Why This Matters


    According to College Navigator, Oregon has eight public colleges, 21 private non-profit colleges, and two private for-profit colleges.


    The average Oregon student paid this amount for tuition at public in-state colleges during the 2021-22 school year, according to estimates by College Board.


    This is the sum of financial aid received by the average full-time undergraduate student during the 2020-21 school year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best brick-and-mortar schools in Oregon. 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 Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a reputable organization that examines the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of education programs in the northern 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 Oregon

Best Colleges In Oregon
Intelligent Pick
University of Oregon
Best Research Institution
Oregon State University
Best for Liberal Arts
Reed College
Best Private Institution
Pacific University
Best Financial Aid
George Fox University
Best Catholic Institution
University of Portland
Most Affordable
Portland State University
Best Urban Campus
Lewis & Clark College
Best for Undergraduates
Linfield University
Best Faith-based Institution
Corban University

Willamette University

Warner Pacific University

Oregon Institute of Technology

Bushnell University

Southern Oregon University

Multnomah University


What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Oregon

It’s important to know your career potential in the state where you choose to attend college. As of October 2021, the top five industries that employ the most people in Oregon were trade, transportation, and utilities; goods-producing; education and health services; government; and professional and business services.

In Oregon, the five fastest-growing careers for job seekers with a bachelor’s degree are film and video editors, special effects artists, fine artists (including painters, sculptors, and illustrators), camera operators, and coaches and scouts.

A variety of companies across a wide range of industries made the list of the top 150 employers in Oregon. Some of the largest employers in Oregon include Mentor Graphics, Intel, Nike, and Portland International Airport.

What’s Next?

There are a number of financial aid options available to college students in Oregon. We’ve compiled a list of state and federal resources, including scholarships and grants, that can help you pay for your undergraduate education.

  • Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC). Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission provides information about state financial aid programs and scholarships available to undergraduate students.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $120 billion in financial assistance per year. Types of aid may include scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. Visit the FAFSA4Caster to find out if you’re eligible, and use the online FAFSA form to apply.
  • CareerOneStop. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop helps Oregon students find grants and scholarships that are available in their state. Information can be filtered by degree level, qualifications, award amount, application deadlines, and other useful criteria.