Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Arizona has nine public colleges, eight private non-profit colleges, and 13 private for-profit colleges.


    The average student in Arizona paid this amount for attending an in-state public college for the 2020-21 academic year, according to College Board.


    A typical full-time U.S. college student pursuing a bachelor’s degree received this amount in financial aid for the 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

Our list is a compilation of the best colleges in Arizona. We reviewed the tuition and graduation requirements for institutions of higher learning that offer both on-campus and online courses.

We only included accredited colleges and universities in our research, which means they are held to a higher standard of education quality. Most of the institutions on our list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which ensures that the institution’s core components include fair and ethical behavior, integrity, responsibility, and high-quality instruction and curriculum content.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 54 hours to write this article
  • 157 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 285 education programs we compared

The Top 20 Colleges in Arizona

Best Colleges In Arizona
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Arizona

When deciding on a degree program or educational field, it’s important to consider the career potential and employability in your state. The top industries in Arizona that saw the most significant changes in employment percentages were transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and goods-producing services.

The five fastest-growing fields in Arizona for those with bachelor’s degrees are operations research analysts, medical and health services managers, software developers, information security analysts, and registered nurses.

Of those that appear on the list of the top 50 largest employers in Arizona, some notable employers are the University of Arizona, Raytheon Missile Systems, Honorhealth Scottsdale Shea MD, Honeywell Aerospace, and American Express Trc-N.

What’s Next?

Financial aid is an important aspect of researching colleges in Arizona. Below we have listed some resources for both federal and state aid that includes information about grants and scholarships as well as other types of financial assistance.

  • Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. This site includes information about Arizona colleges and financial aid as well as helpful links to financial aid websites, such as the Arizona Grants Portal.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is the U.S. Department of Education’s program that helps people find the funds needed to pay for college. Its office awards more than $120 billion in student aid each year through various programs, including work-study opportunities, scholarships, grants, and education loans. To find out more information, go to FAFSA4caster, or go to the online FAFSA form to start the application process.
  • CareerOneStop: CareerOneStop is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and has information available for each state about scholarships and grants, who is eligible for them, and how to apply for them. You can filter this source by degree type and the state where you plan to study.