These Christian Colleges Are Taking On Today’s Hot-Button Social Issues - Forbes

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An organization of Christian colleges has shown a willingness to tackle social issues, often taking ... [+] stances that differ from those of some notorious evangelical leaders. getty A group of Christian colleges is pursuing an agenda of pressing social issues, including immigration, criminal justice, and racial/ethnic diversity. It’s an ambitious set of policies, and it’s noteworthy because the stance of these colleges is in marked contrast to the ultra-conservative narrative associated with the evangelical church’s recent embrace of the right-wing, nationalist politics of Donald Trump. The colleges are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), an organization comprised of about 180 institutions worldwide, with approximately 140 in the U.S. Representing 37 different Protestant denominations, CCCU schools enroll over 500,000 students. You can view the full member list here. All CCCU schools have missions defined as Christ-centered, rooted in the hi

Public college in every state with the best ROI - KAKE

By: John Harrington

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Public college in every state with the best ROI

Since at least the post-World War II period, a college education has been considered a gateway to the American middle class, enabling Americans to build careers and accumulate wealth that can be passed on to their family.

But college is expensive. Nearly 45 million Americans are saddled with $1.64 trillion in student loan debt. Sixty-nine percent of the graduating class of 2019 took out student loans, and their average debt is $29,900, according to studentloanhero.com. Studies have indicated high student debt can have harmful consequences for the economy, such as delaying homeownership and postponing starting a family.

The escalating cost of university education, as well as soaring student loan debt, have raised questions about whether college is worth the expense. One recent report said it is.

According to a 2019 study from Georgetown University, workers with a bachelor's degree on average earn 80% more than those who only graduated high school. Stacker compiled a list of the public colleges with the best return on investment (ROI) in every state, using the study by Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah, and Martin Van Der Werf at Georgetown University. Public colleges that primarily issue bachelor's degrees were considered. The college with the highest 40-year ROI in every state was included. The study incorporated net present value, that calculates future earnings based on income ten and forty years, respectively, after starting college.  

Schools with the best ROI range from small schools with enrollments of fewer than 1,000 undergraduates to large state universities with student bodies of up to 40,000 undergraduates. Virtually all the students at the public college in every state with the best ROI have a debt load below the national average.

The schools that provide the "best bang for the buck" do so in various ways. Some schools offer special classes in areas like STEM, health care, and maritime services that steer graduates to jobs in those fields, and others focus on startup creation, merit programs, and connecting students to employers.

Peruse Stacker’s list to find out more about how each institution is providing the best value for its students.

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Alabama: Auburn University

- Public colleges considered in Alabama: 13
- Auburn University statistics
- 40-year net present value: $995,000
- 10-year net present value: $81,000
- Graduation rate: 76%
- Median debt: $17,000

Besides its powerhouse sports programs, Auburn University is known for its curriculum that includes business, management, engineering, biomedical sciences, and education. A Princeton Review synopsis of Auburn found that 97% of recent graduates believed their Auburn education prepared them for future opportunities. Auburn is also known for its robust alumni network, and the average freshman retention rate is 91%, which indicates a high level of student satisfaction.

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Alaska: University of Alaska Anchorage

- Public colleges considered in Alaska: 3
- University of Alaska Anchorage statistics
- 40-year net present value: $963,000
- 10-year net present value: $112,000
- Graduation rate: 24%
- Median debt: $9,597

The University of Alaska Anchorage predates Alaska becoming a state by five years and was founded in 1954. The institution is a public research university focused on research on the Arctic. Nursing, management, and accounting are popular areas of study. The university offers $12,000 to high school students in Alaska who are in the top 10% of their class through their junior year, by way of its UA Scholars Award program.

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Arizona: Arizona State University-West

- Public colleges considered in Arizona: 7
- Arizona State University-West statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,041,000
- 10-year net present value: $147,000
- Graduation rate: 61%
- Median debt: $14,000

Arizona State University - West has a freshman retention rate of 83%. That's a good indicator of student satisfaction at the university. In its annual rankings of colleges, U.S. News and World Report in 2019 ranked Arizona State University as the most innovative institution of higher learning in the United States. ASU is known for business, psychology, and journalism and communication.

