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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri

41 Colleges
$22,015 Avg Cost*
4.4 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

With all of the options you have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. Our mission at College Factual is to arm you with as much information as we can to help you make that decision. Our Best Value in Missouri Schools ranking is one tool we have developed to help in this regard.

After analyzing 41 schools, we came up with our list of those that were the best for overall value in Missouri. This ranking doesn't just identify the colleges with the lowest costs. Rather, it highlights those institutions that offer excellent educational experiences for a lower cost than other schools of roughly the same caliber. Because of this, it is possible for one college to rank better than another, even if the latter college has a lower average cost.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

When determining average cost, we look at total expenses, such as tuition, fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other living expenses, and then deduct the average amount of financial aid awarded to a student. This estimate is meant to give you a better picture of how much money you'll have to pay each year, either through self-pay, loans, or external scholarships.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location and field of study as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors, such as those of importance to veterans and returning adults or those seeking diversity and overall quality.

One of our other unique offerings is College Combat. This tool lets you build your own customized comparisons utilizing the factors that are most important to you. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another!

Top Colleges for the Money in Missouri

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Truman State University

Kirksville, Missouri

Truman State University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value in Missouri. This medium-sized public school is located in Kirksville, Missouri, and it awarded 1,216 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Truman State is 4.2 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,444. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Truman State is $65,483. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 86%. On top of its placing in our value rankings, Truman State also did well on our Best Colleges in Missouri list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#2

College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, Missouri

Out of the 41 schools in Missouri that were part of this year’s ranking, College of the Ozarks landed the #2 spot on the list. Hard Work U is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Point Lookout, Missouri. It awarded 362 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Hard Work U graduates in less than 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $13,777. This means that the average student pays around $58,001 to get a bachelor’s degree from Hard Work U. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Missouri University of Science and Technology. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri list. Missouri University of Science and Technology is a public institution located in Rolla, Missouri. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,388 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Missouri University of Science and Technology about 4.8 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,397. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology be around $82,984. 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 3.4%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. Missouri University of Science and Technology not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #4 on our Best Colleges in Missouri list.

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#4

University of Missouri - Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

A rank of #4 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list means University of Missouri - Columbia is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in Columbia, Missouri, the large public school handed out 6,314 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Mizzou, 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 $21,411. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou is about $93,566. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

With a freshman retention rate of 87%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Mizzou did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our Best Colleges in Missouri list.

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#5

Cottey College

Nevada, Missouri

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Cottey College. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri list. Cottey College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Nevada, Missouri. The school has a small population, and it awarded 53 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Cottey College is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $15,813. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Cottey College is about $66,256. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one.

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#6

Northwest Missouri State University

Maryville, Missouri

Northwest Missouri State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #6. Northwest Missouri State University is a medium-sized public school located in Maryville, Missouri that handed out 1,101 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Northwest is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $14,554. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Northwest is $65,493. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Missouri State University - Springfield came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. Missouri State is a large public school situated in Springfield, Missouri. It awarded 3,756 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Missouri State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $18,864. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State is about $85,454. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#8

University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, Missouri

University of Central Missouri did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #8. University of Central Missouri is a fairly large public school located in Warrensburg, Missouri that handed out 2,021 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at UCM to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $16,725. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UCM is $75,262. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#9

William Jewell College

Liberty, Missouri

William Jewell College came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. Liberty, Missouri is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 323 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at William Jewell to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $26,026. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the William Jewell is $107,487. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#10

Ozark Christian College

Joplin, Missouri

Ozark Christian College came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. Located in Joplin, Missouri, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 120 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Ozark Christian College is 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $17,101. 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 Ozark Christian College is $78,665. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#11

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Southeast Missouri State University landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking. Located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the fairly large public school handed out 1,711 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Southeast Missouri State University, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $17,822. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Southeast Missouri State University is $80,734. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#12

Drury University

Springfield, Missouri

Drury University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #12. Located in Springfield, Missouri, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 347 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 Drury University is 4.3 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $24,929. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Drury University be around $107,693. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%.

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#13

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri

With a ranking of #13, University of Missouri - Kansas City did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the fairly large public school awarded 1,827 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at UMKC to complete their degree, and it costs about $23,239 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMKC be around $107,132. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#14

Missouri Western State University

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Missouri Western State University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Missouri Western State University is a medium-sized public school located in Saint Joseph, Missouri that handed out 759 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.7 years for the average student at Western to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $14,819. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Western is about $69,205. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#15

University of Missouri - St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri

University of Missouri - St Louis ranked #15 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. This fairly large public school is located in Saint Louis, Missouri, and it awarded 1,921 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At UMSL, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,794. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMSL is about $106,359. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#16

Calvary University

Kansas City, Missouri

Calvary University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #16. Calvary is a private not-for-profit institution located in Kansas City, Missouri. The school has a small population, and it awarded 33 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Calvary to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $14,703. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Calvary is about $65,134. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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With a ranking of #17, Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is located in Fayette, Missouri and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 246 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences about 4.2 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,067. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is $96,189. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#18

Avila University

Kansas City, Missouri

Avila University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #18. Avila is a private not-for-profit institution located in Kansas City, Missouri. The school has a small population, and it awarded 256 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Avila graduates in less than 4.4 years, and it costs about $20,191 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Avila is $88,437. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Central Christian College of the Bible ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Moberly, Missouri is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 41 students in 2018-2019.

At Central Christian College of the Bible, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $14,858. 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 Central Christian College of the Bible is $65,078. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#20

Stephens College

Columbia, Missouri

Stephens College ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Columbia, Missouri is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 151 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Stephens graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $24,267. This means that the average student pays around $99,252 to get a bachelor’s degree from Stephens. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors.

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Missouri Southern State University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #21. Joplin, Missouri is the setting for this medium-sized institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 979 students in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Missouri Southern is 4.7 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $14,811. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Missouri Southern is $69,908. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#22

Westminster College Missouri

Fulton, Missouri

Westminster College Missouri did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #22. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Fulton, Missouri, and it awarded 194 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Westminster Fulton to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $27,276. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Westminster Fulton is $113,195. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#23

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Louis University ranked #23 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. SLU is a private not-for-profit institution located in Saint Louis, Missouri. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 1,867 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at SLU about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $46,583. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from SLU is about $191,922. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

With a freshman retention rate of 90%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. SLU did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our Best Colleges in Missouri list.

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#24

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri

Washington University in St Louis came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Saint Louis, Missouri, and it awarded 2,407 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at WUSTL about 4.1 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $58,935. 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 WUSTL is $241,044. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The student-to-faculty rate of 8 to 1 is a sign that students will have more opportunities to engage with their professors one-on-one. WUSTL did well in our quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges in Missouri list.

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#25

Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, Missouri

Lindenwood University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #25. Located in Saint Charles, Missouri, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school handed out 1,829 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Lindenwood University graduates in less than 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,966. 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 Lindenwood University is $105,450. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

The low student loan default rate of 1.6% 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%.

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are 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 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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