Tech ranked top public university in Tennessee by SmartAsset

COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech has been named the top public university in both SmartAsset’s Best Value Colleges and Starting Salary studies for 2021. 

“At Tech, we are focused on student success,” said Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham. “We provide a quality education at a lower cost than most schools. We work to produce graduates who are ready to make positive contributions to their employers and communities.”

In the Starting Salary list, Tech is the top ranked public university and is ranked #2 overall (public and private universities), with Vanderbilt University holding the top overall spot. Tech has held the top public spot since this ranking was first published in 2015.

In the Best Value Colleges ranking, Tech also holds the top public university spot and is ranked #3 overall, behind Vanderbilt and Christian Brothers universities. Tech scores highly for its combination of low cost, high retention rate and high starting salary.

“Rankings such as these, while not our measure of success, reflect that what we do for students is having a positive impact,” Oldham said.

SmartAsset uses data from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Department of Education and Payscale, to calculate the annual rankings, looking at five factors: tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings, student retention rate and starting salary for new graduates.

Oldham says that when students or parents ask him if a college education is a worthwhile investment, he can say, “at Tennessee Tech, it is.”

For more information on the rankings, go to

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