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The 10 Most Underrated Colleges for Business/Economics in the U.S.

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Business and Economics are both great, employable college majors. By studying business, you will learn the tricks of the trade on how to successfully run and operate all facets of a corporation. Your eyes will be opened up as to how many different kinds of business opportunities are available to you, and you’ll likely be given numerous resources to launch your career as a businessperson.


If you choose Economics, you’re going to be learning about how world economies operate both on a micro and a macro level. From simple supply and demand to complicated econometric models and regressions, you will have the tools to understand the movements of the economy and apply that knowledge to most post-graduation careers.


Through working with over 6,000 students at this point, we’ve found about 10 schools that are consistently underrated when it comes to Business/Economic, but which shouldn’t be discounted. So, if you’re thinking about pursuing a degree in either of these, here are some hidden gems among U.S. colleges that might pique your interest.


How We Put This List Together


The traditional college rankings do a decent job of ranking the best universities, but they leave some key factors out when determining the rankings. Here at CollegeVine, we like to advise families on the most underrated colleges based on the outcomes that these schools could bring for their students like starting salary/ROI, job placements, and other resume-building factors.


When putting this list together, we used the following criteria:


    • ROI and Career Outcome Rankings
    • The US News ranking for that school in particular
    • Whether there is access to attractive job markets post-graduation
    • Any other unique opportunities the school may have


1. Babson College


Babson College, located in cozy Wellesley, Massachusetts, is an independent, not-for-profit institution that prides itself on cultivating entrepreneurship. It is a smaller college, with 2,100 total undergraduates and 900 graduates in attendance from over 80 countries.


Babson College is ranked in the Top 10 for ROI and Career Outcomes, and it was not ranked in the U.S. News report. The schools offer access to the attractive Boston job market, excellent merit scholarships, and a focus on entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, Babson does not have a focus in Economics, but if you’re looking to pursue a Business major, Babson College may be perfect for you.


2. University of Texas


The University of Texas has its main campus in Austin, Texas, but there are satellite campuses all over Texas. Their Business school – McComb’s School of Business – offers both undergraduate business and MBA programs. The University of Texas also offers a comprehensive Economics path.


The Economics major is offered through the College of Liberal Arts. If you decide to do Business through the McComb’s School of Business, you will be able to explore and choose a specific business function to specialize in. This option is not available in many undergraduate business programs.


UT is ranked in the Top 15 for ROI and Career Outcomes, and it ranked 49 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. By attending UT, you gain access to the Austin, Houston, and Dallas job markets, along with having the prestige of attending a should-be public ivy.


3. Brigham Young University


Brigham Young University, a large university located in Provo, Utah, is a Mormon-affiliated school that emphasizes a religious lifestyle. This school is a very cost-effective option for students who are looking to go out-of-state, especially for members of the Latter-day Saints. For LDS members, the cost is $19,654, while for non-LDS members, it is $25,624. Keep in mind that these are sticker costs, and that you may pay less if you receive financial aid.


BYU has a large business school with the ability to specialize in various disciplines such as Strategic Management, Accountancy, and Marketing. BYU also has an MBA program within its business school, so there are likely to be resources for any aspiring MBA candidates.


The undergraduate Economics major at BYU is part of the Family, Home, and Social Science College. This major is helpful because they have created courses that will help you with specific post-graduate career tracks, such as Law, MBA, and other fields. You can explore these courses here.


BYU is ranked in the top 30 in ROI and Career Outcomes and was ranked 66th in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. If you attend BYU, you’ll have great access to the Salt Lake City and “Silicon Alley” job market.


4. University of Utah


The University of Utah is located in exciting Salt Lake City, Utah. It is one of the best in the nation at creating startup companies based on student and faculty research. It also boasts an attractive campus with lots to do along with PAC-12 athletics.


The University of Utah’s school of business is called the David Eccles School of Business. If you decide to pursue undergraduate business studies through Eccles, you will be able to explore and choose which specific business function you would like to specialize in. This option is not available in many undergraduate business schools.


The University of Utah is ranked in the Top 65 for ROI and Career Outcomes, and it is ranked 119th in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The University of Utah also provides strategic access to the Salt Lake City and “Silicon Alley” job markets.

