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Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools

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2021 Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools

Identifying Quality Schools at More Affordable Prices

86 Colleges
$22,413 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$26,786 Avg Salary

Finding the Best Liberal Arts General Studies School for You

In 2018-2019, 2,436 people earned a degree or certificate in liberal arts general studies, making the major the #80 most popular in the United States.

When it comes to higher education, there are a lot of options for students. 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.

The Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools ranking is one of many tools that Grad Degree Search has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 86 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best value experiences for liberal arts students with the aim of identifying those quality schools that are more affordable than some of their counterparts.

This ranking is not just a list of inexpensive schools. We also consider each school's quality, since we believe a low-quality school may not be a 'bargain' at any price. 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.

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

2021 Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Colleges.

Top 15% Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools

$7,324 Average Tuition & Fees

Our 2021 rankings named American Public University System the best value school in the United States for liberal arts general studies students. American Military University is a very large private for-profit school located in the fringe town of Charles Town.

American Military University undergraduate students pay an average of $7,324 in tuition and fees each year.

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$19,560 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at Arizona State University - Skysong helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best liberal arts general studies schools in the United States. Located in the large city of Scottsdale, ASU - Skysong is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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

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#3

Henderson State University

Arkadelphia, AR
$10,521 Average Tuition & Fees

A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Henderson State University is a great value for liberal arts general studies students. Located in the distant town of Arkadelphia, Henderson State University is a public school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Henderson State University are $10,521 a year.

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$12,940 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at Western Illinois University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best liberal arts general studies schools in the United States. Located in the remote town of Macomb, WIU is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

WIU undergraduate students pay an average of $12,940 in tuition and fees each year.

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#5

Excelsior College

Albany, NY
$0 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at Excelsior College helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best liberal arts general studies schools in the United States. Located in the small city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Excelsior College are $0 a year.

Full Liberal Arts General Studies at Excelsior College Report

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#6

DePaul University

Chicago, IL
$41,202 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #6, DePaul University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for liberal arts general studies students. Located in the large city of Chicago, DePaul is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at DePaul are $41,202 per year.

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#7

Adams State University

Alamosa, CO
$20,947 Average Tuition & Fees

Adams State University ranked #7 on this year’s Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list. Adams State is a small public school located in the remote town of Alamosa.

Adams State undergraduate students pay an average of $20,947 in tuition and fees each year.

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$17,157 Average Tuition & Fees

Texas A & M University - Central Texas did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for liberal arts general studies students. It came in at #8 on the list. Located in the rural area of Killeen, Texas A & M University - Central Texas is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Texas A & M University - Central Texas are $17,157 per year.

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With a ranking of #9, Pennsylvania State University - World Campus did quite well on this year’s best value schools for liberal arts general studies students. Penn State World Campus is a small public school located in the rural area of University Park.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Penn State World Campus are $13,988 per year.

On top of its placing in our value ranking, Penn State World Campus also did well on our Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#10

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University ranked #10 on this year’s Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list. Located in the suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

Villanova undergraduate students pay an average of $55,280 in tuition and fees each year.

In addition to its great value ranking, Villanova is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Liberal Arts General Studies Schools list.

Full Liberal Arts General Studies at Villanova University Report

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#11

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY
$27,845 Average Tuition & Fees

Stony Brook University came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Stony Brook, SUNY Stony Brook is a public college with a very large student population.

SUNY Stony Brook undergraduate students pay an average of $27,845 in tuition and fees each year.

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#12

Regis University

Denver, CO
$38,180 Average Tuition & Fees

Regis University landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value liberal arts general studies programs. Regis U is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Denver.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Regis U are $38,180 a year.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

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

Rank College Location
13 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
14 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
15 Harding University Searcy, AR
16 The Graduate Center, CUNY New York, NY
17 Clayton State University Morrow, GA

Liberal Arts General Studies by Region

View the Best Value Liberal Arts General Studies Schools for a specific region near you.

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

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).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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