There is no doubt that earning a bachelor’s in HR management is a significant expense. The goal for most HR students is to graduate with as little debt as possible and land a great job. When searching for a great college offering a bachelor’s in HR, students typically consider cost, location, admissions criteria, and graduation rate. One factor that often gets overlooked is a school’s return on investment, or ROI. ROI is a commonly used performance measure that evaluates an investment, in this case education, and the amount of return that investment can expect to generate relative to its cost.
We looked at College Navigator to find schools with a net tuition rate of under $15,000 per year, offering a bachelor’s in HR. We then researched ROI figures for each school using Payscale.com to rank them in order of their ROI. We chose to look at the 20-year return on investment figures that look at the investment in college and the return from attending college. The ROI figure is the financial benefit gained by earning a college degree versus going straight to work after high school. We recognize that these figures are for the entire school and are not made at a granular level, but the information they provide is a valuable tool when searching for a bachelor’s degree program in human resources. Below are the 25 colleges with the highest ROI offering a bachelor’s in human resource management.
#25 – Central Michigan University – Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Bachelor’s in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $228,000 in-state and $180,000 out-of-state
Central Michigan University features a top value bachelor’s in HR management with plenty of hands-on experience in some of Michigan’s top companies. Two of the six required HRM courses offer a semester long collaborative project with companies such as Dow Corning, Spectrum Health, and Thompson Reuters. Students can choose to take a course in either business statistics or applied Lean Six Sigma. Graduates of this top ROI degree program add value to their employers by selecting and developing their future talent.
#24 – Tarleton State University – Stephenville, Texas
B.B.A. in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $240,000 in-state and $204,000 out-of-state
Tarleton State University is a member of The Texas A&M University System, boasting not only a high ROI but also an ACBSP accredited bachelor’s in HR management program. Students benefit from hands-on experience through organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Delta Mu Delta, and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization. Study abroad opportunities are available in countries like Ireland, Spain, and Italy for students with a passion for international business. Affordable courses cover areas such as HR development, employee and labor relations, business ethics, and employment law. Graduates of this top value HR program are prepared for exciting careers in HR including corporate headhunting, business coaching, and benefit analysis.
#23 – Youngstown State University – Youngstown, Ohio
Bachelor’s in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $257,000 in-state and $256,000 out-of-state
The best value HR management bachelor’s degree at Youngstown State University is a comprehensive program that prepares students to be valuable HR professionals. This AACSB accredited program provides students with a professional experience through experiential learning opportunities and hands-on training. Students will learn how to manage a healthy work environment, understand federal law surrounding HR policies, and how to select and train valuable employees. Previous students have interned with companies like FirstEnergy, The Brilex Group of Companies, and Salem Community Hospital. Graduates of this top return on investment bachelor’s degree program have been hired by employers such as Aerotek, JPMorgan Chase and Co., and the Alta Care Group.
#22 – University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Wisconsin
B.B.A. in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $262,000 in-state and $231,000 out-of-state
The UW-Whitewater Bachelor of Business Administration in HR Management offers a curriculum that aligns with the SHRM’s Curriculum Guidebook and Templates. This top value bachelor’s degree program is taught by expert level faculty recognized for their research and teaching. Affordable HR courses cover areas like staffing, training and development, compensation, and benefits. The ROI is likely impacted positively by experiential learning opportunities and internships that prepare graduates for the workforce.
#21 – Sam Houston State University – Huntsville, Texas
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $276,000 in-state and $239,000 out-of-state
Sam Houston State University features a top value campus-based bachelor’s of business administration with an emphasis on HR management. The low cost curriculum fully aligns with the SHRM’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates. Experiential learning opportunities help students develop their hard and soft skills. Learning opportunities include internships, study abroad opportunities, networking sessions, and community engagement projects. Graduates of this top ROI HR program are prepared for well paid positions in areas like recruitment, benefits, compensation, and occupational safety.
