Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Arizona has five public colleges, seven private non-profit colleges, and 18 private for-profit colleges.


    The average student in Arizona paid this amount for attending an in-state public college for the 2021-22 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 2020-21 school year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Arizona. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The colleges on our list are accredited by either the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) or Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). These reputable organizations examine the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of post-secondary education programs.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Colleges in Arizona

Best Colleges In Arizona
Intelligent Pick
Arizona State University
Best Athletics Program
University of Arizona
Best Specialization Options
Embry - Riddle Aeronautical University
Best for Online Learning
Northern Arizona University
Best Christian Institutions
Arizona Christian University
Best for Experiential Learning
Prescott College
Best for Native Americans
Dine College


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 leisure and hospitality; information; transportation and warehousing; trade, transportation, and utilities; and retail trade.

The five fastest-growing fields in Arizona for those with bachelor’s degrees are medical and health services managers; substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors; information security analysts; data scientists; and interpreters and translators.

Of those that appear on the list of the top 150 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.