30 Most Affordable Residential Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting

Accounting Degree Review researched the undergraduate education costs of all the schools in the United States accredited in accounting by AACSB, the premier accreditation agency in the world for business and accounting programs. There are currently 170 institutions with AACSB accounting accreditation.

To compare the schools, we looked at their annual tuition and fees for out-of-state incoming freshmen enrolling in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Here are the 30 most affordable institutions from our research. All the top schools in our ranking come under $18,500 and the average cost is around $16,200.

#1. Brigham Young University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $10,000

Brigham Young University, or BYU, is a private school affiliated with and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to U.S. News and World Report, the university is a Tier 1 institution. The publication ranked BYU 62nd in its category, National Universities.

School Overview

Much of BYU’s operating costs are paid from the tithes of the Church so the school charges a lower tuition for Church members. The annual tuition and fees for baptized members are $5,000.

Along with its low tuition, BYU has sterling reputation in the accounting sphere. It placed third in Public Accounting Report’s 2014 survey of accounting professors and U.S. News’ list of top undergraduate accounting programs. Also, BYU ranked fourth in TaxTalent’s survey of 146 tax hiring authorities.

#2. Cleveland State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $12,878

Located in the heart of Cleveland, Cleveland State University (CSU) is one of the major reasons for the city’s downtown renaissance. Recently, the school spent $500 million to upgrade its campus and it enrolled the largest freshman class in its history.

School Overview

As a public university, CSU offers a reduced tuition of $9,636 to Ohio residents.

Accounting majors can choose from four areas of specialization: Public Accounting, Governmental or Institutional Accounting, Management Accounting, and Internal Auditing. The accounting curriculum is influenced by an advisory board with professionals from the industry.

To help students gain relevant experience, the Department of Accounting has a Internship/Co-op program. The program director works with employers to place qualified students into internship and co-op positions.

#3. University of Central Missouri

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $13,659

In U.S. News and World Report’s rankings, University of Central Missouri (UCM) tied for 84th place in its category, Regional Universities in the Midwest. Also, the publication gave UCM a top 30 ranking among public universities in the category. The school had an enrollment of 9,974 undergraduate students in Fall 2013.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Missouri residents are $7,265. Also, UCM is committed to keeping costs low. The school did not increase tuition and fees in the last two academic years and 92% of its students in 2013-14 received financial aid.

Sample accounting courses include Cost and Managerial Accounting, Introduction to Income Tax, and Accounting Information Systems.

The student to faculty ratio is 17:1 and the professors are involved in research and professional organizations, which helps them stay current with the trends in their industries.

#4. Missouri State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $13,668

According to U.S. News and World Report, Missouri State University, or MSU, is a Tier 1 institution with a 67th ranking among Midwest Regional Universities. Also, the publication gave the school a top 20 ranking among public Regional Universities in the region.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Missouri residents are $7,008. 78% of MSU students receive financial aid.

If you are willing to enroll in courses every summer, MSU has a three year plan for graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. For those interested in taking the CPA exam in Missouri, the bachelor degree transitions to the Master of Accountancy, which students can take in the traditional or accelerated format.

Earlier this year, the MSU Accounting Club was given the Award of Excellence by the Institute of Management Accountants.

#5. Truman State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $13,753

Truman State University tied for 9th place in the category of Regional Universities (Midwest) in U.S. News and World Report’s latest school rankings. Also, U.S. News rated Truman as the number one public Regional University in the region for the 18th year in a row.

School Overview

Missouri residents pay $7,689 for tuition and fees. Truman boasts the lowest student loan default rate among public schools in Missouri. Also, around half of Truman seniors graduate without taking any federal student loans.

Truman has very good passing rates for the CPA exam. In six of the last eight years, the school’s accounting graduates ranked in the top 20 for passing all parts of the exam on the first attempt. In four of the years, Truman students ranked in the top 10.

#6. Weber State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $13,838

Weber State University, or WSU, is Tier 1 institution according to U.S. News and World Report. The publication ranked WSU 68th in its category, Regional Universities (West), and 24th in the same category among public universities. The school has an enrollment of over 26,000 students.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Utah residents are $5,184. WSU awarded close to $13 million of scholarships and $95 million in financial aid to 13,759 students in the 2013-14 school year.

WSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The program teaches students accounting concepts such as financial statements, cost behavior, time value of money, accounting cycles, and auditing standards.

The Princeton Review named WSU one of the best schools in the Western region of the United States.

#7. University of Illinois at Chicago

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $14,489

University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is categorized as a Tier 1 National University by U.S. News and World Report. The publication ranked the school 149th in its category and 78th among public schools in the same category. UIC has a faculty to student ratio of 11 to 1.

School Overview

Illinois residents pay $8,294 for tuition and fees.

UIC is unique from other schools because it offers research opportunities to undergraduate students. The schools runs a program called Undergraduate Research Experience, which pairs students and faculty with similar research interests. Students create projects, gather data, and present their findings in a symposium and research paper.

In BYU’s latest worldwide accounting research rankings, UIC tied for 95th place over the last six years. Also, UIC had the best passing rate in Illinois for the CPA exam.

#8. Marshall University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $15,026

Marshall University ranked in the top 50 among Regional Universities in the South in U.S. News and World Report’s school rankings. The school placed 17th when compared to public Regional Universities in the region. Marshall had an enrollment of 13,413 students in Fall 2013.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for West Virginia residents are $6,256. Students who are residents of Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike or Scioto county in Ohio or Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin, or Pike county in Kentucky are charged the Metro rate of $11,506. 77% of Marshall undergraduates receive financial aid.

Marshall offers a Bachelor of Business Administration program in Accounting. The program prepares students for jobs such as internal auditor, IRS agent, hospital accountant, and tax accountant.

#9. Grand Valley State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $15,408

Grand Valley State University was named a top Midwest school by The Princeton Review. Also, Grand Valley tied for 26th place in the category, Regional Universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report. The publication rated the school third among public universities in the category.

School Overview

Michigan residents are charged $10,752 for tuition and fees. In the previous academic year, Grand Valley awarded financial assistance to 94% of its full-time dependent students. The average financial aid package was $13,276. The school was named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc.

The graduation rate of Grand Valley is fourth in the state of Michigan. The school’s alumni are involved with accounting students through the school’s Accounting Alumni Organization, which includes a mentorship program.

#10. University of Southern Mississippi

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $15,550

University of Southern Mississippi, or Southern Miss, is a public institution. The school is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity. Southern Miss has a diverse population of approximately 15,000 students from various U.S. locations and 67 foreign countries.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Mississippi residents are $6,980.

Southern Miss offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. The degree requires 121 semester hours to graduate. Sample courses include Federal Income Tax Accounting, Seminar on Contemporary Accounting Topics, and Law in Accounting.

To prepare students for upper level accounting classes, Southern Miss requires them to pass the Principles of Accounting Competency Exam (PACE) before enrolling in Intermediate Accounting I. The school schedules intensive reviews before each semester to help students pass the exam.

#11. Western Illinois University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $15,599

According to U.S. News and World Report, Western Illinois University (WIU) is one of the top 10 public schools among Regional Universities in the Midwest. Overall, the school ranked 39th in the category. Also, WIU was identified as a top university in the Midwest by The Princeton Review.

School Overview

Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin residents pay $11,283 for tuition and fees. WIU awards over 20 scholarships to accounting students each year.

WIU’s Bachelor of Business is Accounting is designed to teach students skills needed to quickly adjust and ultimately succeed in the accounting industry. Students work with advanced software, write papers, and work on projects to learn key accounting concepts.

Accounting graduates from WIU are regularly recruited by John Deere and Caterpillar. Other companies that have hired WIU students include Deloitte, Accenture, and KPMG.

#12. Wichita State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $15,810

Wichita State University (WSU) is a research university with high research activity according to the Carnegie Foundation. The school is classified as a Tier 2 National University by U.S. News and World Report. WSU set a record for number of student credit hours in its history in Fall 2014.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Kansas residents are $7,508. WSU recently created an academic advising position that helps students with the process of applying for competitive scholarships such as Rhodes, Truman, Fulbright, and Goldwater.

