The 20 US public colleges that offer the best value for your money

Kathleen Elkins
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Some public colleges give you more bang for your buck.

Kiplinger recently released its list of 300 best-value public and private schools, ranked based on quality — including test scores of incoming students, admission rates, academic support, and graduation rates — and cost measures, such as total cost, financial aid packages, and average debt at graduation.

Read Kiplinger's full methodology.

Here, we rounded up the 20 best-value public colleges on the list for out-of-state students, along with total annual cost and average student debt at graduation for each. Note that there are separate rankings for the best-value public schools for in-state students, with some overlap — UNC Chapel Hill, for example, ranked as the best-value college for both in- and out-of-state students.

We also included the median earnings of students at each school 10 years after starting their studies, from the US Department of Education's College Scorecard:

20. University of Washington

Curtis Cronn / Flickr

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $46,659

Total annual cost (in-state): $24,355

Average debt at graduation: $21,532

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$52,100

*UW ranked number nine for in-state students.


19. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Via Flickr

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $27,789

Total annual cost (in-state): $15,265

Average debt at graduation: $20,944

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$52,800

*New Mexico Tech ranked number 21 for in-state students.


18. University of Georgia

University of Georgia Facebook

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $40,122

Total annual cost (in-state): $21,912

Average debt at graduation: $21,638

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$46,500

*UGA ranked number 12 for in-state students.


17. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Flickr/VSmithUK

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $42,996

Total annual cost (in-state): $27,836

Average debt at graduation: $23,808

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$56,600

* U of I ranked number 26 for in-state students.


16. SUNY at Binghamton


Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $36,371

Total annual cost (in-state): $23,251

Average debt at graduation: $25,727

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$58,400

*Binghamton University ranked number 26 for in-state students.


15. Florida State University

Flickr/ukine

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $32,737

Total annual cost (in-state): $17,571

Average debt at graduation: $24,347

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$44,000

*FSU ranked number 16 for in-state students.


14. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $54,078

Total annual cost (in-state): $25,458

Average debt at graduation: $26,510

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$57,900

*University of Michigan ranked number five for in-state students.


13. SUNY College at Geneseo

Via Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $30,943

Total annual cost (in-state): $21,093

Average debt at graduation: $23,308

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$46,700

*SUNY Geneseo ranked number 37 for in-state students.


12. Ohio State University


Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $40,279

Total annual cost (in-state): $22,951

Average debt at graduation: $26,830

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$42,600

*OSU ranked number 17 for in-state students.


11. University of Maryland-College Park

Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $43,246

Total annual cost (in-state): $22,098

Average debt at graduation: $25,131

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$59,100

*The University of Maryland ranked number seven for in-state students.


10. University of California-Los Angeles

Via Flickr

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $53,974

Total annual cost (in-state): $29,266

Average debt at graduation: $20,759

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$59,200

*UCLA ranked number six for in-state students.


9. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $36,319

Total annual cost (in-state): $19,968

Average debt at graduation: $20,482

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$47,500

*NC State ranked number 11 for in-state students.


8. University of Wisconsin–Madison

Flickr/Richard Hurd

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $39,669

Total annual cost (in-state): $20,419

Average debt at graduation: $26,579

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$51,000

*University of Wisconsin also ranked number eight for in-state students.


7. College of William and Mary

Michele/Flickr

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $53,350

Total annual cost (in-state): $31,650

Average debt at graduation: $25,733

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$56,400

*William and Mary ranked number 10 for in-state students.


6. University of California-Berkeley

Via Flickr

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $54,801

Total annual cost (in-state): $30,093

Average debt at graduation: $17,584

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$62,700

*UC Berkeley ranked number four for in-state students.


5. Truman State University

Via Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $23,475

Total annual cost (in-state): $16,936

Average debt at graduation: $23,585

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$42,700

*Truman State ranked number 15 for in-state students.


4. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Michael Hicks/flickr

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $32,524

Total annual cost (in-state): $24,104

Average debt at graduation: $26,796

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$47,800

*University of Minnesota ranked number 25 for in-state students.


3. University of Florida

Wikimedia Commons

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $39,609

Total annual cost (in-state): $17,331

Average debt at graduation: $20,642

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$51,300

*University of Florida ranked number two for in-state students.


2. University of Virginia

Shutterstock

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $55,644

Total annual cost (in-state): $26,348

Average debt at graduation: $22,933

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$58,600

*UVA ranked number three for in-state students.


1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Shutterstock

Total annual cost (out-of-state): $46,017

Total annual cost (in-state): $20,935

Average debt at graduation: $18,945

Median earnings 10 years after enrolling:$50,400

*UNC Chapel Hill also ranked number one for in-state students.


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