2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public institutions also rank highly among the best colleges and universities in many states, Missouri included.

Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in Missouri

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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Showing 29 schools

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Lake Career and Technical Center

    Camdenton, MO

    Graduation Rate

    87%

    Enrollment

    10

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3850

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3850

    A top public school in Missouri, Lake Career and Technical Center hosts a wide seletion of professional programs. Learners seeking a quicker course of study can select from 8 certificate programs at the school. Students learn core topics and receive specialized training. The rigorous curricula prepare students to succeed in careers and further studies. After completing a certificate, graduates seek opportunities in related fields. A total of 57% of students receive financial aid to pay for college. Learners qualify for federal financial aid at this accredited institution. Prospective students can always contact the school's admissions department with questions about the application process. The institution holds national accreditation from Council on Occupational Education.

    #2

    State Technical College of Missouri

    Linn, MO

    Graduation Rate

    72%

    Enrollment

    1,756

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5430

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10860

    State Technical College of Missouri, a public organization located in Linn, Missouri, offers multiple programs. The school offers programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $8149, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7218. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, enrollees complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. State Technical College of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Truman State University

    Kirksville, MO

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    4,655

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7975

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15335

    Truman State University grants degrees as a public institution from its location in Kirksville, Missouri. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 100% of students receive aid and 36% receive loans. The public school reports a 75% graduation rate. The school reports that the rate of admission is 72%. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. Truman State University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #4

    University of Missouri-Columbia

    Columbia, MO

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    31,089

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9330

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $27612

    University of Missouri-Columbia, which enrolls students in programs from its Columbia, Missouri campus. Students choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Students typically complete an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in two, and a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs may operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. This makes it easier to enroll. The admissions department can help prospective students complete their application. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. University of Missouri-Columbia is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #5

    Missouri University of Science and Technology

    Rolla, MO

    Graduation Rate

    67%

    Enrollment

    7,642

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9330

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28563

    Located in Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology offers 149 programs for students. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. The institution reports that 99% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 67%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 81% for incoming students. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores.

    #6

    University of Missouri-Kansas City

    Kansas City, MO

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    16,147

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9198

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $25299

    From its campus in Kansas City, Missouri, University of Missouri-Kansas City enrolls students as a public institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The college offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 92% of students receive aid, and 30% receive loans. The public school reports a graduation rate of 54%. The admission rate is 63% for new students. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #7

    University of Missouri-St Louis

    Saint Louis, MO

    Graduation Rate

    56%

    Enrollment

    13,874

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $11328

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $29970

    From its campus in Missouri, University of Missouri-St Louis administers 185 total programs. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. At the institution, 96% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 56% graduation rate. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. Degree-seekers benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. The admission rate is 58% for prospective students. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores.

    #8

    Four Rivers Career Center

    Washington, MO

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    23

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16200

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16200

    Four Rivers Career Center is a Missouri-based public school that offers a wide selection of professional programs. Students can complete courses onilne or in person in Washington. Enrollees can choose from many academic and professional programs, including 2 certificate programs. Students in programs build specialized skills for professional careers. These credentials do not include general education requirements, enabling candidates to graduate quickly. A certificate or diploma offers many professional benefits. Earning a professional credential can help students increase their job opportunities and salary potential. Learners can also pursue further education, such as an associate or bachelor's degree. Students may be able to transfer their credits toward a two- or four-year degree.

    #9

    University of Central Missouri

    Warrensburg, MO

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    9,959

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7128

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14256

    From its campus in Warrensburg, Missouri, University of Central Missouri educates college students as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. University of Central Missouri has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #10

    Crowder College

    Neosho, MO

    Graduation Rate

    35%

    Enrollment

    4,194

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3696

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $3696

    Crowder College, which offers programs from its Neosho, Missouri campus, often ranks among the top schools. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The admissions department can help applicants determine the next steps. Enrollees at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #11

    St Charles Community College

    Cottleville, MO

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    6,014

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4770

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6480

    Located in Cottleville, Missouri, St Charles Community College awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 76% of students receive aid, and 6% receive loans. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 29%. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. St Charles Community College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #12

    Moberly Area Community College

    Moberly, MO

    Graduation Rate

    34%

    Enrollment

    4,878

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4740

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6450

    Moberly Area Community College, which offers programs from its Moberly, Missouri campus, often ranks among the top schools. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help students meet their career goals. Visit the program's website to find information on the typical timeline for completion. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide additional information on submitting an application. At the accredited institution, degree-seekers also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #13

    Missouri State University-Springfield

    Springfield, MO

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    23,505

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6840

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $15510

    Missouri State University-Springfield, which offers on-campus and programs from its Springfield, Missouri campus, often ranks among the top colleges. The college offers multiple degree-granting programs. The school's academic and technical tracks help learners meet diverse career goals. Students can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can provide more information on the process. Students at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Missouri State University-Springfield has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #14

