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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. One of our goals at College Factual is to give you as much information as we can - such as our Best Value Missouri Schools ranking - to help you make that decision.

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

Our analysis found Truman State University to be the best school for overall value in Missouri in this year’s ranking. Truman State is a public institution located in Kirksville, Missouri. The school has a medium-sized population, and it awarded 1,216 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Truman State to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $15,444. 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 Truman State is $65,483. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 86%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Truman State also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges in Missouri list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#2

College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, Missouri

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at College of the Ozarks helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Missouri. Point Lookout, Missouri is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 362 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Hard Work U to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $13,777. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Hard Work U is $58,001. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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A rank of #3 on our Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list means Missouri University of Science and Technology is a great place for students working on their bachelor’s degree. Missouri University of Science and Technology is a medium-sized public school situated in Rolla, Missouri. It awarded 1,388 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

At Missouri University of Science and Technology, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.8 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $17,397. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology is $82,984. 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%. 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

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend University of Missouri - Columbia. The school came in at #4 in Missouri on this year’s best value ranking. This large public school is located in Columbia, Missouri, and it awarded 6,314 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Mizzou is 4.4 years, and it costs about $21,411 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $93,566 to get a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou. 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 4.1%, 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, Mizzou is ranked #5 for overall quality in Missouri.

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#5

Cottey College

Nevada, Missouri

Out of the 41 schools in Missouri that were part of this year’s ranking, Cottey College landed the #5 spot on the list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Nevada, Missouri, and it awarded 53 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Cottey College to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,813. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Cottey College be around $66,256. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

With a student-to-faculty rate of 7 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed.

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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.

At Northwest, 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 $14,554. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Northwest is $65,493. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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With a ranking of #7, Missouri State University - Springfield did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Springfield, Missouri is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 3,756 students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Missouri State to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $18,864. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State be around $85,454. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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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. Located in Warrensburg, Missouri, the fairly large public school handed out 2,021 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at UCM graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $16,725. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UCM be around $75,262. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#9

William Jewell College

Liberty, Missouri

William Jewell College landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking. William Jewell is located in Liberty, Missouri and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 323 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at William Jewell about 4.1 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $26,026. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell is about $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 landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking. Joplin, Missouri is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 120 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Ozark Christian College about 4.6 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,101. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Ozark Christian College is about $78,665. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#11

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

With a ranking of #11, Southeast Missouri State University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Southeast Missouri State University is a public institution located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 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 the estimated yearly cost for the school is $17,822. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University is $80,734. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#12

Drury University

Springfield, Missouri

Drury University ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Drury University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Springfield, Missouri that handed out 347 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Drury University graduates in less than 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $24,929. This means that the average student pays around $107,693 to get a bachelor’s degree from Drury University. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 88%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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#13

University of Missouri - Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri

University of Missouri - Kansas City did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #13. This fairly large public school is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and it awarded 1,827 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.6 years for the average student at UMKC to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $23,239. This means that the average student pays around $107,132 to get a bachelor’s degree from UMKC. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#14

Missouri Western State University

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Missouri Western State University came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. Located in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the medium-sized public school awarded 759 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Western graduates in less than 4.7 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $14,819. This means that the average student pays around $69,205 to get a bachelor’s degree from Western. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#15

University of Missouri - St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri

University of Missouri - St Louis landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking. Saint Louis, Missouri is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,921 students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at UMSL about 4.5 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,794. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UMSL be around $106,359. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#16

Calvary University

Kansas City, Missouri

With a ranking of #16, Calvary University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 33 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.4 years for the average student at Calvary to complete their degree, and it costs about $14,703 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Calvary is about $65,134. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences ranked #17 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is a private not-for-profit institution located in Fayette, Missouri. The school has a small population, and it awarded 246 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at Central Methodist University - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to complete their degree, and it costs about $23,067 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from 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. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 256 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Avila about 4.4 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $20,191. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Avila is about $88,437. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Central Christian College of the Bible did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #19. 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 yearly average cost to attend the school is $14,858. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Central Christian College of the Bible is $65,078. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#20

Stephens College

Columbia, Missouri

Stephens College did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #20. Stephens is located in Columbia, Missouri and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 151 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Stephens to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $24,267. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Stephens be around $99,252. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The impressive student-to-faculty rate of 9 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools.

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Missouri Southern State University came in at #21 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. Missouri Southern is located in Joplin, Missouri and has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 979 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes the average student at Missouri Southern about 4.7 years to graduate, and it costs about $14,811 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $69,908 to get a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern. 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. Located in Fulton, Missouri, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 194 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

At Westminster Fulton, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $27,276. 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 Westminster Fulton is $113,195. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#23

Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Saint Louis University did quite well in the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Missouri ranking, coming in at #23. Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, the fairly large private not-for-profit school handed out 1,867 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at SLU about 4.1 years to graduate, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $46,583. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from SLU be around $191,922. 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 2.5%, which is much lower than the national rate of 10.1%. 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 ranked #24 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri list. WUSTL is located in Saint Louis, Missouri and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,407 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at WUSTL to complete their degree, and it costs about $58,935 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from WUSTL be around $241,044. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. WUSTL also made our Best Colleges in Missouri list, coming in at #1.

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#25

Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, Missouri

Lindenwood University came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Missouri ranking. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Saint Charles, Missouri, and it awarded 1,829 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Lindenwood University about 4.4 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,966. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Lindenwood University is $105,450. 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 1.6%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%.

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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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