateway Community College is ranked #51 for quality in the state of Ohio. The average cost without aid for the school is $11,405 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $3,600 per year for graduate students.

Full Eastern Gateway Community College Value Report

#25

Southwestern Illinois College

Belleville, Illinois

Southwestern Illinois College landed the #25 spot on the 2022 Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking. SWIC is a medium-sized public school situated in Belleville, Illinois.

In addition to being included on this ranking as a good value, Southwestern Illinois College is ranked #67 for quality in the state of Illinois. The average cost without aid for the school is $10,518 a year for undergraduates. The average cost without aid for the school is $4,578 per year for graduate students.

Read full value report on Southwestern Illinois College

Rest of the Top 50 Best Value Schools (No Aid) in the Great Lakes Region

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

Platteville, Wisconsin
#27

Lincoln Land Community College

Springfield, Illinois
#28

Lakeshore Technical College

Cleveland, Wisconsin
#29

Schoolcraft College

Livonia, Michigan
#30

University of Wisconsin - Stout

Menomonie, Wisconsin
#31

Delta College

University Center, Michigan
#32

Moraine Park Technical College

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
#33

Sinclair Community College

Dayton, Ohio

#34

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

#35

College of DuPage

Glen Ellyn, Illinois
#36

Illinois Central College

East Peoria, Illinois
#40

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin
#41

Purdue University Global

Indianapolis, Indiana
#42

Triton College

River Grove, Illinois
#43

Grand Rapids Community College

Grand Rapids, Michigan

#44

Waubonsee Community College

Sugar Grove, Illinois

#45

Union Institute & University

Cincinnati, Ohio
#46

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Edwardsville, Illinois
#47

Oakton Community College

Des Plaines, Illinois
#48

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Stevens Point, Wisconsin
#49

Mid-State Technical College

Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
#50

South Suburban College

South Holland, Illinois

View Best Value Schools (No Aid) Nationwide >

Rest of the Top 15% Best Value Schools (No Aid) in the Great Lakes Region

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Rank College Location Value
51 Bay Mills Community College Brimley, MI Value Report
52 William Rainey Harper College Palatine, IL Value Report
53 City Colleges of Chicago - Harold Washington College Chicago, IL Value Report
53 Danville Area Community College Danville, IL Value Report
55 Kalamazoo Valley Community College Kalamazoo, MI Value Report
56 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI Value Report
57 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Green Bay, WI Value Report

All Majors and Fields of Study >

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges for the Money in the Great Lakes Region ranking:

Rank College Location Value
58 College of Lake County Grayslake, IL Value Report
59 Blackhawk Technical College Janesville, WI Value Report
60 Purdue University Northwest Hammond, IN Value Report
61 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI Value Report
62 Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global Marion, IN Value Report
63 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI Value Report
64 Owens Community College Perrysburg, OH Value Report
65 Kellogg Community College Battle Creek, MI Value Report
66 Kent State University at Stark Canton, OH Value Report
67 James A Rhodes State College Lima, OH Value Report
68 Lansing Community College Lansing, MI Value Report
69 Kuyper College Grand Rapids, MI Value Report
70 Black Hawk College Moline, IL Value Report
71 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL Value Report
72 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL Value Report
Rank College Location Value
72 Carl Sandburg College Galesburg, IL Value Report
74 Ohio University - Southern Campus Ironton, OH Value Report
75 Washtenaw Community College Ann Arbor, MI Value Report
76 Henry Ford College Dearborn, MI Value Report

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*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 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).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You