    Northwest Missouri State University

    Maryville, MO

    Graduation Rate

    54%

    Enrollment

    7,267

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5106

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11064

    Northwest Missouri State University, located in Maryville, Missouri, operates as a public institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution charges a per-credit rate of 390. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution reports that 99% of learners receive financial aid, while 53% take out loans. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 54%. The admission rate for prospective students is 80%. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. Northwest Missouri State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #15

    East Central College

    Union, MO

    Graduation Rate

    38%

    Enrollment

    2,593

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3624

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5400

    East Central College, which operates a campus in Union, Missouri, often ranks as a top school. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid provides options for degree-seekers to pay for their education. East Central College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Southeast Missouri State University

    Cape Girardeau, MO

    Graduation Rate

    51%

    Enrollment

    10,001

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6779

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $12951

    A public institution located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University educates students through multiple programs. Students leave the school with experience and credentials that prepare them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Enrollees receive an average aid award of $6714, making the average tuition cost after aid $13815. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Southeast Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #17

    State Fair Community College

    Sedalia, MO

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    3,928

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4200

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5688

    A public institution located in Sedalia, Missouri, State Fair Community College educates students through multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $5190, making the average tuition cost after aid $6343. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #18

    Jefferson College

    Hillsboro, MO

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    3,740

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6720

    A public institution, Jefferson College educates students on its campus in Hillsboro, Missouri. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students prepare to contribute to their field by completing courses. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Jefferson College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #19

    Missouri Western State University

    Saint Joseph, MO

    Graduation Rate

    36%

    Enrollment

    4,911

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13620

    Missouri Western State University offers programs from its campus in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The programs offer academic and technical tracks to help learners meet their career goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Missouri Western State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #20

    Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City

    Kansas City, MO

    Graduation Rate

    27%

    Enrollment

    13,085

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5730

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $7470

    Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City, a public organization located in Kansas City, Missouri, offers multiple programs. Students complete programs that prepare them for careers and professional advancement. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $4599, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $7170. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #21

    North Central Missouri College

    Trenton, MO

    Graduation Rate

    49%

    Enrollment

    1,591

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5550

    Located in Missouri, North Central Missouri College enrolls students in 40 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. The school reports that 96% of students take advantage of financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 49%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #22

    Mineral Area College

    Park Hills, MO

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    2,410

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4830

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6390

    Mineral Area College, a public institution in Park Hills, Missouri, enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students strengthen their knowledge of the field by completing coursework. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Mineral Area College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #23

    Saint Louis Community College

    Bridgeton, MO

    Graduation Rate

    18%

    Enrollment

    15,206

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $6300

    From its campus in Bridgeton, Missouri, Saint Louis Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Saint Louis Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #24

    Ozarks Technical Community College

    Springfield, MO

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    11,237

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $3936

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $5040

    Ozarks Technical Community College, located in Springfield, Missouri, welcomes students with 101 program options. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 15-to-1. According to the school, 94% of students receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 32%. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. Some programs let applicants apply without submitting test scores. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements.

    #25

    Three Rivers College

    Poplar Bluff, MO

    Graduation Rate

    29%

    Enrollment

    2,759

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4230

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $4230

    From its campus in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Three Rivers College enrolls learners in 72 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. The institution reports that of its total enrollees, 96% receive financial aid. The school reports a 29% graduation rate for its programs. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

    #26

    Missouri State University-West Plains

    West Plains, MO

    Graduation Rate

    30%

    Enrollment

    1,920

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $4020

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $8040

    Located in West Plains, Missouri, Missouri State University-West Plains grants college degrees as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to strengthen their skills. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs. Missouri State University-West Plains has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #27

    Missouri Southern State University

    Joplin, MO

    Graduation Rate

    32%

    Enrollment

    5,045

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $7462

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $14924

    A public institution located in Joplin, Missouri, Missouri Southern State University offers multiple programs. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. The school's programs appear in national rankings. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $6189, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $9519. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements depending on their program. Missouri Southern State University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

    #28

    Lincoln University

    Jefferson City, MO

    Graduation Rate

    26%

    Enrollment

    2,012

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $6720

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13710

    From its campus in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lincoln University awards degrees and certificates as a top school. Students take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. The school offers academic and technical tracks to help learners meet a variety of professional goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Some programs may no longer require standardized tests for admission. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Learners at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover educational costs. Lincoln University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    #29

    Harris-Stowe State University

    Saint Louis, MO

    Graduation Rate

    12%

    Enrollment

    1,400

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $5040

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9672

    From its campus in Saint Louis, Missouri, Harris-Stowe State University awards degrees and certificates as a public institution. Enrollees study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 99% of students receive financial aid and 72% take out loans at the institution. The public institution reports a graduation rate of 12%. The school's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Harris-Stowe State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Why Choose a Public College or University in Missouri?

