2023 best colleges in Oregon

With stunning natural scenery and a quirky atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Portland, Oregon offers a wide range of innovative institutions and environment-focused programs. Reed College, for example, is known for having no dean’s list or honor roll and nixing the traditional letter grades in favor of “pass” and “no-pass” grades. The state’s largest research university, the University of Oregon, is a pioneer in sustainable design and systems research. The healthy mix of beautiful natural settings and leading institutions makes the state an excellent option for students with an interest in the environment and the outdoors.

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  • Liberal Arts
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Net cost: The median annual cost of all students that receive any aid. This does not refer to the “sticker price”, the price listed by the college.

Earnings: The median earnings of all bachelor-level students 10 years after enrollment. This includes both students that do and do not graduate, across all majors.

Payback measures how long it takes the average student to pay back the total cost of attending college with marginal earnings. Marginal earnings are the difference between what the average student would have earned before attending college and what they earn afterwards.

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark that Degreechoices adjusts based on each school’s unique mix of academic programs and the in-state/out-of-state composition of the student body.

Rankings: The ranking order is based on the economic score.The economic score is the combination of payback and earningsplus, and is how we determine a school’s rank. The lower the economic score the better.

Net cost
Payback
Earnings
EarningsPlus
Rankings
Ranking methodology
#1 in Oregon | #41 in Liberal Arts
Economic score: 2.69

The Economic Score is the combination of payback and earningsplus, and is how we determine a school’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Net cost: $27,671

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 2.8 years

Payback measures how long it takes the average student to pay back the total cost of attending college with marginal earnings. Marginal earnings are the difference between what the average student would have earned before attending college and what they earn afterwards.

Earnings: $66,898

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: + $3,739

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark that Degreechoices adjusts based on each school’s unique mix of academic programs and the in-state/out-of-state composition of the student body.

Admission rate: 85%
Graduation rate: 75%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (48%) are not ranked and are displayed at the end of the ranking list.

#2 in Oregon | #134 in Liberal Arts
Economic score: 4.94

The Economic Score is the combination of payback and earningsplus, and is how we determine a school’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Net cost: $34,294

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 4.5 years

Payback measures how long it takes the average student to pay back the total cost of attending college with marginal earnings. Marginal earnings are the difference between what the average student would have earned before attending college and what they earn afterwards.

Earnings: $57,036

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $3,804

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark that Degreechoices adjusts based on each school’s unique mix of academic programs and the in-state/out-of-state composition of the student body.

Admission rate: 80%
Graduation rate: 69%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (48%) are not ranked and are displayed at the end of the ranking list.

#3 in Oregon | #146 in Liberal Arts

Lewis & Clark College

Portland, Oregon

Economic score: 6.02

The Economic Score is the combination of payback and earningsplus, and is how we determine a school’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Net cost: $36,638

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 5.6 years

Payback measures how long it takes the average student to pay back the total cost of attending college with marginal earnings. Marginal earnings are the difference between what the average student would have earned before attending college and what they earn afterwards.

Earnings: $52,016

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $3,396

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark that Degreechoices adjusts based on each school’s unique mix of academic programs and the in-state/out-of-state composition of the student body.

Admission rate: 79%
Graduation rate: 76%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (48%) are not ranked and are displayed at the end of the ranking list.

#4 in Oregon | #152 in Liberal Arts

Reed College

Portland, Oregon

Economic score: 6.85

The Economic Score is the combination of payback and earningsplus, and is how we determine a school’s rank. The lower the economic score the better. For an analysis of how we arrive at the economic score, and a description of our data sources, please visit our methodology page.

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Net cost: $33,350

The median net cost of students who receive federal financial aid. This is lower than the price advertised by the school.

Payback: 5.6 years

Payback measures how long it takes the average student to pay back the total cost of attending college with marginal earnings. Marginal earnings are the difference between what the average student would have earned before attending college and what they earn afterwards.

Earnings: $50,784

Median earnings of all students 10 years after enrollment. Includes students that did not graduate.

EarningsPlus: - $7,269

EarningsPlus compares student earnings after college against a benchmark that Degreechoices adjusts based on each school’s unique mix of academic programs and the in-state/out-of-state composition of the student body.

Admission rate: 44%
Graduation rate: 78%

Graduation rates below the school’s state average are shown in red. Schools with graduation rates in the bottom 25% nationally (48%) are not ranked and are displayed at the end of the ranking list.