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Arkansas: University of Arkansas

- Public colleges considered in Arkansas: 9
- University of Arkansas statistics
- 40-year net present value: $944,000
- 10-year net present value: $102,000
- Graduation rate: 63%
- Median debt: $14,181

The University of Arkansas, located near the Ozark Mountains, was once the stomping grounds of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who taught law at the college in Fayetteville. The university has graduated leaders in business and government, including Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and Sen. J. William Fulbright, who helped found the Fulbright Scholarship Program, the largest international exchange program in the world. Among the most popular areas of the curriculum are business, engineering, and health.

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California: California State University Maritime Academy

- Public colleges considered in California: 31
- California State University Maritime Academy statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,818,000
- 10-year net present value: $265,000
- Graduation rate: 63%
- Median debt: $20,500

California State University Maritime Academy is located in Vallejo, California, in the San Francisco region. The school has an enrollment of just 975 undergraduate students and is one of the smaller schools on the list. As you might expect by its name, popular majors include marine science, business, and mechanical engineering. The school's website claims 92% of its graduates are employed within three months of graduation.

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Colorado: Colorado School of Mines

- Public colleges considered in Colorado: 12
- Colorado School of Mines statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,794,000
- 10-year net present value: $203,000
- Graduation rate: 77%
- Median debt: $21,915

Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, Colorado, 15 miles from Denver, was started for miners in the 19th century and today is focused on science and engineering. Graduates are known for their work ethic and problem-solving skills and are sought by companies and governments all over the world. The school is involved in interstellar prospecting and exploration. Undergraduates can work as research assistants on projects through the Mines Undergraduate Research Fellowship (MURF). At commencement, graduates receive a silver diploma engraved with the degree instead of a traditional diploma.

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Connecticut: University of Connecticut-Stamford

- Public colleges considered in Connecticut: 8
- University of Connecticut-Stamford statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,288,000
- 10-year net present value: $193,000
- Graduation rate: 61%
- Median debt: $18,750

The University of Connecticut-Stamford, founded in 1952, has about 1,700 students and is part of the University of Connecticut college system. Stamford is a hub of financial institutions. Because of this, UConn-Stamford students have opportunities at internships and employment at Fortune 500 companies and investment and banking institutions such as Pitney Bowes, Gartner, and Synchrony Financial.

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Delaware: University of Delaware

- Public colleges considered in Delaware: 2
- University of Delaware statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,214,000
- 10-year net present value: $146,000
- Graduation rate: 82%
- Median debt: $21,250

The history of the University of Delaware can be traced back to 1743, and it is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the nation. Its alumni include Joe Biden and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. This university has more than 150 majors and is known for its STEM and health-related programs. Another aspect of the school is that it offers a master's degree in the year after students receive their bachelor's degree.

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Florida: University of Florida-Online

- Public colleges considered in Florida: 13
- University of Florida-Online statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,211,000
- 10-year net present value: $161,000
- Graduation rate: NA
- Median debt: $15,000

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Georgia: Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus

- Public colleges considered in Georgia: 17
- Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,729,000
- 10-year net present value: $246,000
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Median debt: $21,500

Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech, is a world-famous public research university with a reputation for preparing its graduates for the real world. Undergraduates told Princeton Review that they found the university's engineering, science, and business programs were "rigorous" and "challenging." Students participate in competitions to build startup companies during the school year and are encouraged to create innovative ideas.

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Hawaii: University of Hawaii at Manoa

- Public colleges considered in Hawaii: 3
- University of Hawaii at Manoa statistics
- 40-year net present value: $962,000
- 10-year net present value: $104,000
- Graduation rate: 59%
- Median debt: $14,000

The University of Hawaii at Manoa was founded in 1907, 52 years before Hawaii became a state. The university is known for research in tropical agriculture, tropical medicine, oceanography, volcanology, evolutionary biology, Pacific Islands and Asian studies, and regional public health. More than 75% of students are of color. The school's faculty includes members of the National Academy of Sciences. Among the noteworthy alumni are the parents of President Barack Obama—Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham Soetoro—and Daniel Inouye, a former U.S. senator and decorated World War II soldier.

