Best Colleges in Oregon 1

Is it still worth it to go to college? I mean, with tuition rates going up with no end in sight, might it be better to just start working and forego college altogether? Well, we can’t answer that question for you, since everyone is different. But we will point you toward some other statistics as well. According to the Center on Education and the Workforce, 99 percent of new jobs created since the Great Recession went to people with at least some college education. And many of the people in this 99 percent have bachelor’s or even graduate degrees.

So if you are at least thinking about going to college, and you’re from Oregon or want to relocate there, then you’ve find the right page—we’ve drilled down into the data to find the best schools in the state. With awesome public and private colleges and universities, a strong tradition of college sports, along with every hip type of food you could imagine, Oregon has a lot going for it. And with tons of opportunities to get out into nature, even in the cities, this beautiful state beckons especially to hikers, runners, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Especially if you want a nice craft beer after your hike or run.

What are the best colleges in Oregon?

So you might be wondering how we ended up deciding which colleges are the best in Oregon, and why they’re ranked in the way they are. Well, it all comes down to our methodology. Using data from IPEDS, a data set put together by the National Center for Education Statistics, we looked at information on academic quality, student diversity, and return on investment. While the first two factors are fairly self-explanatory, the return on investment factor is worth some comment. It is a weight of total cost against expected early career salary. Basically, we’re taking into account how much you’ll pay for college, and how much you can expect to earn after. It’s an important thing to consider when you’re going to spend at least four years on your education.

1

Reed College

College Choice Score: 100

Average Net Price: $22,586.00

School Website

Overview

Reed College was founded in 1908 by Reverend Thomas Lamb Eliot, a Portland-based Unitarian minister and steamboat pioneers Amanda and Simeon Reed – the college namesake. The doors opened as Portland’s first nonsectarian college in 1911. Today, Reed College is 5 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon on 116 acres. The college doesn’t focus on grades. All classes are a pass/no pass system. The only time that students know their grades is if they score below a C.

Features

Today, the college serves over 1,400 students through 40 degrees at the Bachelor and Master levels. On campus, most classes have less than 20 students and students enjoy a 9 to 1 student faculty ratio. In addition to the Reed College degrees, Reed has partnerships for dual degrees with University of Washington, California Institute of technology, Columbia University or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Outside of the classroom, students can get involved in 100 student organizations. Top majors include

  • Biology
  • English
  • Arts
  • Psychology
  • Physics

Notables

The college has been going green since 1970s by installing a nuclear reactor on campus. Today, it is run 100% by undergraduates. This saves the environment and gives students the chance to get industry experience. This college is also known for where Steve Jobs went to school – but did not graduate.

2

University of Oregon

College Choice Score: 77.93

Average Net Price: $12,386.00

School Website

Overview

University of Oregon was founded in 1859 in Eugene Oregon. It was part of the agreement for Oregon to become a state to have a public university. Doors first opened in 1876. Since its founding, the university has developed to be a Tier 1 research university that has joined the prestigious Association of American Universities – only 61 other public and private research institutions located in North America are involved. expanded to over.

Features

Today, over 23,600 students study one of 300+ degree programs on their 295 acres with over 3,000 trees to provided plenty of locations to live, learn and practice their green initiatives. Most classes have an average of 20 students. With 17 students to every one faculty member. Students can join hundreds of student organizations or one of 30 Greek life organizations. Top programs are:

  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Economics
  • Physiology

Notables

University of Oregon prides itself with a top ranked “green MBA” program and Sustainable Cities Initiative where students create environmentally sustainable solutions to urban planning. Their athletic teams, the Ducks, play in NCAA I division.

3

Willamette University

College Choice Score: 77.63

Average Net Price: $13,307.00

School Website

Overview

Willamette University was founded in 1842 in Salem, Oregon by a Methodist Missionary named Jason Lee. His goal was to provide educational opportunities to Native Americans and missionary children. As time continued, their first graduate was a woman and by 1877, the university accepted women into their medical program. Today, it is known as the first university in the western United States and one of the first co-educational institutions in the US. The campus has 60 acres next to the 305-acre Zena Forest.

Features

Today, nearly 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students study one of 49 academic programs – including several dual degree programs. In the classroom students can expect most of their classes to be less than 20 people and a student – faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Outside the classroom, students can join over 100 student organizations and 9 Greek life organizations. Top Programs include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Biological & Biomedical Sciences
  • English Language &Literature
  • Visual & Performing Arts
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures & Linguistics

Notables

Willamette University has multiple sister–university relationships with institutions overseas. Notable connections include: Tokyo International University of America, East Chine University of Politics and Law, and Xiamen University in China. These connections allow students to be a part of exchange or study abroad programs between these universities.