WSU’s accounting major includes three courses about financial accounting. These courses cover financial reporting for assets, equities, and special entities. All accounting students take Business, Professional, and Technical Writing to prepare them for writing communications in the workplace. Other required classes include Principles of Auditing and Accounting for Decision Making and Control.

#13. University of Southern Indiana

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $16,137

University of Southern Indiana, or USI, is categorized as a Tier 2 Regional University in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. The public institution is located in Evansville, Indiana on a campus of 1,400 acres. USI has over 100 student organizations.

School Overview

Indiana residents pay $6,797 for tuition and fees. Kentucky and Illinois residents that meet certain academic requirements are eligible for Regional Academic Scholarships and Non-Resident Grants. These awards lower the tuition and fees to $8,123 and $10,115, respectively.

USI’s accounting program prepares students for the workplace with class projects designed to help local businesses. Also, students have the opportunity to work as interns.

In 2013-14, the school’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter was recognized a Superior chapter. Beta Alpha Psi is an honor society for students majoring in accounting, finance, or information systems.

#14. University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $16,736

University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) is a member of the University of South Florida System. The school tied for 92nd in the category, Regional Universities in the South, in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. Among public schools in the category, USFSP tied for 47th.

School Overview

Florida residents pay $5,820 for tuition and fees.

Research is a major part of the USFSP curriculum. Graduate students as well as undergrads have opportunities to conduct research with the guidance of research faculty. The school sponsors an Undergraduate Research Symposium where students showcase their work.

USFSP is located next to the beautiful Tampa Bay. Some of the best beaches in the nation are only a short drive away. Students can easily take a break and enjoy swimming, kayaking, or sailing.

#15. Morgan State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $16,862

Morgan State University, or MSU, is a historically black college in Baltimore, Maryland. The school tied for 15th among historically black colleges in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. Also, the publication classified MSU as a Tier 2 National University.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Maryland residents are $7,378.

MSU has multiple programs to help students succeed. The school’s Center for Academic Success & Achievement organizes workshops and seminars about common issues students have to deal with. The Office of Student Success and Retention has an mentoring program that pairs first year MSU students with alumni.

To graduate with a degree in accounting, students must pass the six required upper level accounting courses including Auditing, Accounting Information Systems, and Cost and Budgetary Control.

#16. Wright State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $16,910

Wright State University is a public university classified as having high research activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The school is rated one of the best schools in the Midwest by Princeton Review. Wright State’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report is Tier 2 National University.

School Overview

Ohio residents are charged $8,730 for tuition and fees.

Wright State is the only U.S. school to win the Institute for Management Accountants Student Case Competition five times. Also, in the national level of the competition, the school is the only university to place two teams in the same year.

The faculty have relationships with accounting firms, who offer internships to Wright State students. For students with high potential, Wright State has an Accounting Leadership Program and a Beta Alpha Psi chapter.

#17. Baruch College – The City University of New York

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $16,976

Baruch College is one of the top schools for accounting students who want an affordable yet elite education. The school ranked 23rd in undergraduate accounting programs in Public Accounting Report’s 2014 survey of accounting professors. Also, Baruch tied for 44th in BYU’s accounting research rankings.

School Overview

New York State residents pay $6,421 for tuition and fees. The Princeton Review evaluated schools based on financial aid, cost, and academics and found Baruch to be one of the best public universities in the nation.

Baruch placed 25th in the category, Regional Universities (North), in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. The school tied for fourth place among public schools in the category.

Founded in 1919, Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business is the largest business school in the U.S. In 2013, it enrolled 10,646 undergraduate students.

#18. University of South Florida

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $17,324

University of South Florida (USF) made The Princeton Review’s 2015 list of Best 379 Colleges. Also, the organization named USF a Best Value College. Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. Gave USF a similar rating. They included the school in their ranking of America’s 100 Best College Buys.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Florida residents are $6,410.

USF is one of the rising up-and-comers in the accounting education sphere. The school did not crack Public Accounting Report’s 2013 top 50 ranking of undergraduate accounting programs, but in the 2014 edition, USF made the list in 40th place.