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Idaho: University of Idaho

- Public colleges considered in Idaho: 4
- University of Idaho statistics
- 40-year net present value: $877,000
- 10-year net present value: $92,000
- Graduation rate: 56%
- Median debt: $16,750

University of Idaho, founded in 1889, is lauded by its students for its networking opportunities, according to the Princeton Review. The university is known for its engineering, agriculture, business, and law programs. Undergraduates can select from among 93 majors.

Idaho students benefit from the WWAMI medical education program, one that serves five states—Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Among the program's goals is to increase the total of primary care doctors, especially in underserved areas.

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Illinois: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

- Public colleges considered in Illinois: 12
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,299,000
- 10-year net present value: $146,000
- Graduation rate: 85%
- Median debt: $17,750

Like many schools in the Big Ten, the University of Illinois is known for its highly regarded library system. The school's business and engineering programs have had a strong reputation for decades. The school's STEM programs and colleges of business, education, and law are also well recognized. Students who attend the university laud its research support and number of resources to augment their studies. Among the financial aid programs available to Illinois residents is the Illinois Commitment, which covers the cost of tuition and campus fees for Illinois residents with a family income of $67,100 or less.

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Indiana: Purdue University-Main Campus

- Public colleges considered in Indiana: 12
- Purdue University-Main Campus statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,184,000
- 10-year net present value: $152,000
- Graduation rate: 77%
- Median debt: $17,250

Based in West Lafayette, Indiana, the university is known for programs in engineering, nursing, pharmacy, and speech pathology. Purdue features a program called the Industrial Roundtable that has connected prospective employers with students for the past four decades. The program hosts a two-day career fair for students studying engineering, science, technology, and management.

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Iowa: University of Iowa

- Public colleges considered in Iowa: 3
- University of Iowa statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,104,000
- 10-year net present value: $132,000
- Graduation rate: 73%
- Median debt: $16,000

The University of Iowa, founded in 1847, has been progressive from the start. It was the first American university to admit men and women equally in 1855. Based in Iowa City, the university is renowned for its medical system and its fine arts program. The school has produced noteworthy writers, including Flannery O'Connor, John Irving, and Jorie Graham. Its School of Journalism and Mass Communication is also well-regarded.

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Kansas: University of Kansas

- Public colleges considered in Kansas: 8
- University of Kansas statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,016,000
- 10-year net present value: $102,000
- Graduation rate: 63%
- Median debt: $14,276

The University of Kansas is the archetypical big Midwestern school, known for its high-octane college basketball program. The university is very diverse, with students from every state and more than 100 countries. Students commenting on Princeton Review say the university offers a lot of resources and research opportunities and a strong study-abroad program. The school also is cited for helping connect students with job opportunities in Topeka and Kansas City. The university's website says the average salary for its graduates after 10 years is $59,300.

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Kentucky: University of Kentucky

- Public colleges considered in Kentucky: 8
- University of Kentucky statistics
- 40-year net present value: $939,000
- 10-year net present value: $93,000
- Graduation rate: 64%
- Median debt: $15,000

The University of Kentucky is well-known for its storied college basketball program. But the school also boasts colleges for liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, and medicine. The Lexington-based school also provides plenty of opportunities to study abroad. Among the merit awards available at the university is the full-tuition Presidential Scholarship available to students who have earned at least a 3.5 unweighted grade point average and a 31 ACT or 1390 SAT score.

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Louisiana: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

- Public colleges considered in Louisiana: 14
- Louisiana State University statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,047,000
- 10-year net present value: $108,000
- Graduation rate: 67%
- Median debt: $13,071

Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, better known as LSU, is the biggest institution of higher learning in the Bayou State, numbering about 30,000 students. Besides offering programs in political science, engineering, and English, LSU leverages its status as a sea-grant college to offer coastal studies and ecology programs. The most popular areas of study are business administration and management and physical education teaching and coaching.