4

Oregon State University

College Choice Score: 75.25

Average Net Price: $10,914.00

School Website

Overview

Oregon State University was founded in 1868 as a land-grand university in Crvaliis, Oregon. This 422-acre campus is located 90 minutes south of Portland and about 1-hour from the Pacific coast. It is recognized as one of the top college towns in the United States. Oregon State University touches all 36 counties in Oregon through 15 agricultural experiment stations, 35 county extension offices, a Hatfield Marience Science center in Newport, Oregon, and OSU Cascades in Bend, Oregon. The other campuses are in Corvallis, Bend, Newport, Portland and online.

Features

Today, over 30,000 students study at Oregon State University. These students study over 200 academic programs not including the 100 master programs that are available. This is a commuter school – 83% commute or attend classes online. However, students can appreciate the NCAA division 1 sports, medium class sizes and the 18 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Top majors include:

  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Family and Consumer Services
  • Social Sciences

Notables

It is one of the two American universities that have a sea grant, space grant, land grant AND sun grant groundwork. These grants mean that the work completed in various fields need to directly improve the life of those around the university.

5

Concordia University

College Choice Score: 73.65

Average Net Price: $2,545.00

School Website

Overview

Concordia University was founded in 1905 by the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod (LCMS) as a 4-year academy for local pastors and school teachers. It is in Portland, Oregon on 24 acres. It is the only LCMS university in Oregon. Since its inception, it has grown into a university complete with its own school of law. Today, it is a private, non-profit Lutheran liberal arts university.

Features

Today, more than 3,500 students are enrolled in one of 32 undergraduate and graduate level programs between its four main locations: Boise, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; Bend, Oregon; and online. Students can pursue dual degree options, student life organizations and enjoy an NCAA Division II game. Most classes are under 20 students and the student faculty ratio is 17 to 1. Most students commute to their various classes.

  • Business/marketing
  • Health professions
  • Education
  • Sport and Fitness Management
  • Psychology Social Work and Youth Services

Notables

Concordia University is part of the United States National Concordia University Systems. One of 10 locations. The Oregon location is the fastest growing university in Oregon.

6

University of Portland

College Choice Score: 73.36

Average Net Price: $10,653.00

School Website

Overview

University of Portland was founded in 1901 by Archbishop Christie of the Congregation of Holy Cross, a Catholic monastic order founded by Basil Moreau. University of Portland is located on a 108-acre plot of land overlooking the Willamette River and the city of Portland, Oregon called “the bluff”.

Features

Today, over 4,200 students study over 40 undergraduate and 18 graduate program. The small class sizes include a 14 to 1 student-faculty ratio. Because of the focus on residential living, 94% of the freshmen live on campus. By their senior year, over 58% still live on campus. This is due to a thriving residential community, 80 student clubs, NCAA division I sports and academic support. Top Programs include:

  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Mechanical & Civil Engineering
  • Spanish Language &Literature
  • Psychology

Notables

The Congregation of Holy Cross also founded Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Just like its counterpart, is well known for its STEM, nursing, and their NCAA division I sports. The University looks for a place where the heart and the mind can both be cultivated. As Archbishop Christie stated: It is known for “their superior education unequaled by institution on the Pacific Coast.”

7

Linfield College

College Choice Score: 72.45

Average Net Price: $13,440.00

School Website

Overview

Linfield College was founded in 1885 by Sebastian C. Adams and the Oregon Baptist Educational Society on 189 acres in McMinnville, Oregon. The original name of the institution was McMinnville College. However, the name changed in 1922 after a substantial donation by the Linfield family in honor of their father, Reverend George Fisher Linfield.

Features

Today, Linfield offers 48 majors on three campuses: McMinnville, Portland and online. There well over 50 student organizations to join including Greek life. Inside the classroom, over 70% of the classes have less than 20 students and the student-faculty ratio is 11 to 1. Popular majors include:

  • Business
  • Social Sciences
  • Education
  • Biological & Biomedical sciences
  • Visual & Performing Arts

Notables

There is plenty for students to do around McMinnville, Oregon. You can visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, go to local vineyard tasting rooms, or go on a helicopter tour of the area.

8

Portland State University

College Choice Score: 70.81

Average Net Price: $8,454.00

School Website

Overview

Portland State University was founded in 1946 by Stephen Edward Epler, an Oregon General Extension Division Counselor in Portland, Oregon. The institution was created to address the G.I. Bill World War II Veterans’ demand on higher education. Since then, the university has become one of the 10 most innovative, research schools in the nation. Portland State University is located on 50-acres in the university district of the Rose City.

