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2021 Best Value Special Education Schools

Highlighting Quality Schools With More Affordable Pricing

641 Colleges
$17,311 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$43,879 Avg Salary

Finding the Best Special Education School for You

Special Education is one of the most popular majors in the nation, ranking 5th of all the majors we analyze. In 2018-2019, 30,639 degrees and certificates were awarded to students with this major.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which teaching program is right for you. You can choose a traditional brick and mortar school, or with the growth of online education, you can attend a school half-way across the country without even leaving your house. Also there are many trade schools that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Teaching Degree Search has created the Best Value Special Education Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. This report analyzed 641 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best value programs for special ed students. The goal was to highlight schools with more affordable prices than others offering similar quality experiences.

When determining this ranking, we place a high emphasis on the school's quality as well as its sticker price. Even though a college may be affordable, it may not offer value. Specifically, our score for quality is discounted by the published tuition and fees charged by the given college. This gives the cost per unit of quality for each college. The more quality your dollar buys, the better the value.

Our calculations use out-of-state tuition and fees in our nationwide and regional rankings. For statewide rankings, we use average in-state tuition and fees.

2021 Best Value Special Education Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best value schools for special ed majors pursuing a .

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality in Special Ed

#1

Otterbein University

Westerville, OH
$32,474 Average Tuition & Fees

Our 2021 rankings named Otterbein University the best value school in the United States for special education students. Otterbein is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Westerville.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Otterbein are $32,474 per year.

Full Special Education at Otterbein University Report

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#2

Flagler College - St Augustine

Saint Augustine, FL
$19,500 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at Flagler College - St Augustine helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best special education schools in the United States. Located in the small suburb of Saint Augustine, Flagler St. Augustine is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Flagler St. Augustine are $19,500 per year.

Full Special Education at Flagler College - St Augustine Report

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#3

Morningside College

Sioux City, IA
$32,720 Average Tuition & Fees

The excellent programs at Morningside College helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best special education schools in the United States. Located in the small city of Sioux City, Morningside is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Morningside are $32,720 a year. After completing their degree, special ed graduates from Morningside carry an average student debtload of $17,550. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $204, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Special Education at Morningside College Report

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#4

Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg, MA

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means Fitchburg State University is a great value for special education students. Located in the midsize suburb of Fitchburg, Fitchburg State is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Fitchburg State are $16,585 a year. On average, special ed graduates from Fitchburg State take out $20,654 in student loans while working on their degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $224.

On top of its placing in our value ranking, Fitchburg State also did well on our Best Special Education Schools list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

Full Special Education at Fitchburg State University Report

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$4,605 Average Tuition & Fees

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Santa Fe Community College. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Value Special Education Schools list. Located in the suburb of Santa Fe, SFCC is a public college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at SFCC are $4,605 a year.

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#6

Chadron State College

Chadron, NE

Chadron State College landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value special education programs. Located in the remote town of Chadron, Chadron State College is a public college with a small student population.

Chadron State College undergraduate students pay an average of $6,976 in tuition and fees each year.

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$4,208 Average Tuition & Fees

Brigham Young University - Idaho came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Special Education Schools ranking. BYU - I is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Rexburg.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at BYU - I are $4,208 a year.

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$7,566 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #8, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin did quite well on this year’s best value schools for special education students. UT Permian Basin is a medium-sized public school located in the midsize city of Odessa.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at UT Permian Basin are $7,566 per year.

Full Special Education at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Report

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#9

Hamline University

Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for special education students. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in the city of Saint Paul, Hamline is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Hamline undergraduate students pay an average of $43,464 in tuition and fees each year.

Hamline also claimed a spot on our Best Special Education Schools list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#10

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT
$6,670 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #10, Western Governors University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for special education students. Located in the suburb of Salt Lake City, WGU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

WGU undergraduate students pay an average of $6,670 in tuition and fees each year.