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Maine: Maine Maritime Academy

- Public colleges considered in Maine: 8
- Maine Maritime Academy statistics
- 40-year net present value: $2,043,000
- 10-year net present value: $251,000
- Graduation rate: 66%
- Median debt: $27,000

The Maine Maritime Academy, located in Castine, Maine, is one of the newer schools on the list, opening in 1941, and one of the smaller institutions, with an enrollment of 950 students. The school's curriculum includes courses in engineering, management, science, and transportation. Its website says, "rigorous courses and experiential programs equip students with the practical skills, knowledge, and training to launch successful careers." The school also says its job-placement rate for grads is over 90% within three months of commencement.

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Maryland: University of Maryland-College Park

- Public colleges considered in Maryland: 12
- University of Maryland-College Park statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,330,000
- 10-year net present value: $151,000
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Median debt: $16,500

The University of Maryland at College Park is a massive public institution that gets high marks for its diversity. The school is known for its business, criminology, engineering, and political science departments. The school also benefits from its proximity to Washington D.C., which is less than 12 miles from College Park. It is also noted for its low cost for in-state students.

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Massachusetts: Massachusetts Maritime Academy

- Public colleges considered in Massachusetts: 13
- Massachusetts Maritime Academy statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,869,000
- 10-year net present value: $246,000
- Graduation rate: 75%
- Median debt: $23,250

Massachusetts is known for many world-class universities such as Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis, and Boston College, but Massachusetts Maritime Academy, founded in 1891, tops them all for return on investment. With its campus located on scenic Cape Cod, the institution's curriculum includes emergency management, energy systems engineering, international maritime business, marine engineering, and marine science safety and environmental protection. Undergraduates gain career experience through its Sea Term and Cooperative Education programs, and frequently travel to other countries.

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Michigan: Michigan Technological University

- Public colleges considered in Michigan: 15
- Michigan Technological University statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,430,000
- 10-year net present value: $185,000
- Graduation rate: 67%
- Median debt: $19,500

According to the institution's website, the mission of Michigan Technological University, located in Houghton, Michigan, is to "create a just, prosperous, and sustainable world ... expressed through our entrepreneurial spirit—equal parts curiosity and grit." Students at the school develop printable 3D prosthetic hands created from recycled plastic to help kids in Nicaragua, create quieter snowmobiles, and launch orbiting nanosatellites.

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Minnesota: University of Minnesota-Rochester

- Public colleges considered in Minnesota: 12
- University of Minnesota-Rochester statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,104,000
- 10-year net present value: $131,000
- Graduation rate: 59%
- Median debt: $17,000

Founded in 2006, the University of Minnesota-Rochester is one of the newest institutions on this list. Its website says the school is "preparing you for careers in health care with the knowledge to change the world." The school is centered on helping its students get jobs in the health care sphere and offers undergraduate degrees in health sciences and health professions. The latter degree is given in collaboration with Mayo Clinic School of Health Services.

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Mississippi: University of Mississippi

- Public colleges considered in Mississippi: 8
- University of Mississippi statistics
- 40-year net present value: $904,000
- 10-year net present value: $103,000
- Graduation rate: 60%
- Median debt: $15,000

University of Mississippi is also known as Ole Miss, and it was founded in 1848. The school competes in the Southeastern Conference, where college football is king. Archie Manning and his son Eli both played at the university. Ole Miss is more than about college football, though. The school offers many services for students intended to bring people together. Academically, the school is known for its business, accounting, and international studies programs. Like many schools in the South, Ole Miss has an active and extensive alumni network.

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Missouri: Missouri University of Science and Technology

- Public colleges considered in Missouri: 13
- Missouri University of Science and Technology statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,548,000
- 10-year net present value: $213,000
- Graduation rate: 64%
- Median debt: $16,998

Located in Rolla, Missouri, which is a little more than 100 miles southwest of St. Louis, the Missouri University of Science and Technology was founded in 1870 as a school for mining and metallurgy and has become a center for STEM research. More than eight of 10 students are in engineering programs. Experiential learning is strongly emphasized, and students participate in design teams and apply advanced manufacturing techniques to address real-world problems such as replacing defective bridges. The campus features a reconstructed section of Stonehenge that students created out of granite with water jets in the 1980s.