Features

Today, there are over 27,000 students studying 226 bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Inside the classroom, there is a 17 to 1 student to faculty ratio and over 30% of the classes have less than 20 students. While Portland State University does have a residential opportunity for students. Most students commute to campus or online to continue their education. But commuters and residential students alike enjoy the community events that include NCAA Dvision I sports. Top programs include:

  • Business
  • Social Sciences
  • Health Professions
  • Psychology
  • Humanities

Notables

Portland State University is the only public urban university in a major metropolitan city in Oregon. This creates fantastic opportunities for students to live, work, and play in Portland. The city of Portland has it all: food, culture, shopping, outdoor adventures and fantastic employers. Top employers are Intel, OHSU, and Nike.

9

Pacific University

College Choice Score: 70.30

Average Net Price: $12,254.00

School Website

Overview

Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, is the oldest chartered university in the West. It founded by Congregationalist pioneers, Tabitha brown and Reverend Harvey L. Clark, in 1849 to be a school for orphans that made it through the Applegate trail – this is 10 years prior to Oregon becoming a state.

Features

Since then the humble school has grown to a four campus Oregon university that serves over 3,600 students a year. These students study over 74 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and participate in over 60 different clubs that include Greek life and enjoy NCAA Division II varsity sports. The average class size is 19 and the student-faculty ratio is 10 to 1. Top Programs include:

  • Health Professions
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies
  • Business & Marketing
  • Social Sciences

Notables

Pacific University is known for their innovation. They were the first school to award a doctor of optometry degree in the United States. This cutting edge program has designed contact lenses specific to outdoor sports and assisted with designing a soccer ball for Nike that made it easier for everyone to see the ball when in play.

10

George Fox University

College Choice Score: 70.12

Average Net Price: $8,930.00

School Website

Overview

George Fox University was founded in 1891 by the Evangelical Friends Church (Quaker pioneers). It is considered the oldest Christian University in Oregon. The final location is on 108 acres in Newberg, Oregon, about 23 miles from Portland. The university has grown so much that they offer courses on four main campuses and online.

Features

Today, George Fox University has over 40 majors, 45 minors and 6 pre-professional programs. There are 2,400 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students studying throughout the year. In the classroom, most students will find over 65% of the classes have less than 20 students and the student-faculty ratio is 14 to 1. Top programs are:

  • Business & Marketing
  • Multi-Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Health Professions
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Notables

George Fox University is one of 11 universities in the Richter Scholars Program – other schools include Yale, Cal Tech and University of Chicago. This program provides research funding to 20 students. Most of the grants are between $3,600 to $5,000 and must be completed prior to the student graduating.

11

Corban University

College Choice Score: 70.01

Average Net Price: $5,702.00

School Website

Overview

Corban University was founded in 1935 as a Baptist Bible institute in Arizona. After a few moves and name changes, it settled into Salem, Oregon on the former property of the Oregon Institute for Deaf-Mutes and the Oregon Tuberculosis Hospital. Today, Corban is known for its strong Baptist roots and dedication to education.

Features

Corban University has 1,200 students that study over 50 degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Inside the classroom, most classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, there are over 142 acres of wooded hillside and Salem to discover, student organizations to join and sports teams to cheer on. Student-faculty ratio is 15 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Business & Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Health Professions
  • Theology

Notables

The name Corban is an ancient word that is typically found in Hebrew as word meaning to draw near such as a servant presenting a meal to his master or presenting an offering at a temple. This word, corban, is used over 80 times in the Christian Bible. At Corban University, this means that they instill in their students to seek or to dedicate their lives to serve others and their faith.

12

Lewis & Clark College

College Choice Score: 66.08

Average Net Price: $15,866.00

School Website

Overview

Lewis & Clark College was founded in 1867 by the Presbytery of Oregon near Portland, Oregon. After a few years, the ownership of the school passed to the Lutheran Synod of Oregon. By 1966, the Lutheran Synod and Lewis & Clark College parted ways. The college still holds to its Presbyterian roots; however, it remains an independent institution with its own board of trustees. Today, Lewis & Clark College has over 137 acres between the M. Lloyd Frank Estate in the Collins View neighborhood of Southwest Portland, Oregon.

Features

There are 2,209students pursuing 29 degrees at Lewis & Clark. Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus unless other stipulations are met. On campus, students can travel between campus and downtown Portland regular using the Pioneer express on the TriMet Line. On campus, most classes have less than 20 students and the student-faculty ratio is 12:1. Top Majors include:

  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Biological & Biomedical Sciences
  • Visual & Performing Arts

Notables

Lewis & Clark College is known for producing many Fulbright winners and Peace Corps volunteers.

13

Southern Oregon University

College Choice Score: 64.68

Average Net Price: $8,340.00

School Website

Overview

Southern Oregon University is located in Ashland, Oregon. One could say that the school started in 1872 as Ashland Academy for the Methodist Episcopal Church. since 1872, the institution attempted to grow into a junior college and had several false starts. Officially, the school started in 1926 as a public institution on 175 acres.