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$36,740 Average Tuition & Fees

Concordia University, Irvine came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Special Education Schools ranking. Concordia University, Irvine is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Irvine.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Concordia University, Irvine are $36,740 a year.

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Minot State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for special education students. It came in at #12 on the list. MSU is a small public school located in the town of Minot.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at MSU are $7,592 per year.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, MSU also is in the top 15% of our Best Special Education Schools ranking.

Full Special Education at Minot State University Report

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#13

Worcester State University

Worcester, MA
$16,241 Average Tuition & Fees

With a ranking of #13, Worcester State University did quite well on this year’s best value schools for special education students. Located in the midsize city of Worcester, Worcester State is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

Worcester State undergraduate students pay an average of $16,241 in tuition and fees each year.

Full Special Education at Worcester State University Report

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$5,790 Average Tuition & Fees

Brigham Young University - Provo ranked #14 on this year’s Best Value Special Education Schools list. BYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Provo.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at BYU are $5,790 per year.

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$6,550 Average Tuition & Fees

Central Methodist University - College of Graduate & Extended Studies landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value special education programs. CMU CGES is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Fayette.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at CMU CGES are $6,550 per year.

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$6,625 Average Tuition & Fees

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value special education programs. NWTC is a large public school located in the city of Green Bay.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at NWTC are $6,625 per year.

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#17

University of the Cumberlands

Williamsburg, KY
$9,875 Average Tuition & Fees

University of the Cumberlands ranked #17 on this year’s Best Value Special Education Schools list. Cumberlands is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the remote town of Williamsburg.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Cumberlands are $9,875 per year. After completing their degree, special ed graduates from Cumberlands carry an average student debtload of $15,702. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $183.

Full Special Education at University of the Cumberlands Report

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#18

McDaniel College

Westminster, MD

McDaniel College came in at #18 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Westminster, McDaniel is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

McDaniel undergraduate students pay an average of $44,540 in tuition and fees each year.

McDaniel excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Special Education Schools list.

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$22,800 Average Tuition & Fees

Concordia University, Saint Paul did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best value schools for special education students. It came in at #19 on the list. Located in the large city of Saint Paul, Concordia University, Saint Paul is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Concordia University, Saint Paul are $22,800 a year. Special Ed majors at Concordia University, Saint Paul take out an average of $22,508 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $262, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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$19,560 Average Tuition & Fees

Arizona State University - Skysong landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value special education programs. ASU - Skysong is a very large public school located in the city of Scottsdale.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at ASU - Skysong are $19,560 per year.

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With a ranking of #21, Minnesota State University - Mankato did quite well on this year’s best value schools for special education students. Minnesota State Mankato is a large public school located in the small city of Mankato.

Minnesota State Mankato undergraduate students pay an average of $16,730 in tuition and fees each year. The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at Minnesota State Mankato take out is $22,544. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $248.

Minnesota State Mankato also claimed a spot on our Best Special Education Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#22

Holy Family University

Philadelphia, PA
$31,040 Average Tuition & Fees

Holy Family University came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, Holy Family is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Holy Family undergraduate students pay an average of $31,040 in tuition and fees each year. While working on their degree, special ed majors at Holy Family accumulate an average of around $36,891 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $430.

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#23

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

Brandman University landed the #23 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value special education programs. Brandman is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Irvine.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Brandman are $12,440 per year.

Brandman also made our Best Special Education Schools list, coming in at #4.

Full Special Education at Brandman University Report

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Southwest Minnesota State University came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Special Education Schools ranking. Located in the town of Marshall, Southwest Minnesota State University is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Southwest Minnesota State University are $8,874 a year. The average amount in student loans that special ed majors at Southwest Minnesota State University take out is $29,339. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $304.