    The best public colleges in Missouri offer students standout academics at an affordable price. The state features a network of 13 public colleges and universities and 16 public two-year colleges, providing students with many options to pursue higher education. In addition to their affordability, public institutions in Missouri offer strong academics and active campus life.

    When weighing public versus private colleges, finances typically play a significant role in the decision-making process. The affordability of public four-year colleges allows students to enhance their career options while minimizing student debt.

    Prospective students should also consider what they value in their on-campus experience. If students prioritize small class sizes and a small-town feel, a large public institution may feel overwhelming. When choosing a college, learners should ensure that their choice meets various financial, academic, and social factors.

    Students interested in attending college in Missouri should consider public colleges and universities in Missouri. These schools offer affordable tuition rates and the benefits of a big college experience. Continue reading to learn more about the best public schools in Missouri.

    Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Missouri

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Public colleges and universities traditionally have more affordable tuition rates than private institutions. Students also usually receive more access to on-campus employment.
    • Check Circle
      Public institutions often feature a robust campus life with sporting events, Greek life, and various student organizations that play large roles in the school’s culture.
    • Check Circle
      Public schools often provide diverse majors, minors, and other academic opportunities.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      For some students, a large public institution’s size can feel impersonal and impact academic performance.
    • X Circle
      Due to large class sizes, students may have difficulty accessing their professors. Public college and university students can often expect less one-on-one time with their instructors.
    • X Circle
      Sometimes navigating administrative issues at large schools can prove challenging. Due to their size and staffing shortages, completing seemingly simple tasks can be challenging.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Missouri

    Especially for students pursuing a four-year degree, for-profit institutions typically lack the accreditation, student support, and academic credentials that nonprofit schools offer. All of the top public colleges and universities in Missouri are nonprofit institutions and meet the rigorous standards set by accrediting institutions.

    While for-profit schools in Missouri advertise their accessibility and admission rates, these programs typically cost more than the best public schools in Missouri. For-profit schools can have a bad reputation because they often prioritize profits over academics and student services.

    How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Missouri?

    The cost of college can vary widely between schools. But public colleges in Missouri offer in-state students access to reasonable tuition rates and standout academic opportunities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average in-state tuition for Missouri students fell just under $9,000 for the 2019-2020 year. Students who attended private institutions paid over $26,000 that year in tuition and fees.

    While non-resident students pay more than in-state learners, out-of-state tuition is often still less expensive than private tuition. NCES data also reveal that room and board costs between public and private schools are relatively similar — the vast cost difference when paying for college lies almost exclusively in tuition rates.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Missouri

    How many public colleges and universities are there in Missouri?

    According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education, the state has 13 public four-year colleges and universities and more than a dozen public community colleges. As a result, Missouri offers various affordable academic paths for prospective students.

    The best public schools in Missouri offer affordable tuition rates, strong academics, career services, and student support. All of the state’s four-year public institutions hold accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    What is the most expensive public college or university in Missouri?

    The University of Missouri-Columbia is among Missouri’s most expensive public four-year institutions. According to NCES data, in-state students paid $11,475 in tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year. Out-of-state students paid over $30,000. Room and board fees cost students another $10,796 on average that year.

    While college is expensive, students can reduce costs. Alongside various financial aid tools, students can complete large portions of their general education requirements at community colleges throughout the state. This option allows learners to complete academic requirements at a cheaper rate while reducing their time at four-year institutions.

    What is the least expensive public college or university in Missouri?

    Harris-Stowe State University is among the least expensive public four-year colleges and universities in Missouri. According to NCES data, in-state tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year averaged $5,868. Out-of-state students paid $10,500 in tuition and fees.

    Various factors impact how much college costs, but public institutions in Missouri offer an inexpensive path to a bachelor’s degree. Unlike private schools that often charge high tuition rates, the best public schools in Missouri offer low-cost undergraduate programs.

    What is the biggest public college or university in Missouri?

    The University of Missouri-Columbia, also known as Mizzou, is the state’s flagship public institution with the state’s largest student body. With a student enrollment of over 30,000, Mizzou is a public land-grant university that was established in 1839. Mizzou is also home to one of the oldest journalism schools in the world.

    Some of Mizzou’s most popular undergraduate degrees include business, health sciences, engineering, and biomedical sciences. In addition to strong academics, Mizzou is known for Division I athletics and Greek culture. Missouri’s flagship school offers more than 300 programs.

    Is a public college or university right for me?

    Choosing a public institution is a solid choice for cost-conscious students who might prefer the hustle and bustle of a large college campus. Students enrolling in public institutions can expect strong academics and an active campus culture that involves college mainstays like sports, Greek life, and various student organizations.

    If a public institution’s size feels daunting, private schools might be a better choice. While the cost of private institutions can seem prohibitive, many students often have access to generous scholarship opportunities. When researching potential schools, contact admissions officials to answer questions and start a dialogue.