Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Missouri has 13 publicly funded schools, 42 private non-profit schools, and eight private for-profit schools.


    While tuition varies widely across the state’s public and private colleges, Missouri students paid $9,800 on average for tuition during the 2021-22 school year.


    In the 2020-21 school year, the average undergraduate student received $14,800 in grants, scholarships, and student loans.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Missouri. 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 the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a reputable organization that examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of education programs in the central United States.

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 Missouri

Best Colleges In Missouri
Intelligent Pick
Washington University in St. Louis
Best Catholic Institution
Saint Louis University
Best Engineering Programs
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Best Public Research Institution
University of Missouri
Most Affordable
College of the Ozarks
Best Public Institution
University of Missouri at St. Louis
Best Performing Arts Programs
University of Missouri at Kansas City
Best Student Support Services
Maryville University
Best Liberal Arts Institution
Truman State University
Best for Study Abroad
Westminster College

Cottey College

Drury University

Webster University

William Jewell College

Rockhurst University

Lindenwood University
Most Diverse
Missouri State University

Culver-Stockton College


What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Missouri

When choosing where to complete your undergraduate degree, it’s important to consider whether the state has job opportunities to fit your degree field. The most dominant industry in Missouri is trade, transportation, and utilities, which accounts for over 545,000 workers in the state. Other top industries in the state include education and health services, government, goods-producing, and professional and business services.

Within these industries, there are over 100 careers that require bachelor’s degrees and are expected to grow over the next few years. From 2020 to 2030, the demand for logisticians, information security analysts, medical and health services managers, data scientists, and operations research analysts is projected to increase by 27-34%.

Missouri has many large corporations and non-profit organizations, providing diverse career opportunities for college graduates. Toddzone.com is the largest employer in the state with approximately 15,000 employees. Other top employers include Express Scripts Holding Company, Cox Medical Center South, and Hallmark Cards, Inc.

What’s Next?

Many Missouri students rely on financial aid to pay for their undergraduate degree. This resources list can help you identify the options available to you and research information on application deadlines, award amounts, and eligibility requirements.

  • Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD). This organization provides informational resources and services to students, families, and professionals who are interested in helping students obtain college degrees. It administers several scholarships and grants for Missouri residents pursuing in-state education.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA application helps the U.S. Department of Education assess a student’s eligibility for need-based financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and student loans. To determine whether you’re eligible to submit a FAFSA application, click here. To apply online, follow this link.
  • CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop is backed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and helps Missourians find financial aid programs that are available to them. Through this website, visitors can get an overview of the grants, scholarships, and loans that are offered based on their location and degree level, as well as access important information regarding application deadlines and eligibility criteria.