Features

Today, Southern Oregon University has over 5,400 students studying 31 different programs. About 40% of the classes have less than 20 students. The typical student faculty ratio is 23:1. Popular majors are:

  • Business & Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Homeland Security
  • Law Enforcement
  • Education

Notables

Faculty make a point to find ways for students to apply their coursework in the real world. The school calls this concept: connected learning experiences. This means that a student might be connected to an internship, mentoring system, field study, capstone experience or be required to fulfill course requirements through a volunteer requirement or civic engagement.

14

Oregon Institute of Technology

College Choice Score: 63.90

Average Net Price: $9,764.00

School Website

Overview

Oregon Institute of Technology was founded in 1947 in beautiful Klamath Falls, Oregon. It was originally designed to be a vocational rehabilitation school for WWII veterans. However, overtime it has developed into a public polytechnic university in Northwestern United States. It is located 5 hours from Portland, Oregon, or Reno, Nevada, and three hours from Eugene, Oregon, or Redding, California. The main campus has 305 acres.

Features

Today, there are over 5,200 students studying at their various campuses and sites. There are over 42 degree options. In the classroom, 56% of the classes will have less than 20 students. The student-faculty ratio is 15 to 1. Top majors include:

  • Health Professions
  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Psychology

Notables

Oregon Institute of Technology started the first renewable energy engineering undergraduate degree. As part of this program, they are working to become the first geothermally powered university. To keep with their green focus, the school has become a Tobacco-Free & Smoke-Free campus as well as encouraging students to ride their Bike to class instead of taking a car.

15

Eastern Oregon University

College Choice Score: 59.31

Average Net Price: $7,027.00

School Website

Overview

Eastern Oregon University was founded in 1929 to develop teachers for the local rural schools. Since then, it has grown into a publicly-funded, regional university with several campuses. Their main campus is in La Grande, Oregon. It is a rural main campus about 110 acres located 259 miles from Portland and 177 from Boise, Idaho.

Features

Today, Eastern Oregon University serves over 3,100 students. Students can join over 50 active student groups or watch a NAIA athletic game. Almost 90% of students commute. Inside the classroom most classes have less than 25 students and the student-faculty ratio is 18 to 1. Top programs include:

  • Business
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Education
  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure & Fitness Studies

Notables

Even though this is a rural location and most students commute, there is still much to do in the community. You can go Skiing in the Elkhorn Mountains, play golf at Buffalo Peak or visit the Wallowa-Witman National Forest. There are plenty to see when you take a scenic train ride or drive the hells Canyon Scenic Byway.

16

Western Oregon University

College Choice Score: 58.35

Average Net Price: $8,300.00

School Website

Overview

Western Oregon University is in Monmouth, Oregon. It is located about 20 minutes from Salem, Oregon and 75 minutes from Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1856 by local pioneers. Overtime, it has merged with other schools and changed its name seven times. Its original focus was to educate teachers in the area. However, since then, it has expanded its focus to include multiple other programs and levels of degrees.

Features

Today, Western Oregon University sits on 157 acres providing undergraduate and graduate programs to over 5,400 students. Almost 75% of the students commute. It is part of the NCAA II athletic Conference. Inside the classroom, over half of the classes will have less than 20 students. The average class size is 18. The student-faculty ratio is 15 to 1.

  • Business
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Exercise Science
  • Psychology

Notables

Monmouth, Oregon has plenty of outdoors and indoors activities to do for all ages. There is a wine tour to taste local wines. There are also several nature reserves that you can visit to walk their hiking trails.

17

Warner Pacific College

College Choice Score: 52.49

Average Net Price: $10,807.00

School Website

Overview

Warner Pacific College was founded in 1937 by the Church of God Reformation Movement out of Anderson, Indiana. Their core is Wesleyan Holiness Theology. It is a private liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. Warner has grown into 5 locations throughout the metro area. Sites includes: Centre 205, Tabor, West Portland, SE Portland (Main Campus) and Vancouver. The Mount Tabor campus sits on 14.5 acres adjacent to the 195 acre Mt. Tabor Park.

Features

Today, 1,400 students study one of the 25 majors, 29 minors, 7 pre-professional programs, or 4 graduate programs. The average class size is 14 and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12 to 1. What is interesting is that there are 550 traditional students attending day classes. However, there are over 900 students taking an evening or online course. Top programs include:

  • Business
  • Family & Consumer Services
  • Theology & Religious Vocations
  • Education
  • Biological & Biomedical Sciences

Notables

While this school is culturally ingrained with the Wesleyan Holiness Theology found in Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), there are almost 30 different Christian denominations represented on campus. The school does focus on holiness, inclusion and unity.

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