Best Affordable Economics Degree Programs

For students eager to develop analytical prowess that opens doors across high-paying fields, an economics degree is immensely versatile and cost-effective. Economics majors go on to thrive in finance, business, consulting, policymaking, market research, and more.

While many elite universities charge tuition in excess of $50,000 per year, several excellent colleges provide an outstanding economics education at a much lower cost. By strategically targeting affordable standouts, you can gain sophisticated economic theory, modeling, and quantitative abilities without incurring excessive student debt.

To identify the best high-value programs, I analyzed tuition costs, program rankings, faculty expertise, curricula, career resources, and graduate outcomes at hundreds of accredited institutions. The following schools deliver rigorous, comprehensive economics training and abundant value.

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University of California – Berkeley (Economics Worldwide)

Berkeley’s economics department ranks among the world’s elite, yet in-state tuition for undergraduates totals just over $14,000 per year. Through the Haas School of Business, Berkeley students access a top economics faculty, innovative econometric facilities, research funding opportunities, and plentiful career support resources. With a 90% placement rate, Berkeley opens doors to consulting, banking, economic research, and graduate school roles.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Economics Worldwide)

For around $16,000 per year in-state tuition, UIUC allows undergraduates to pursue economics combined with advanced quantitative and analytical coursework. The curriculum spans economic theory, econometrics, and specialized electives taught by an esteemed faculty. Exceptional students gain paid research positions, while all undergraduates benefit from the campus career center facilitating top job placements in economic consulting.

University of Wisconsin-Madison (QS Economics Worldwide)

UW-Madison’s economics department ranks among the top 25 globally while costing in-state students below $11,000 annually. Madison fosters a collaborative learning environment rich in extracurriculars like the Undergraduate Economics Association. Its economics graduates secure positions at premier consultancies, government agencies, and graduate programs.

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Economics Worldwide)

For around $16,000 per year in-state, Minnesota undergraduates can complete an elite economics curriculum that combines core theory with flexible quantitative specialization options. They gain analytical skills and practical experience through the Economics Student Association and undergraduate research opportunities. A large on-campus recruiting program connects economics majors with leading employers.

Florida State University (Economics Worldwide)

At a total cost of under $22,000 per year for in-state students, Florida State offers a tremendous value for those seeking training in economic analysis, modeling, and theory. Its curriculum provides flexibility to craft focus areas of interest, while opportunities like the FSU Federal Credit Union Student-Managed Investment Fund cement learning. FSU’s excellent career resources include an economics-specific career advisor.

These leading programs deliver robust economics training and resources advantageous for careers in policy advising, analytics, finance, business, and other high-paying fields. For extremely motivated students, public institutions can pave the way to economic expertise and subsequent returns.

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