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2021 Best Value General Education Schools

Highlighting Quality Schools With More Affordable Pricing

336 Colleges
$24,907 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$47,138 Avg Salary

Finding the Best General Education School for You

In 2018-2019, 23,737 general education students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #8 most popular in the country.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. You can choose a traditional brick and mortar school, or with the growth of online education, you can attend a school half-way across the country without even leaving your house. Also there are many trade schools that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Grad Degree Search has developed this Best Value General Education Schools ranking. This report analyzed 336 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best value programs for education students. The goal was to highlight schools with more affordable prices than others offering similar quality experiences.

When determining this ranking, we place a high emphasis on the school's quality as well as its sticker price. Even though a college may be affordable, it may not offer value. Specifically, our score for quality is discounted by the published tuition and fees charged by the given college. This gives the cost per unit of quality for each college. The more quality your dollar buys, the better the value.

Our calculations use out-of-state tuition and fees in our nationwide and regional rankings. For statewide rankings, we use average in-state tuition and fees.

2021 Best Value General Education Schools in the United States

Check out the education programs at these schools if you want to get the best value for your educational dollar.

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality in Education

#1

Martin Luther College

New Ulm, MN
$15,870 Average Tuition & Fees

Our 2021 rankings named Martin Luther College the best value school in the United States for general education students. Located in the town of New Ulm, MLC is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at MLC are $15,870 a year.

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#2

Cabrini University

Radnor, PA
$32,865 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Cabrini University. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Cabrini University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Radnor.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Cabrini University are $32,865 a year.

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$9,240 Average Tuition & Fees

A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Trident University International is a great value for general education students. Located in the suburb of Cypress, TUI is a private for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

TUI undergraduate students pay an average of $9,240 in tuition and fees each year.

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#4

Grand View University

Des Moines, IA
$28,678 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at Grand View University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best general education schools in the United States. Grand View University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Des Moines.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Grand View University are $28,678 a year.

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$19,560 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Arizona State University - Skysong. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value General Education Schools list. ASU - Skysong is a very large public school located in the city of Scottsdale.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at ASU - Skysong are $19,560 per year.

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#6

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Brandman University ranked #6 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Brandman is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Irvine.

Brandman undergraduate students pay an average of $12,440 in tuition and fees each year.

Brandman also claimed a spot on our Best General Education Schools list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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$8,874 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #7, Southwest Minnesota State University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Located in the remote town of Marshall, Southwest Minnesota State University is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

Southwest Minnesota State University undergraduate students pay an average of $8,874 in tuition and fees each year.

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#8

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University ranked #8 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the large city of Saint Paul, Hamline is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Hamline are $43,464 per year.

In addition to its great value ranking, Hamline is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best General Education Schools list.

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#9

Worcester State University

Worcester, MA
$16,241 Average Tuition & Fees

Worcester State University ranked #9 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the midsize city of Worcester, Worcester State is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Worcester State are $16,241 a year.

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$36,670 Average Tuition & Fees

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. SMU MN is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Winona.

SMU MN undergraduate students pay an average of $36,670 in tuition and fees each year.

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#11

Midway University

Midway, KY
$24,850 Average Tuition & Fees

Midway University came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Located in the rural area of Midway, Midway is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Midway are $24,850 a year.

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$7,592 Average Tuition & Fees

Minot State University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. MSU is a small public school located in the town of Minot.

MSU undergraduate students pay an average of $7,592 in tuition and fees each year.

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#13

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN
$8,940 Average Tuition & Fees

Bemidji State University ranked #13 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Bemidji State University is a small public school located in the town of Bemidji.

Bemidji State University undergraduate students pay an average of $8,940 in tuition and fees each year.

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#14

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University Minnesota landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. Located in the suburb of Saint Paul, Bethel University Minnesota is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Bethel University Minnesota are $38,460 a year.

In addition to its great value ranking, Bethel University Minnesota is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best General Education Schools list.

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#15

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, PA
$36,120 Average Tuition & Fees

Messiah University landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. Messiah is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Mechanicsburg.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Messiah are $36,120 a year.

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$36,950 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #16, Point Loma Nazarene University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. PLNU is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of San Diego.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at PLNU are $36,950 per year.

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$24,520 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #17, Southwest Baptist University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Located in the distant town of Bolivar, Southwest Baptist University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Southwest Baptist University are $24,520 a year.

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$19,875 Average Tuition & Fees

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. MCLA is a small public school located in the town of North Adams.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at MCLA are $19,875 a year.

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#19

Holy Family University

Philadelphia, PA
$31,040 Average Tuition & Fees

Holy Family University landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, Holy Family is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Holy Family are $31,040 per year.

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Minnesota State University - Mankato came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Minnesota State Mankato is a large public school located in the city of Mankato.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Minnesota State Mankato are $16,730 per year.

On top of its placing in our value ranking, Minnesota State Mankato also did well on our Best General Education Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#21

Concordia University, Chicago

River Forest, IL
$32,880 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #21, Concordia University, Chicago did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Located in the suburb of River Forest, Concordia University, Chicago is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Concordia University, Chicago are $32,880 a year.

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$32,210 Average Tuition & Fees

University of Northwestern - St Paul did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for general education students. It came in at #22 on the list. Northwestern is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Saint Paul.

Northwestern undergraduate students pay an average of $32,210 in tuition and fees each year.

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#23

Cedarville University

Cedarville, OH
$31,322 Average Tuition & Fees

Cedarville University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for general education students. It came in at #23 on the list. Cedarville is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Cedarville.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Cedarville are $31,322 a year.

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#24

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN
$41,820 Average Tuition & Fees

Valparaiso University ranked #24 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Valparaiso, Valpo is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Valpo undergraduate students pay an average of $41,820 in tuition and fees each year.

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#25

Post University

Waterbury, CT
$15,458 Average Tuition & Fees

Post University ranked #25 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the midsize suburb of Waterbury, Post University is a private for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Post University undergraduate students pay an average of $15,458 in tuition and fees each year.

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Rest of the Top Best Value General Education Schools

#26

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#27

Cumberland University

Lebanon, TN
#27

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL
#29

Whitworth University

Spokane, WA
#30

University of Saint Mary

Leavenworth, KS
#34

Piedmont College

Demorest, GA
#42

Alverno College

Milwaukee, WI
#43

American International College

Springfield, MA
#43

Baker University

Baldwin City, KS
#47

Union University

Jackson, TN
#48

University of Saint Joseph

West Hartford, CT
#49

Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA
#50

Muskingum University

New Concord, OH

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Value General Education Schools award.

Rank College Location
51 McKendree University Lebanon, IL
52 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
53 California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA
54 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
54 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
56 Mercer University Macon, GA
57 California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA
58 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
59 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
60 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
61 Jackson State University Jackson, MS
62 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
62 Westminster College Pennsylvania New Wilmington, PA
64 National University La Jolla, CA
65 Heritage University Toppenish, WA
66 Biola University La Mirada, CA
66 Converse College Spartanburg, SC

General Education by Region

View the Best Value General Education Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 14 majors within the area of study, general education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Education

Related Major Annual Graduates
Educational Administration 43,584
Teacher Education Grade Specific 29,615
Special Education 20,510
Teacher Education Subject Specific 20,147
Curriculum & Instruction 18,738

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • 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 the rest 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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to KOKUYO.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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