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2021 Best Value General Education Schools

Highlighting Quality Schools With More Affordable Pricing

432 Colleges
$17,876 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$47,138 Avg Salary

Finding the Best General Education School for You

In 2018-2019, 31,066 people earned a degree or certificate in general education, making the major the #40 most popular in the United States.

There are so many programs in today's world that it can tough to figure out which one is the right one 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, Course Advisor has developed this Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 432 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best value experiences for education 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. 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.

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

2021 Best Value General Education Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best value schools for education majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality in Education

$3,711 Average Tuition & Fees

Our 2021 rankings named Highland Community College the best value school in the United States for general education students. Highland Community College is a small public school located in the rural area of Highland.

Highland Community College undergraduate students pay an average of $3,711 in tuition and fees each year. While working on their degree, education majors at Highland Community College accumulate an average of around $11,900 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $124.

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#2

Martin Luther College

New Ulm, MN

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Martin Luther College. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the distant 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.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, MLC also is in the top 10% of our Best General Education Schools ranking.

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$7,128 Average Tuition & Fees

Out of the 432 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Middlesex County College landed the # 3 spot on the list. Located in the large suburb of Edison, Middlesex County College is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Middlesex County College undergraduate students pay an average of $7,128 in tuition and fees each year.

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#4

Connors State College

Warner, OK
$7,434 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Connors State College. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. CSC is a small public school located in the rural area of Warner.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at CSC are $7,434 per year. The average amount in student loans that education majors at CSC take out is $8,000. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $83.

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$4,605 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Santa Fe Community College. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the small suburb of Santa Fe, SFCC is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SFCC are $4,605 per year.

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#6

Cabrini University

Radnor, PA
$32,865 Average Tuition & Fees

Cabrini University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Cabrini University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Radnor.

Cabrini University undergraduate students pay an average of $32,865 in tuition and fees each year. The average amount in student loans that education majors at Cabrini University take out is $21,452. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $234, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #7, Trident University International did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Located in the suburb of Cypress, TUI is a private for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at TUI are $9,240 a year.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, TUI also is in the top 15% of our Best General Education Schools ranking.

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#8

Grand View University

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

Grand View University landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. Grand View University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Des Moines.

Grand View University undergraduate students pay an average of $28,678 in tuition and fees each year.

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Arizona State University - Skysong did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for general education students. It came in at #9 on the list. ASU - Skysong is a very large public school located in the large city of Scottsdale.

ASU - Skysong undergraduate students pay an average of $19,560 in tuition and fees each year.

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#10

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

With a ranking of #10, Brandman University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Brandman is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Irvine.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Brandman are $12,440 a 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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Southwest Minnesota State University ranked #11 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. Located in the remote town of Marshall, Southwest Minnesota State University is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

Southwest Minnesota State University undergraduate students pay an average of $8,874 in tuition and fees each year. While working on their degree, education majors at Southwest Minnesota State University accumulate an average of around $18,570 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $203.

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#12

Worcester State University

Worcester, MA
$16,241 Average Tuition & Fees

Worcester State University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Located in the midsize city of Worcester, Worcester State is a public school with a medium-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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$4,860 Average Tuition & Fees

Northeast Community College landed the #13 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. Northeast is a moderately-sized public school located in the remote town of Norfolk.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Northeast are $4,860 a year.

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$36,670 Average Tuition & Fees

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. SMU MN is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Winona.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at SMU MN are $36,670 per year. After completing their degree, education graduates from SMU MN carry an average student debtload of $15,500. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $181.

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#15

Midway University

Midway, KY
$24,850 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #15, Midway University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Located in the rural area of Midway, Midway is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Midway are $24,850 per year.

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$4,855 Average Tuition & Fees

University of New Mexico - Gallup Campus landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. UNM Gallup is a small public school located in the rural area of Gallup.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at UNM Gallup are $4,855 per year.

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With a ranking of #17, Minot State University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. MSU is a small public school located in the remote town of Minot.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at MSU are $7,592 per year.

MSU also claimed a spot on our Best General Education Schools list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#18

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN

Bemidji State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for general education students. It came in at #18 on the list. Bemidji State University is a small public school located in the town of Bemidji.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Bemidji State University are $8,940 per year.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Bemidji State University also is in the top 15% of our Best General Education Schools ranking.

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#19

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN

Bethel University Minnesota came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Saint Paul, Bethel University Minnesota 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 Bethel University Minnesota are $38,460 a year. The average amount in student loans that education majors at Bethel University Minnesota take out is $23,010. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $268, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Bethel University Minnesota also is in the top 10% of our Best General Education Schools ranking.

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#20

Messiah University

Mechanicsburg, PA
$36,120 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #20, Messiah University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Messiah is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Mechanicsburg.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Messiah are $36,120 per year.

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$36,950 Average Tuition & Fees

Point Loma Nazarene University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Value General Education Schools list. PLNU is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of San Diego.

PLNU undergraduate students pay an average of $36,950 in tuition and fees each year. After completing their degree, education graduates from PLNU carry an average student debtload of $36,590. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $426, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#22

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, IN
$8,661 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #22, Ivy Tech Community College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for general education students. Ivy Tech Community College is a fairly large public school located in the city of Indianapolis.

Ivy Tech Community College undergraduate students pay an average of $8,661 in tuition and fees each year. On average, education graduates from Ivy Tech Community College take out $11,620 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $121.

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#23

Holy Family University

Philadelphia, PA
$31,040 Average Tuition & Fees

Holy Family University came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Located in the city of Philadelphia, Holy Family is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Holy Family undergraduate students pay an average of $31,040 in tuition and fees each year.

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$24,520 Average Tuition & Fees

Southwest Baptist University landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value general education programs. Located in the town of Bolivar, Southwest Baptist University 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 Southwest Baptist University are $24,520 a year. Education majors at Southwest Baptist University take out an average of $13,038 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $152.

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Minnesota State University - Mankato came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Value General Education Schools ranking. Minnesota State Mankato is a large public school located in the small city of Mankato.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Minnesota State Mankato are $16,730 per year. On average, education graduates from Minnesota State Mankato take out $28,733 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $335.

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 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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Rest of the Top Best Value General Education Schools

#27

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN
#30

Cedarville University

Cedarville, OH
#31

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN
#32

Post University

Waterbury, CT
#33

Winona State University

Winona, MN
#34

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL
#35

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE
#37

University of Saint Mary

Leavenworth, KS
#42

Whitworth University

Spokane, WA
#49

Baker University

Baldwin City, KS
#49

American International College

Springfield, MA

Additional Award Winners

This section represents the rest of the schools awarded a Best Value General Education Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 432 different United States general education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
52 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
53 Union University Jackson, TN
54 Peru State College Peru, NE
55 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
56 Muskingum University New Concord, OH
57 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Green Bay, WI
58 Cumberland University Lebanon, TN
58 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
60 California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA
61 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
62 Mercer University Macon, GA
63 California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA
64 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA

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
65 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
65 McKendree University Lebanon, IL
67 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
68 Jackson State University Jackson, MS
69 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
69 Westminster College Pennsylvania New Wilmington, PA
71 National University La Jolla, CA
72 Converse College Spartanburg, SC
73 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
73 Whittier College Whittier, CA
75 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
75 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
77 Salem State University Salem, MA
78 Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles, CA
79 Bluffton University Bluffton, OH
80 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
81 Pima Community College Tucson, AZ
82 University of Central Arkansas Conway, AR
83 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
84 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
85 California State University - Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA
86 Le Moyne College Syracuse, NY

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.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
Special Education 30,639
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767

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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