Finding the best bang for your buck makes the most economic sense for your economics degree. According to PayScale, economics is the 32nd highest-paying bachelor’s major with a median mid-career salary of $100,000. Studying economics qualifies you for lucrative business jobs like economist, market research analyst, actuary, product manager, financial planner, commercial loan officer, and benefits administrator. Paying back hefty student loan bills can hinder your post-graduate ROI potential though. Therefore, we’ve combed through the United States education market for The Top 15 Cheapest Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics.
Our ranking was formed by recording average in-state undergraduate tuition for 2015-16 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). We utilized the College Navigator search tool to filter through public or private colleges charging state residents under $7,000 per year. Each prospective school had to offer at least one economics bachelor’s degree or specialization. Regional accreditation was mandatory, and strong preference was given for programmatic accreditation from bodies like the AACSB or ACBSP. We also looked for curricular quality while judging the affordability of financial aid, credit transfer, and student support.
1. Fort Hays State University
Endowed for $70.95 million, Fort Hays State University is Kansas’ third-largest public college that’s training over 14,200 “Forward thinking, World ready” students in Hays and beyond. The U.S. News recognized FHSU for America’s 15th best online bachelor’s programs. Among the Virtual College’s offerings is the 124-credit BBA in International Business and Economics.
In-State Tuition: $4,654
2. Elizabeth City State University
Founded in 1891, Elizabeth City State University is a public, co-educational HBCU educating more than 2,400 Vikings within the University of North Carolina system. According to the U.S. News, ECSU is the South’s 89th top college and 35th best public school. The AACSB-accredited B.S. in Business Administration program offers an Economics Concentration.
In-State Tuition: $4,657
3. Florida Atlantic University
Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University is a public, SUSF member enrolling over 30,800 Owls from 140+ countries on a $275 million endowment. High school counselors surveyed by the U.S. News placed FAU 247th nationally. The AACSB-accredited College of Business offers a 120-credit, on-campus B.B.A. or B.S. curriculum in Economics.
In-State Tuition: $4,831
4. University of Wyoming
Attracting nearly 14,000 Cowboys and Cowgirls, the University of Wyoming is a public, research institution within the APLU that’s nestled atop the Laramie Plains. The U.S. News ranked UWY as America’s 171st best university and 90th top public school. Maintaining AACSB accreditation, the College of Business awards a 120-credit Bachelor’s in Economics.
In-State Tuition: $4,892
5. Brigham Young University – Provo
Based in Utah’s third-largest city near Orem, Brigham Young University-Provo is a private, space-grant Mormon research institution serving over 29,600 Cougars. The U.S. News applauds BYU as America’s 68th best university and 15th top value. The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences grants a B.S. in Economics with specialized tracks like Political/Pre-Law.
In-State Tuition: $5,100
6. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Since 1973, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin has reached record enrollment of 6,050 Falcons as a public, Hispanic-serving institution in Odessa. UTPB is ranked the West’s 93rd best college and 37th top public school by the U.S. News. The AACSB-accredited College of Business and Engineering houses a 120-credit B.A. in Economics.
In-State Tuition: $5,250
7. Weber State University
Sitting along the Wasatch Front in Ogden, Utah, Weber State University is a public, liberal arts institution endowed for $62.2 million to educate 26,600 Wildcats. The U.S. News made Weber the West’s 76th best school and 25th top public university. The AACSB-accredited Goddard School confers a B.S. in Business Economics or B.S. in General Economics.
In-State Tuition: $5,321
8. Missouri Southern State University
Established as Joplin Junior College in 1937, Missouri Southern State University has become a public, four-year institution with over 5,600 Lions studying in Jasper County. Niche recognized MSSU as Missouri’s 11th “Top Public University.” The ACBSP-accredited School of Business provides a B.S. in General Economics or BSBA in Business Economics.
In-State Tuition: $5,523
9. University of North Carolina – Pembroke
As a public, historically American Indian institution, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke promotes liberal arts education for 6,200 Braves south of Fayetteville. The U.S. News ranked UNCP as the South’s 91st best college and 37th top public school. Students can pursue the AACSB-accredited, 120-hour B.S. in Business Administration’s Economics Track.
In-State Tuition: $5,564
10. Cameron University
Governed by the Board of Regents of Oklahoma A&M Colleges, Cameron University is a public, four-year teaching institution with 5,500 Aggies studying in Layton and online. Niche recognized Cameron as Oklahoma’s eighth “Most Diverse College.” The ACBSP-accredited Department of Business in Ross Hall grants an affordable, 124-credit BBA specialized in Economics.
In-State Tuition: $5,580
11. New Mexico State University
Created under the Rodey Act of 1889, New Mexico State University is a public, space-grant research hub that’s serving over 18,400 Aggies from Las Cruces. The U.S. News ranked NMSU as America’s 220th best university and 125th top public college. Selected for AACSB accreditation, the College of Business has BBA and BA majors in Economics.
In-State Tuition: $6,094
12. Alcorn State University
Enrolling over 3,730 Braves, Alcorn State University is the oldest public, land-grant HBCU in the Thurgood Marshall College Fund founded in 1871 from Lorman, Mississippi. The U.S. News crowned Alcorn the South’s 89th best college and 35th top public university. The School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences offers a unique Agricultural Economics B.S.
In-State Tuition: $6,386
13. CUNY Hunter College
Standing atop Lenox Hill on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, CUNY Hunter College is a public, co-educational institution endowed for $99 million to serve over 21,200 Hawks. The U.S. News deemed Hunter the North’s 42nd best school and 11th top public college. Students can enter the B.A. in Economics or B.A./M.A. in Economics program.
In-State Tuition: $6,782
14. American Public University System
Based in Charles Town, West Virginia, American Public University System is a two-part, for-profit distance learning institution educating over 98,400 Golden Eagles combined. The U.S. News recognized APUS for America’s 92nd best online bachelor’s degrees. One such program is the ACBSP-accredited BBA with a three-course Economics Undergraduate Learning Track.
In-State Tuition: $6,880
15. University of Nevada – Reno
Endowed for $302.7 million, the University of Nevada-Reno is a public, land-grant and space-grant RU/H institution serving over 21,200 Wolves near Lake Tahoe. The U.S. News ranked UNR the 197th best national university and 106th top public college. The AACSB-accredited College of Business offers a B.A. or B.S. in Economics and Economics Math Camp.
In-State Tuition: $6,902