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Montana: Montana State University

- Public colleges considered in Montana: 6
- Montana State University statistics
- 40-year net present value: $891,000
- 10-year net present value: $81,000
- Graduation rate: 54%
- Median debt: $13,000

Montana State University was founded in 1893 and is located in Bozeman. With median student debt of $13,000, Montana State graduates are better positioned than most college graduates financially to begin their careers after commencement. The university's most popular areas of study are mechanical and civil engineering and business.

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Nebraska: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

- Public colleges considered in Nebraska: 6
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln statistics
- 40-year net present value: $965,000
- 10-year net present value: $95,000
- Graduation rate: 67%
- Median debt: $13,875

Many people know the University of Nebraska, a land-grant school chartered in 1869, from its once-proud college football program, which won five national championships in the 1970s and 1990s. That helped raise the school's national profile. Median student debt is less than $14,000, one of the lower median debt burdens on the list. Among the most popular majors at the university are business, engineering, agriculture, communication, and human sciences. The school's website says it is ranked in the top echelon of national research universities. The university's alumni include investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett and late-night TV talk show king Johnny Carson.

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Nevada: University of Nevada-Reno

- Public colleges considered in Nevada: 2
- University of Nevada-Reno statistics
- 40-year net present value: $995,000
- 10-year net present value: $114,000
- Graduation rate: 55%
- Median debt: $12,000

The University of Nevada-Reno, founded in 1874, is the state's lone land grant institution. The school is known for hosting an earthquake-simulation laboratory. Six Pulitzer Prize winners attended the university's well-known journalism program, the Reynolds School of Journalism. Students graduate with a median debt of $12,000, one of the lowest totals on the list.

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New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire at Manchester

- Public colleges considered in New Hampshire: 5
- University of New Hampshire at Manchester statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,084,000
- 10-year net present value: $121,000
- Graduation rate: 48%
- Median debt: $23,000

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New Jersey: New Jersey Institute of Technology

- Public colleges considered in New Jersey: 12
- New Jersey Institute of Technology statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,453,000
- 10-year net present value: $169,000
- Graduation rate: 62%
- Median debt: $18,250

New Jersey Institute of Technology, located in central Newark, is one of New Jersey's centers for STEM education and research. In 2017, the school's research expenditures exceeded $140 million. The institution focuses on utilizing technology to boost business performance and knowledge and creates an entrepreneurship environment. NJIT hosts VentureLink, a startup incubator, offering free resources for students to create startups. The incubator has served as a link between the school and the broader technology community. The school's website said that as of 2017, NJIT has 220 U.S. patents.

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New Mexico: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

- Public colleges considered in New Mexico: 7
- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,084,000
- 10-year net present value: $147,000
- Graduation rate: 48%
- Median debt: $11,710

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, founded in 1889, is located in rural Socorro, about an hour south of Albuquerque. Science, engineering, and technology are the preferred fields of study. The student-faculty ratio is a low 11-1. Students are required to complete a project with a team that pairs students with companies, government entities, or the military. In 2008, the institute purchased the town of Playas, New Mexico, for use as a training facility for counter-terrorism programs. Alumni include Conrad Hilton, the founder of the Hilton hotel chain.

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New York: United States Merchant Marine Academy

- Public colleges considered in New York: 33
- United States Merchant Marine Academy statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,949,000
- 10-year net present value: $298,000
- Graduation rate: 78%
- Median debt: $6,500

Students at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, founded in 1943, graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, a U.S. Coast Guard license, and an officer's commission in the U.S. Armed Forces. Once they graduate, students are obligated to complete five years of active service by working on U.S. merchant vessels, as officers in uniformed services, or as civilians in the maritime field. Students from the United States Merchant Marine Academy graduate with a median debt of $6,500, the lowest of any school on the list.

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North Carolina: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

- Public colleges considered in North Carolina: 16
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,185,000
- 10-year net present value: $143,000
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Median debt: $15,000

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, famed for its men's college basketball program, offers 74 bachelor's degrees and stresses a cross-disciplinary approach to learning. The leading majors at UNC are social sciences, communications, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology, and business. The average freshman retention rate is a soaring 97%, according to U.S. News and World Report. Alumni include basketball legend Michael Jordan and James K. Polk, the 11th president of the United States.

