Missouri’s Most Affordable Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the most affordable colleges and universities in Missouri. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you, at a price you can afford.

Missouri’s Most Affordable Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Tuition costs in Missouri fall below the national average, allowing students access to many affordable options. For example, at Missouri State University, the second largest public school, tuition fees are around $7,000. Students of actor John Goodman’s alma mater can major in fields like religious studies, history, and business, and even have the option of earning an associate degree in arts or a bachelor’s in business at the university’s sister school in China. Missouri also offers more than 40 private schools.

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Tuition and student populations vary greatly among these schools, but students who attend these higher education institutes also have the option to attend classes at other campuses. For example, Saint Louis University, a college with Jesuit roots, has campuses in both St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Missouri offers special loan forgiveness programs for nurses and other health professionals, including dentists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, who work in designated, high-need areas.

When you aren’t exploring one of its 6,000 caves, chowing down on some barbecue, or taking in a live jazz performance, Missouri can serve as the perfect place to begin a road trip. The Show Me State is bordered by eight other U.S. states, making it ideal for students love travelling and planning weekend getaways. During the week days, students can continue on their road to success by pursuing their degree at one of Missouri’s 72 higher education institutes.

See where Missouri’s many roads can take you while earning your degree at one this state’s top learning institutions.


What are Missouri’s Colleges & Universities?

Missouri’s Best Overall


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How do we determine Missouri's most affordable colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

We’ve identified 16 affordable colleges and universities in Missouri, all of which satisfies the following conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees
  3. It must have stated tuition and fees under $16,000/year.

Most Affordable Colleges & Universities in Missouri

  1. #1

    Harris–Stowe State University

    #5375 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    1K

    Saint Louis, MO

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    What is Harris–Stowe State University known for?

    Harris–Stowe State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Missouri Western State University

    #4422 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    4K

    Saint Joseph, MO

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    What is Missouri Western State University known for?

    Missouri Western State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
  3. #3

    Missouri Southern State University

    #4123 institution's historical influence
    #786 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/21

    Joplin, MO

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    What is Missouri Southern State University known for?

    Missouri Southern State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • History
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Missouri State University

    #1286 institution's historical influence
    #1219 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/24

    Springfield, MO

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    What is Missouri State University known for?

    Missouri State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Southeast Missouri State University

    #614 institution's historical influence
    #1249 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    9K

    Cape Girardeau, MO

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    What is Southeast Missouri State University known for?

    Southeast Missouri State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Lincoln University

    #2540 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    2K

    Jefferson City, MO

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    What is Lincoln University known for?

    Lincoln University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    University of Central Missouri

    #1694 institution's historical influence
    #1136 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    9K

    Warrensburg, MO

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    What is University of Central Missouri known for?

    University of Central Missouri’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Truman State University

    #1036 institution's historical influence
    #1189 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    Kirksville, MO

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    What is Truman State University known for?

    Truman State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
  9. #9

    Northwest Missouri State University

    #1460 institution's historical influence
    #1083 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1119/22

    Maryville, MO

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    What is Northwest Missouri State University known for?

    Northwest Missouri State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Park University

    #2345 institution's historical influence
    #640 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    8K

    Parkville, MO

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    What is Park University known for?

    Park University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
  11. #11

    University of Missouri–Kansas City

    #672 institution's historical influence
    #1389 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Kansas City, MO

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    What is University of Missouri–Kansas City known for?

    University of Missouri–Kansas City’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    University of Missouri

    #101 institution's historical influence
    #1169 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Columbia, MO

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    What is University of Missouri known for?

    University of Missouri’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Missouri University of Science and Technology

    #728 institution's historical influence
    #1443 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1325/29

    Rolla, MO

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    What is Missouri University of Science and Technology known for?

    Missouri University of Science and Technology’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Columbia College

    #4815 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    7K

    Columbia, MO

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    What is Columbia College known for?

    Columbia College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    University of Missouri–St. Louis

    #1979 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    Saint Louis, MO

    View profile

    What is University of Missouri–St. Louis known for?

    University of Missouri–St. Louis’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Ranken Technical College

    #7652 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    2K

    Saint Louis, MO

    View profile

    What is Ranken Technical College known for?

    Ranken Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

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