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 college during the 2020-21 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 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

This list highlights a selection of the best colleges in Oregon, including liberal arts schools, midsize institutions, and large research facilities. We reviewed colleges based on credits needed to graduate and tuition costs, as well as the form of coursework offered (i.e., in-person or distance learning).

Only accredited colleges are included in this list, helping to ensure that schools meet the highest standards for education. The majority of colleges we reviewed are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), which oversees the quality and integrity of student learning for schools in the northwestern states.

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.

  • 77 hours to write this article
  • 165 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 304 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Colleges in Oregon

Best Colleges In Oregon
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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 2020, the top five industries that employ the most people in Oregon were trade, transportation, and utilities; goods-producing services; education and health services; government; and business and professional services.

In Oregon, the five fastest-growing careers for job seekers with a college degree are cartographers and photogrammetrists, operations research analysts, information security analysts, software developers, and athletic trainers.

A variety of companies across a wide range of industries made the list of the top 50 employers in Oregon. The biggest employer in the state is Oregon Health Sciences University, which employs an estimated 20,000 people. Some of the other large employers in Oregon include Mentor Graphics, Stan Corp Financial Group, Intel, Nike, and Portland International Airport, among others.

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.