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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin

34 Colleges
$24,250 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

There are lots of options to chooose from today when trying to decide which college to attend. One of our goals at College Factual is to give you as much information as we can - such as our Best Value Wisconsin Schools ranking - to help you make that decision.

We analyzed 34 colleges and universities to determine which were the best for overall value in Wisconsin. It's important to note that this isn't just a listing of colleges and universities with the lowest sticker price. Instead, this ranking identifies schools that offer a high quality educational experience at a lower-than-expected price. So it is possible that College A may rank better than College B, while College B is less expensive to attend.

Get more details on our ranking methodology.

Our average cost calculation adds up all expenses, such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses, and then subtracts the average financial aid awarded to a student. This gives a rough estimation of how much money you can expect to pay out-of-pocket or through loans each year.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location or field of study and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. Test it out by comparing your favorite schools against others you are considering!

Top Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

La Crosse, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value in Wisconsin. Located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, the fairly large public school handed out 2,211 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UW - La Crosse about 4.5 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,680. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UW - La Crosse is $69,776. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student loan default rate at the school is 1.6%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#2

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of Wisconsin - Madison helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin - Madison is a large public school located in Madison, Wisconsin that handed out 8,915 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Wisconsin is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,358. 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 Wisconsin is $96,810. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The low student loan default rate of 1.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. Wisconsin also took the #1 spot in our Best Colleges in Wisconsin rankings.

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#3

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list means University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the medium-sized public school awarded 1,927 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UW - Stevens Point is 4.5 years, and it costs about $16,137 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UW - Stevens Point is $72,939. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.5%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#4

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin list. UW - Eau Claire is a fairly large public school situated in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It awarded 2,231 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UW - Eau Claire is 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $18,339. This means that the average student pays around $82,709 to get a bachelor’s degree from UW - Eau Claire. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#5

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

River Falls, Wisconsin

A rank of #5 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list means University of Wisconsin - River Falls is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. River Falls, Wisconsin is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,267 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at UW - River Falls to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,966. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - River Falls be around $70,570. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.9%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

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#6

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Whitewater, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater landed the #6 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. Located in Whitewater, Wisconsin, the fairly large public school awarded 2,426 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UW - Whitewater is 4.5 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $16,827. 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 UW - Whitewater is $76,226. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#7

University of Wisconsin - Stout

Menomonie, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Stout did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking, coming in at #7. UW - Stout is a medium-sized public school situated in Menomonie, Wisconsin. It awarded 1,625 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At UW - Stout, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,902. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - Stout be around $82,886. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.6%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#8

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #8, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. This fairly large public school is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and it awarded 2,151 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.8 years for the average student at UW Oshkosh to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $17,702. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW Oshkosh be around $84,262. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 3.4%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

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#9

Ripon College

Ripon, Wisconsin

Ripon College landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. Ripon College is a small private not-for-profit school located in Ripon, Wisconsin that handed out 197 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Ripon about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,412. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Ripon is about $120,883. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.7%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. On top of its placing in our value rankings, Ripon also did well on our Best Colleges in Wisconsin list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#10

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

Platteville, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Platteville did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking, coming in at #10. This medium-sized public school is located in Platteville, Wisconsin, and it awarded 1,613 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At UW - Platteville, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,336. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - Platteville be around $80,786. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#11

University of Wisconsin - Superior

Superior, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Superior came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin ranking. University of Wisconsin - Superior is a small public school located in Superior, Wisconsin that handed out 452 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Wisconsin - Superior graduates in less than 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $16,910. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin - Superior is $77,786. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#12

University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Green Bay, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Green Bay landed the #12 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. This medium-sized public school is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and it awarded 1,315 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $16,752. This means that the average student pays around $74,546 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#13

Saint Norbert College

De Pere, Wisconsin

Saint Norbert College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking, coming in at #13. Located in De Pere, Wisconsin, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 604 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at SNC graduates in less than 4.1 years, and it costs about $32,449 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the SNC is $132,067. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. SNC also made our Best Colleges in Wisconsin list, coming in at #5.

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#14

Lawrence University

Appleton, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #14, Lawrence University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. Lawrence University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Appleton, Wisconsin that handed out 460 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Lawrence U is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $34,653. This means that the average student pays around $145,543 to get a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence U. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.0%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Lawrence U also made our Best Colleges in Wisconsin list, coming in at #2.

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#15

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #15, Milwaukee School of Engineering did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. Milwaukee School of Engineering is a small private not-for-profit school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that handed out 549 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at MSOE graduates in less than 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $32,530. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from MSOE be around $142,156. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 2.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, MSOE is ranked #4 for overall quality in Wisconsin.

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#16

Beloit College

Beloit, Wisconsin

Beloit College landed the #16 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. Beloit is located in Beloit, Wisconsin and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 417 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average student at Beloit graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $34,282. This means that the average student pays around $140,556 to get a bachelor’s degree from Beloit. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The student loan default rate at the school is 3.4%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Beloit also is in the top 20% of our Best Colleges in Wisconsin ranking.

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#17

Carroll University

Waukesha, Wisconsin

Carroll University landed the #17 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. Located in Waukesha, Wisconsin, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 707 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Carroll U to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $29,522. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Carroll U is $124,288. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 1.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

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#18

Wisconsin Lutheran College

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Lutheran College landed the #18 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. WLC is a private not-for-profit institution located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The school has a small population, and it awarded 260 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at WLC about 4.3 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $28,040. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from WLC is about $121,413. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#19

University of Wisconsin - Parkside

Kenosha, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Parkside did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking, coming in at #19. Located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the small public school awarded 786 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

At University of Wisconsin - Parkside, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.7 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $16,671. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin - Parkside be around $78,187. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#20

Marquette University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Marquette University ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. Marquette University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that handed out 2,204 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Marquette, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $42,130. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Marquette be around $178,210. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

With a freshman retention rate of 89%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Marquette also made our Best Colleges in Wisconsin list, coming in at #3.

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#21

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Wisconsin ranking. University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee is a large public school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that handed out 3,641 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee graduates in less than 4.8 years, and it costs about $21,089 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee be around $100,384. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#22

Northland College

Ashland, Wisconsin

Northland College came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin ranking. Northland is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Ashland, Wisconsin. It awarded 137 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Northland about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $26,826. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Northland is $109,182. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.6%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#23

Viterbo University

La Crosse, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #23, Viterbo University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. Viterbo is a private not-for-profit institution located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The school has a small population, and it awarded 386 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Viterbo, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $29,447. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Viterbo is $128,978. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The school has an impressive student loan default rate. It’s only 4.2%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%.

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#24

Edgewood College

Madison, Wisconsin

Edgewood College ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. Madison, Wisconsin is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 418 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Edgewood graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $33,540. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Edgewood is $146,234. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The student loan default rate at the school is 2.1%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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#25

Maranatha Baptist University

Watertown, Wisconsin

With a ranking of #25, Maranatha Baptist University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Wisconsin list. Maranatha Baptist University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Watertown, Wisconsin that handed out 130 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At MBU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,743. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from MBU is about $101,383. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

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 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.

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