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2021 Best Value Nursing Schools

Identifying Quality Schools at More Affordable Prices

611 Colleges
$21,816 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$67,065 Avg Salary

Finding the Best Nursing School for You

Nursing is one of the most popular majors in the nation, ranking 2nd of all the majors we analyze. In 2018-2019, 63,380 degrees and certificates were awarded to students with this major.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which program is right for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Grad Degree Search has developed this Best Value Nursing Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 611 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best value experiences for nursing students with the aim of identifying those quality schools that are more affordable than some of their counterparts.

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. More specifically, we discount our quality score by the published tuition and fees charged by a school. This gives the cost per unit of quality for each college. The value is determined by how much quality your dollar buys.

Our calculations use out-of-state tuition and fees in our nationwide and regional rankings. Average in-state tuition and fees are used for our statewide rankings.

2021 Best Value Nursing Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Value Nursing Colleges.

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality in Nursing

#1

Otterbein University

Westerville, OH
$32,474 Average Tuition & Fees

Our 2021 rankings named Otterbein University the best value school in the United States for nursing students. Located in the suburb of Westerville, Otterbein is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Otterbein undergraduate students pay an average of $32,474 in tuition and fees each year.

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$11,630 Average Tuition & Fees

A rank of #2 on this year’s list means Denver College of Nursing is a great value for nursing students. Located in the large city of Denver, Denver College of Nursing is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

Denver College of Nursing undergraduate students pay an average of $11,630 in tuition and fees each year.

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$35,564 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Nursing Schools list. Located in the city of Lincoln, NWU is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at NWU are $35,564 per year.

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#4

Mount Marty University

Yankton, SD
$28,126 Average Tuition & Fees

Out of the 611 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Mount Marty University landed the # 4 spot on the list. Located in the town of Yankton, Mount Marty is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Mount Marty undergraduate students pay an average of $28,126 in tuition and fees each year.

Full Nursing at Mount Marty University Report

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$11,100 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at American Sentinel University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best nursing schools in the United States. Located in the large city of Aurora, American Sentinel University is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at American Sentinel University are $11,100 a year.

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$5,986 Average Tuition & Fees

Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value nursing programs. Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Arecibo.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Arecibo are $5,986 per year.

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#7

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, MA

Fitchburg State University ranked #7 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Schools list. Fitchburg State is a moderately-sized public school located in the midsize suburb of Fitchburg.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Fitchburg State are $16,585 a year.

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#8

Morningside College

Sioux City, IA
$32,720 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #8, Morningside College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students. Morningside is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Sioux City.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Morningside are $32,720 a year.

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#9

Worcester State University

Worcester, MA
$16,241 Average Tuition & Fees

Worcester State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for nursing students. It came in at #9 on the list. Worcester State is a medium-sized public school located in the midsize city of Worcester.

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

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$20,596 Average Tuition & Fees

Kentucky Christian University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for nursing students. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in the distant town of Grayson, Kentucky Christian University is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Kentucky Christian University undergraduate students pay an average of $20,596 in tuition and fees each year.

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#11

Ashland University

Ashland, OH
$21,965 Average Tuition & Fees

Ashland University landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value nursing programs. Located in the town of Ashland, Ashland is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

Ashland undergraduate students pay an average of $21,965 in tuition and fees each year.

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$36,670 Average Tuition & Fees

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value nursing programs. Located in the town of Winona, SMU MN is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

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

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$6,550 Average Tuition & Fees

Central Methodist University - College of Graduate & Extended Studies ranked #13 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Schools list. Located in the town of Fayette, CMU CGES is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at CMU CGES are $6,550 per year.

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#14

Grantham University

Lenexa, KS
$8,280 Average Tuition & Fees

Grantham University landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value nursing programs. Located in the small city of Lenexa, Grantham University is a private for-profit school with a medium-sized student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Grantham University are $8,280 per year.

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Minnesota State University - Mankato landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value nursing programs. Located in the small city of Mankato, Minnesota State Mankato is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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

Minnesota State Mankato also claimed a spot on our Best Nursing Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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$24,520 Average Tuition & Fees

Southwest Baptist University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Schools ranking. Southwest Baptist University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Bolivar.

Southwest Baptist University undergraduate students pay an average of $24,520 in tuition and fees each year.

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#17

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD
$37,142 Average Tuition & Fees

Stevenson University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for nursing students. It came in at #17 on the list. Located in the rural area of Stevenson, Stevenson 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 Stevenson are $37,142 a year.

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#18

Saint Vincent College

Latrobe, PA
$36,510 Average Tuition & Fees

Saint Vincent College ranked #18 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Schools list. Saint Vincent is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Latrobe.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Saint Vincent are $36,510 a year.

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$11,265 Average Tuition & Fees

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value nursing programs. SIUE is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Edwardsville.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SIUE are $11,265 per year.