5. University of Idaho


The University of Idaho is located in Boise, Idaho, with locations in Moscow, Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Falls. One of the nation’s land-grant research universities, U of I focuses on student-centered learning and interdisciplinary research. Students who attend this university’s main campus have access to the exciting Boise job market.


The University of Idaho’s business and economics programs are unique in that there are multiple separate majors that all fall under the realm of business and economics. For example, in addition to Economics, the University of Idaho has an Agricultural Economics Major. In addition, the University of Idaho has both a Marketing major and a Marketing major that focuses on entrepreneurship. Learn more about their majors here.


The University of Idaho is ranked in the Top 100 for ROI and career outcomes, and it was ranked 165 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.


6. Hofstra University


Hofstra University is located very close to New York City in Hempstead, Long Island. It is a private, nonsectarian, educational university with almost 7,000 undergraduate students. More than 50% of Hofstra’s incoming students receive merit scholarships, and all students have access to a thriving New York City job market.


Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Forbes ranked the Frank G. Zarb School of Business’s undergraduate business program as one of the best in the nation. The business school has a heavy focus on experiential learning opportunities such as the dual degree with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics in China, where students get to have a global internship experience while earning two bachelor’s degrees in Business and Economics from two different universities.


Hofstra University was ranked in the Top 70 for ROI and Career Outcomes. It was ranked 140th in the U.S. News and World Report.


7. Fordham University


Fordham University is the Jesuit University of New York, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. They are a tight-knit community in New York City, specifically, Bronx. They offer undergraduate business, finance, and economics programs for incoming freshmen. Their business school is called the Gabelli School of Business. The Gabelli School of Business has some of the most unique undergraduate programs, like Business Economics and Social Innovation. They also allow students to add a second concentration on top of their major, giving students a truly well-rounded learning experience.


Fordham University was ranked in the Top 35 for ROI and Career Outcomes and was ranked 70th in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Students who attend Fordham University have direct access to the sprawling New York City job market. This is a private university, so it might be a little bit more expensive; however, it could definitely be worth it.


8. Bryant University


Bryant University is located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, with access to the Boston job market. Bloomberg Businessweek ranked it in the Top 50 Business programs. College Factual 2019 ranked Bryant University’s various Business and Economics programs consistently in its Top 15 rankings.


Bryant University offers many unique majors within the business and economics realm, such as Marketing Analytics and Management. In addition, students at Bryan are not allowed to choose a minor from the same college. This is done in an attempt to combine Business and Liberal Arts education.


Bryant University is ranked in the Top 150 for ROI and Career Outcomes. It is also ranked outside the Top 300 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.


9. Drexel University


Drexel University has several campus locations and is one of America’s 15 largest public universities. Drexel’s main campus has access to the Philadelphia and New York City job markets, but the job market access varies depending on which location you are in.


While there is only one Economics major at Drexel, there are multiple Business tracks such as International Business and Sports Management. These are all offered through the Lebow College of Business.


Drexel University ranks among the Top 75 in terms of ROI and Career Outcomes and ranks 102 on the U.S. News and World Report rankings.


10. The College of New Jersey (TCNJ)


The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), located in scenic Ewing Township, New Jersey, has one of the highest graduation rates of all four-year colleges and universities. It is also located next to Philadelphia and New York City, which are both thriving job markets. If you want access to those job markets directly, you can go to one of their other campus locations: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.


TCNJ’s Business school is a great stepping stone for an MBA. There are four undergraduate programs offered by the Business school, all relating to different business departments. TCNJ Business students can study Accounting and Information Systems, Economics, Finance, and Marketing & Interdisciplinary Business.


TCNJ is ranked in the Top 150 in ROI and career outcomes and is ranked outside the Top 300 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Finally, there is no minimum transcript requirement for admission into TCNJ.


For More Information


Interested in discovering more underrated colleges? Check out the following blog posts:


The Top 10 Most Underrated Colleges in the Southwest

The Top 10 Most Underrated Computer Science Colleges In The US

Top 10 Most Underrated West Coast Colleges


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Sadhvi Mathur
Senior Blogger

Short Bio
Sadhvi is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley, where she double majored in Economics and Media Studies. Having applied to over 8 universities, each with different application platforms and requirements, she is eager to share her knowledge now that her application process is over. Other than writing, Sadhvi's interests include dancing, playing the piano, and trying not to burn her apartment down when she cooks!