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North Dakota: University of North Dakota

- Public colleges considered in North Dakota: 6
- University of North Dakota statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,040,000
- 10-year net present value: $127,000
- Graduation rate: 55%
- Median debt: $16,850

Founded in 1883, six years before the state was admitted to the Union, the University of North Dakota has one of the nation's most highly regarded aerospace and aviation schools, attracting students mostly from the Midwest. Students willing to brave the often cold temperatures of Grand Forks can also attend the colleges of business and public administration, engineering and mines, and medicine and health sciences. Students commenting on Princeton Review lauded the on-campus resources and the school's affordability.

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Ohio: Miami University-Hamilton

- Public colleges considered in Ohio: 16
- Miami University-Hamilton statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,017,000
- 10-year net present value: $134,000
- Graduation rate: 24%
- Median debt: $16,500

Students at the Miami University-Hamilton in Ohio can pursue 18 bachelor's degrees on a commuter campus. The school has about 3,000 students in Hamilton, which is the largest of Miami's regional locations. The school touts its small classes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling. It is also affordable. Tuition and fees for Ohio students were $6,700 in the 2019-2020 year.

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Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

- Public colleges considered in Oklahoma: 13
- University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,068,000
- 10-year net present value: $110,000
- Graduation rate: 67%
- Median debt: $15,000

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Oregon: Oregon Institute of Technology

- Public colleges considered in Oregon: 8
- Oregon Institute of Technology statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,221,000
- 10-year net present value: $160,000
- Graduation rate: 46%
- Median debt: $15,500

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Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg

- Public colleges considered in Pennsylvania: 39
- University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,123,000
- 10-year net present value: $113,000
- Graduation rate: 44%
- Median debt: $21,500

Located 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg has an enrollment of about 1,500 students. It began awarding degrees in 1988. The school's website emphasizes the institution's academic village layout and encourages its students to engage the world as good citizens and civic leaders. Students pursue majors in business, biology, and psychology.

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Rhode Island: University of Rhode Island

- Public colleges considered in Rhode Island: 2
- University of Rhode Island statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,098,000
- 10-year net present value: $107,000
- Graduation rate: 64%
- Median debt: $18,500

The biggest four-year university in the nation's smallest state is the University of Rhode Island, with an enrollment of more than 14,000 undergraduate students. The Kingston-based institution has more than 90 majors and is known for its marine biology program. Other preferred fields of study include nursing and communications.

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South Carolina: Citadel Military College of South Carolina

- Public colleges considered in South Carolina: 12
- Citadel Military College of South Carolina statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,197,000
- 10-year net present value: $133,000
- Graduation rate: 71%
- Median debt: $17,959

The Citadel, one of the most famous military institutions in the United States, is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and was founded in 1842. The Citadel has 2,300 undergraduate students who comprise the South Carolina Corps of Cadets. Another 1,000 students go to the Citadel Graduate College, a civilian and online program. Its engineering, business, and education schools are highly regarded. The most popular majors are business, criminal justice, and political science.

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South Dakota: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

- Public colleges considered in South Dakota: 6
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,212,000
- 10-year net present value: $153,000
- Graduation rate: 49%
- Median debt: $18,251

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Tennessee: University of Tennessee-Knoxville

- Public colleges considered in Tennessee: 9
- University of Tennessee-Knoxville statistics
- 40-year net present value: $933,000
- 10-year net present value: $88,000
- Graduation rate: 70%
- Median debt: $14,000

Students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, founded in 1794, are helped by the university's strong relationships with world-famous organizations such as Oak Ridge National Lab and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The overwhelming number of students are from Tennessee, but the enrollment is so large, made up of over 23,000 undergraduates, that the university attracts students from all over the world. Students major in business, engineering, social sciences, communication, and fitness studies.

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Texas: University of Texas at Austin

- Public colleges considered in Texas: 33
- University of Texas at Austin statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,233,000
- 10-year net present value: $142,000
- Graduation rate: 82%
- Median debt: $20,366

Like the state it represents, the University of Texas is huge, with more than 40,000 undergrads. UT Austin's distinguished academic departments range from the sciences to the arts, and the school offers many services such as free gym membership, legal help, career advice, and tutoring help. The school is located in Austin, the state capital, and offers many job opportunities for students to pursue careers in government. Among its alumni are businessman Michael Dell, Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, film director Robert Rodriguez, and television journalist Walter Cronkite.