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#25

Dakota State University

Madison, SD
$12,606 Average Tuition & Fees

Dakota State University landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value special education programs. Located in the town of Madison, Dakota State is a public school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Dakota State are $12,606 a year.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Value Special Education Schools

#27

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN
#28

Drake University

Des Moines, IA
#29

Concordia University, Chicago

River Forest, IL
#30

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE
#31

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC
#32

Endicott College

Beverly, MA
#34

University of Scranton

Scranton, PA
#35

Mayville State University

Mayville, ND
#36

MSU Texas

Wichita Falls, TX
#37

Nicholls State University

Thibodaux, LA
#38

Leeward Community College

Pearl City, HI
#41

Viterbo University

La Crosse, WI
#42

Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA
#44

Peru State College

Peru, NE
#45

Mount Mercy University

Cedar Rapids, IA
#46

American International College

Springfield, MA
#47

Cardinal Stritch University

Milwaukee, WI
#49

Northern State University

Aberdeen, SD
#50

Bethel University Minnesota

Saint Paul, MN

Additional Award Winners

This section shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Value Special Education Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 641 different United States special education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Greenville University Greenville, IL
52 Piedmont College Demorest, GA
53 Wayne State College Wayne, NE
54 Assumption University Worcester, MA
55 Touro College New York, NY
55 Spalding University Louisville, KY
57 Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL
58 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
59 Alverno College Milwaukee, WI
60 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
61 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
62 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
63 Pima Community College Tucson, AZ
64 Illinois State University Normal, IL
65 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS
66 Northern Illinois University Dekalb, IL
67 Winona State University Winona, MN
68 Whitworth University Spokane, WA
69 Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL
70 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Edwardsville, IL
71 Community College of Rhode Island Warwick, RI
71 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
73 Concordia University, Nebraska Seward, NE
73 Muskingum University New Concord, OH
75 Buena Vista University Storm Lake, IA
76 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
76 Henry Ford College Dearborn, MI
78 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
79 Black Hills State University Spearfish, SD
80 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, MO
81 Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC
82 Chemeketa Community College Salem, OR
83 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
84 Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, MA
84 Friends University Wichita, KS
84 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
87 Westfield State University Westfield, MA
87 University of Cincinnati - Clermont College Batavia, OH
89 Martin Luther College New Ulm, MN
90 William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS
91 Centenary University Hackettstown, NJ
92 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
92 Ashland University Ashland, OH
92 Central New Mexico Community College Albuquerque, NM
95 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
96 Southwestern College Winfield, KS

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great value schools for Special Education students seeking value that almost earned our Best Value Special Education Schools award.

Rank College Location
97 Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD
98 Keene State College Keene, NH
99 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
99 Chipola College Marianna, FL
101 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
101 Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles, CA
101 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
101 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
105 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, PA
106 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
107 California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
107 University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Stevens Point, WI
109 Marywood University Scranton, PA
110 Louisiana State University - Alexandria Alexandria, LA
111 National Louis University Chicago, IL
112 Heritage University Toppenish, WA
113 Manhattanville College Purchase, NY
113 Georgia Gwinnett College Lawrenceville, GA
115 Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global Marion, IN
116 National University La Jolla, CA
116 St. Thomas University Miami Gardens, FL
118 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
119 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
120 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg, TX
121 Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, TN
121 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
123 University of Wisconsin - Stout Menomonie, WI
124 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
125 Towson University Towson, MD
125 The College of Saint Rose Albany, NY
125 Westminster College Pennsylvania New Wilmington, PA
128 SUNY Cortland Cortland, NY

Special Education by Region

View the Best Value Special Education Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 14 majors within the teaching area of study, special education has other similar majors worth exploring.

Special Ed Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
General Special Education 20,414
Other Special Education & Teaching 2,242
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 2,193
Elementary Special Education 1,313
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism 924
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities 532
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Secondary Special Education Programs 500
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 476
Education/Teaching of the Gifted & Talented 458
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments 434
Education of the Deaf 358
Education/Teaching of Individuals Who are Developmentally Delayed 240
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments Including Blindness 160
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation 152
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances 115
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Orthopedic & Other Physical Health Impairments 63
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Junior High/Middle School Special Education Programs 56
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries 9

Related Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
General Education 31,066
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to woodleywonderworks.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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