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#20

Viterbo University

La Crosse, WI
$28,650 Average Tuition & Fees

Viterbo University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for nursing students. It came in at #20 on the list. Located in the city of La Crosse, Viterbo is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Viterbo undergraduate students pay an average of $28,650 in tuition and fees each year.

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$21,716 Average Tuition & Fees

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing ranked #21 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Schools list. Located in the midsize city of Peoria, St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing undergraduate students pay an average of $21,716 in tuition and fees each year.

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#21

Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor, MI
$29,630 Average Tuition & Fees

Spring Arbor University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Schools list. Located in the small suburb of Spring Arbor, Spring Arbor is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Spring Arbor are $29,630 per year.

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With a ranking of #21, Concordia University, Irvine did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students. Located in the city of Irvine, Concordia University, Irvine is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Concordia University, Irvine undergraduate students pay an average of $36,740 in tuition and fees each year.

In addition to its great value ranking, Concordia University, Irvine is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Nursing Schools list.

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#24

MSU Texas

Wichita Falls, TX
$11,329 Average Tuition & Fees

MSU Texas did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for nursing students. It came in at #24 on the list. Located in the midsize city of Wichita Falls, MSU Texas is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at MSU Texas are $11,329 per year.

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#25

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT
$6,670 Average Tuition & Fees

Western Governors University ranked #25 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Schools list. WGU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Salt Lake City.

WGU undergraduate students pay an average of $6,670 in tuition and fees each year.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Value Nursing Schools

#26

United States University

San Diego, CA
#27

Clarkson College

Omaha, NE
#28

Newman University

Wichita, KS
#29

Universidad del Turabo

Gurabo, PR
#30

Holy Family University

Philadelphia, PA
#31

University of Scranton

Scranton, PA
#32

Cumberland University

Lebanon, TN
#33

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI
#34

Wilson College

Chambersburg, PA
#34

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#37

McKendree University

Lebanon, IL
#39

Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA
#44

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE
#46

Union University

Jackson, TN
#50

Salve Regina University

Newport, RI

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Value Nursing Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 611 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Research College of Nursing Kansas City, MO
52 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS
53 West Coast University - Orange County Anaheim, CA
53 Concordia University, Wisconsin Mequon, WI
55 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
56 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
57 Endicott College Beverly, MA
58 Illinois State University Normal, IL
59 Wheeling Jesuit University Wheeling, WV
60 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
60 Midway University Midway, KY
62 Marian University Fond Du Lac, WI
63 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
64 University of Saint Francis - Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IN
65 Cedarville University Cedarville, OH
66 Augsburg University Minneapolis, MN
67 Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth, TX
68 Immaculata University Immaculata, PA
69 American International College Springfield, MA
70 Gardner - Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
71 Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus, OH
72 Northwest Nazarene University Nampa, ID
73 Chamberlain University - Illinois Addison, IL
74 Rivier University Nashua, NH
75 Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN
76 Villanova University Villanova, PA
77 Mount Mercy University Cedar Rapids, IA
78 Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global Marion, IN
79 Youngstown State University Youngstown, OH
80 Charleston Southern University Charleston, SC
81 University of St Francis Joliet, IL
82 Lenoir - Rhyne University Hickory, NC
82 Alverno College Milwaukee, WI
82 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
85 The College of Saint Scholastica Duluth, MN
86 Purdue University Northwest Hammond, IN
86 Alcorn State University Alcorn State, MS
88 American Public University System Charles Town, WV
89 Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA
89 Hampton University Hampton, VA
91 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great value schools for Nursing graduate students seeking value that almost earned our Best Value Nursing Schools award.

Rank College Location
92 Dewey University - Hato Rey Hato Rey, PR
93 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
94 Le Moyne College Syracuse, NY
95 The University of Tampa Tampa, FL
96 Bellarmine University Louisville, KY
96 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Lubbock, TX
98 Barton College Wilson, NC
98 Arkansas State University - Main Campus Jonesboro, AR
100 University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR
101 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
101 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
103 Anderson University South Carolina Anderson, SC
104 Bluefield College Bluefield, VA
104 Salem State University Salem, MA
104 Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD
107 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
108 Palm Beach Atlantic University West Palm Beach, FL
109 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
109 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS
111 Tusculum College Greeneville, TN
112 Briar Cliff University Sioux City, IA
112 Carson - Newman University Jefferson City, TN
112 The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX
115 York College of Pennsylvania York, PA
115 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
117 Harding University Searcy, AR
118 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
119 Clarke University Dubuque, IA
120 Frostburg State University Frostburg, MD
121 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
122 Walsh University North Canton, OH

Nursing by Region

View the Best Value Nursing 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 33 majors within the area of study, nursing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 23,124
Medicine 19,720
Public Health 18,212
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 16,970
Health & Medical Administrative Services 14,633

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 Aleksahgabrielle.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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