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Utah: University of Utah

- Public colleges considered in Utah: 5
- University of Utah statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,131,000
- 10-year net present value: $138,000
- Graduation rate: 66%
- Median debt: $11,500

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Vermont: University of Vermont

- Public colleges considered in Vermont: 4
- University of Vermont statistics
- 40-year net present value: $980,000
- 10-year net present value: $94,000
- Graduation rate: 75%
- Median debt: $17,903

The fifth-oldest university in New England is the University of Vermont, which was founded in 1791. The school is located in Burlington, Vermont's largest city, and has more than 100 bachelor's degree programs. Many UVM alumni have entered the Peace Corps after graduation. The school's website says there are about 500 study abroad opportunities for UVM students in over 70 countries, and 24% of UVM undergraduates study overseas.

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Virginia: Virginia Military Institute

- Public colleges considered in Virginia: 15
- Virginia Military Institute statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,375,000
- 10-year net present value: $143,000
- Graduation rate: 77%
- Median debt: $19,500

Few states have as rich a military tradition as Virginia, and the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington is one of the nation's oldest, founded in 1839. The stated mission of the school on its website is "to produce citizen-soldiers, men and women educated for civilian life and also prepared to serve their country in the armed forces." Each cadet must participate in an ROTC program before he or she graduates. VMI alumni have won Nobel and Pulitzer prizes and been awarded seven Medals of Honor. VMI is routinely listed among the nation's best undergraduate liberal arts colleges.

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Washington: University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

- Public colleges considered in Washington: 8
- University of Washington-Tacoma Campus statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,263,000
- 10-year net present value: $182,000
- Graduation rate: 59%
- Median debt: $13,000

University of Washington-Tacoma, one of three campuses of the university, opened in 1990. The Tacoma campus emphasizes community engagement for its students and faculty. Tacoma prides itself on its diversity, and more than 80% of its students transfer to the school from community colleges or other universities. Students work on research and service projects geared toward getting a job after graduation. UW Tacoma's areas of study include education, technology, and social work. Students can study abroad in countries like Italy, China, Israel, Japan, and Tanzania.

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West Virginia: West Virginia University Institute of Technology

- Public colleges considered in West Virginia: 10
- West Virginia University Institute of Technology statistics
- 40-year net present value: $991,000
- 10-year net present value: $133,000
- Graduation rate: 21%
- Median debt: $14,771

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Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-Madison

- Public colleges considered in Wisconsin: 13
- University of Wisconsin-Madison statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,178,000
- 10-year net present value: $125,000
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Median debt: $19,639

The University of Wisconsin in Madison is one of the most notable progressive institutions in the United States, the school that fully embraced the "Wisconsin Idea," the belief that the university should be a positive influence on people's lives outside of the classroom. The University of Wisconsin in Madison is a 936-acre research campus where 30,000 undergraduates can choose from among 129 majors. Students commenting on Princeton Review laud the "abundance of research opportunities in all fields" as well as the school's cutting-edge technology. There are also many opportunities to study overseas. Some of the first successful bone marrow transplants took place on the university's campus, and the school has produced 38 Pulitzer Prize winners. Actors Joan Cusack and Fredric March and filmmaker Michael Mann are among the school's notable alumni.

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Wyoming: University of Wyoming

- Public colleges considered in Wyoming: 1
- University of Wyoming statistics
- 40-year net present value: $1,010,000
- 10-year net present value: $124,000
- Graduation rate: 57%
- Median debt: $11,250

University of Wyoming, a land grant research institution founded in 1886, is located in Laramie. UW offers 80 undergraduate academic programs focused on the arts and humanities, science and technology, life sciences, environment and natural resources. Each year UW students study in nearly 50 countries. With a median debt of $11,250, graduates can start their careers with low debt pressure. Alumni include Dick Cheney, the former vice president of the United States.

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