Research is an emphasis of USF’s accounting faculty. The school tied for 69th in BYU’s accounting research rankings. Also, USF’s School of Accountancy organizes networking events to help students build relationships with local companies.

#19. Southeastern Louisiana University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $17,362

Southeastern Louisiana University is categorized as a Tier 2 Regional University in the South by U.S. News and World Report. Established in 1925, the school is the third largest public university in Louisiana. Southeastern enrolled close to 15,000 students in Fall 2013.

School Overview

Louisiana residents pay $6,620 for tuition and fees.

Southeastern has two campus organizations for accounting majors, a Beta Alpha Psi chapter and and a National Association of Black Accountants student chapter. The school also employs an accounting internship director to help students who want to earn credit hours while gaining work experience.

GI Jobs named Southeastern a Military Friendly School in its latest edition of top schools for military members. The Office of Veterans Services at Southeastern helps veterans with GI Bill benefits.

#20. California State University, Fullerton

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $17,477

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) ranked 40th in the category, Regional Universities in the West, in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. The organization rated the school ninth among public institutions in the category. CSUF had an enrollment of 38,128 students in Fall 2014.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for California residents are $6,317.

The Department of Accounting at CSUF was ranked 136th in BYU’s accounting research rankings. The school is one of the few universities to offer an Internal Audit Certificate through a partnership with The Institute of Internal Auditors.

CSUF has an enrollment of 38,128 students in Fall 2014 and the student population is diverse. The most represented ethnic groups are Hispanic, White, and Asian/Pacific Islander at 36%, 25%, and 21%, respectively.

#21. Nicholls State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $17,481

Nicholls State University is a Tier 1 school according to U.S. News and World Report. In its rankings, the publication rated Nicholls State 87th in the category, Regional Universities in the South. Among public universities in the category, the school ranked 42nd.

School Overview

Residents of Louisiana are charged $7,235 for tuition and fees.

The accounting programs of Nicholls State were selected as Unique Areas of Excellence by the University of Louisiana System. To promote networking between students and employers, the school partners with Louisiana State Society of CPAs to host a Student/CPA Night where students meet local companies to give resumes and exchange business cards.

Nicholls State has a Beta Alpha Psi chapter. Members of the chapter attend professional workshops and provide tutoring for a lower level accounting course.

#22. Bowling Green State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $17,914

Bowling Green State University, or BGSU, is classified as a research university with high research activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school as a top 100 public institution in the category, National Universities.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Ohio residents are $10,606. For non-Ohio residents, BGSU offers the BG Success Scholarship valued at $3,654, or half the non-Ohio resident fee. To qualify, students must meet a certain high school GPA, ACT score, or SAT score. Also, you qualify if one of your parents or legal guardian graduated from BGSU.

80% of BGSU students receive financial aid. The school hires around 4,500 students each year. Students are paid at least $7.30/hour.

#23. Kent State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $17,972

Founded in 1910, Kent State University is a Tier 1 school in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings. The publication ranked the school 194th among National Universities. Kent State is a research university with high research activity according to the Carnegie Foundation.

School Overview

Ohio residents pay $10,012 for tuition and fees. 80% of Kent State students receive financial aid.

Kent State placed 159th out of 342 in U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 rankings of Best Undergraduate Business Programs. This was an improvement from the school’s ranking of 166th in the 2013 edition. Kent State’s accounting department tied for 187th in BYU’s accounting research rankings.

The student organizations at Kent State include a Beta Alpha Psi chapter and the Accounting Association. There is no GPA or credit hour requirement for the latter organization.

#24. San Diego State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,026

San Diego State University, or SDSU, is one of the best values for an undergraduate education according to Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. The company named the school one of America’s 100 Best College Buys. In U.S. News and World Report’s rankings, SDSU tied for 78th among public National Universities.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for California residents are $6,866.

The SDSU accounting curriculum includes training in the use of technology, written and oral communication, and independent learning. SDSU accounting majors can specialize in Accounting Information Systems, Financial Reporting, and Taxation. The school’s accounting faculty has been recognized with national and state awards in recent years.

SDSU tied for 203rd in BYU’s accounting research rankings. The school is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity.

#25. University of Texas at Arlington

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,068

University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington) is a Best Western College according to The Princeton Review. The school’s U.S. News and World Report ranking is Tier 2 National University. UT Arlington is classified in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a research university with high research activity.

School Overview

Texas residents are charged $9,380 for tuition and fees. UT Arlington’s average financial aid package of grants and scholarships is approximately $5,700 per student.

UT Arlington is ranked 159th among National Universities by Washington Monthly. The school’s accounting department placed 109th in BYU’s accounting research rankings.

The student body of UT Arlington is diverse. In Fall 2013, there were 22% Hispanic, 14% African American, 10% Asian, and 9% international and students came from every U.S. state and 123 countries.

#26. University of Nebraska at Omaha

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,070

University of Nebraska at Omaha, or UNO, is one of the best schools in the Midwest in The Princeton Review’s rankings. The school is rated as a Tier 2 National University by U.S. News and World Report. UNO has a student population of more than 15,000 students.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for Nebraska residents are $6,750. The school also offers a tuition reduction for residents of select southwestern Iowa counties. Residents of Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottowattamie, Shelby, and Woodbury counties pay $9,406 for tuition and fees.

UNO is ranked 163rd in Washington Monthly’s rankings of National Universities. The school placed 166th in the accounting research rankings of BYU.

70% of the UNO graduates in December 2012 had job offers related to their major.

#27. University of South Alabama

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,120

University of South Alabama, or USA, is classified as a research university with high research activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The school’s ranking in U.S. News and World Report is Tier 2 in the category, National Universities.

School Overview

Alabama residents pay $9,060 for tuition and fees.

USA offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting program. The major requirements are nine upper level accounting classes including Financial Accounting I and II, Taxation of Individuals, and International and Advanced Accounting. Over 88% of USA’s business faculty have doctoral degrees in their field. The student to faculty ratio is 19 to 1 and enrollment is over 15,000 students.

The school is located near the white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

#28. University of Texas at El Paso

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,274

The Carnegie Foundation placed University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP, in the category of Research Universities (high research activity). U.S. News and World Report rated UTEP as a Tier 2 National University while Washington Monthly ranked the school eighth among National Universities.

School Overview

Residents of Texas are charged $7,164 for tuition and fees. Over 60% of UTEP students receive financial assistance.

The required courses for UTEP’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting include Software Applications for Accounting, Accounting Systems, and Federal Income Tax – Individuals. The school placed 166th in the accounting research rankings of BYU.

In 2013, UTEP’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter earned the Gold Challenge award, the most prestigious honor a chapter can receive. Only 12 chapters received the award in 2013.

#29. Mississippi State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,478

Mississippi State University (MSU) placed 77th and 156th in Washington Monthly’s and U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of National Universities, respectively. MSU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with very high research activity. In Fall 2014, the school enrolled 20,138 students.

School Overview

The tuition and fees for residents of Mississippi are $7,140.

The Adkerson School of Accountancy at MSU produced research that placed them 166th in BYU’s accounting research rankings. The faculty encourages students to interview for internships through the school’s internship program.

In 2014, MSU became the second U.S. school to start an Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance, or AFWA, student chapter. AFWA is a leading accounting organization for women. The school tied for 47th in U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of top National Universities for Veterans.

#30. Utah State University

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Annual Tuition and Fees: $18,490

Founded in 1888, Utah State University (USU) is among America’s 100 Best College Buys according to Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. The school placed 23rd and 194th in the National University rankings of Washington Monthly and U.S. News and World Report, respectively.

School Overview

Utah residents pay $6,383 for tuition and fees.

USU is a strong choice for accounting students because the school ranked 37th in Public Accounting Report’s rankings of undergraduate accounting programs. Also, USU placed 124th in the accounting research rankings of BYU.

The Beta Alpha Psi chapter at USU has demonstrated excellence for over 30 years. The chapter has held Superior status for 31 years, the longest streak in the nation. Through chapter events, students can meet businesses to build their network for future internships and jobs.