#20 – The University of Texas at San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
B.B.A. Degree in Management-HRM Track
20 Year Net ROI: $282,000 in-state and $244,000 out-of-state
The University of Texas at San Antonio offers a great value BBA in management with a program track in HR management. Inexpensive HR courses cover areas like performance management, managing teams and avoiding conflict, staffing organizations, and compensating employees. Scholarships are available through the College of Business to help keep cost affordable and allow for a high return on investment. Internships for academic credit help students exercise their skills and prepare for a successful career in HR.
#19 – University of Nebraska at Omaha – Omaha, Nebraska
Bachelor’s in Management-HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $284,000 in-state and $239,000 out-of-state
The Department of Management at the University of Nebraska Omaha features a low cost bachelor’s in management with a concentration in HR management. The curriculum aligns with the guidelines set by the SHRM, offering inexpensive courses that cover areas like staffing, employment law, leadership, and ethical decision making. Students can help ensure a high ROI on their academic investment by participating in the student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for mentoring, professional meetings, and social interactions with other students and HR practitioners. An HR related internship experience provides students with hands-on training that help them land a great job after graduation. All students are eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP HR certification exam during their senior year, helping them stand out from the competition in their job search.
#18 – Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses – Fort Wayne, Indiana
B.S.B.A. in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $288,000 in-state and $187,000 out-of-state
The BSBA in HR management from Trine University is an ACBSP accredited, cheap bachelor’s degree program preparing students to become an HR professional. Students gain an understanding of business practices and processes that are necessary for an HR department to function within an organization. Low cost HR courses cover areas like compensation and benefits, leadership, organizational behavior, and strategic management. All students complete a business internship, adding professional value to their degree. Graduates have been able to maximize their ROI by working as HR administrators, occupational safety professionals, policy developers, and employee relations specialists.
#17 – Wichita State University – Wichita, Kansas
Bachelor of Business Administration-HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $288,000 in-state and $255,000 out-of-state
The best value HR management major at Wichita State University is a comprehensive and cheap BBA program that meets the certification requirements for HR professionals through the SHRM. HR courses cover areas like managing workplace diversity, HR staffing, communicating effectively in organizations, and building effective work teams. Students can expand their professional network by participating in the WSU Student Chapter of SHRM.
#16 – Wright State University – Dayton, Ohio
Human Resource Management, BSB
20 Year Net ROI: $295,000 in-state and $262,000 out-of-state
Wright State University features a best value BSB in HR management for students who want to make a positive contribution to an organization by finding, hiring, and developing their talent. Students can help maximize their ROI by completing field experiences and HR projects with local organizations. Cheap HR Management courses cover areas like compensation and benefits, HR management, legal aspects of the workplace, and staffing. All students complete a capstone focused on timely and important issues for HR professionals. An optional internship is available for students who could benefit from additional field experience.
#15 – Baker College – Flint, Michigan
Bachelor’s in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $299,000
The affordable bachelor’s in HR management from Baker College is a professional degree program combining classroom learning with practical experience. This IACBE accredited program is available both online and on-campus to accommodate students at all stages of their professional development. HR courses cover areas like staffing, compensation, training and development, and HR and employment law. Students are expected to complete two-120 clock hour work experience courses to gain professional field training, improving their ROI.
#14 – Portland State University – Portland, Oregon
Bachelor’s Degree in Business: HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $299,000 in-state and $287,000 out-of-state
Portland State University features a best value bachelor’s in HR management with real-world experience with Portland businesses and a diverse student body. Affordable HR management courses cover areas like collective bargaining, training and development, staffing and employee selection, and reward systems and performance management. Students can improve their ROI by participating in Human Resource Management Association student chapter which provides students with applied projects and community based learning opportunities. PSU also offers business students valuable career services that help with resume writing, interviewing, and career development.
#13 – Texas Woman’s University – Denton, Texas
BBA in Human Resource Management
20 Year Net ROI: $305,000 in-state and $264,000 out-of-state
The cheap BBA in HR Management from Texas Woman’s University is both SHRM approved and ACBSP accredited. The Economist Magazine named TWU 2nd in the state for adding value to a student’s earning potential, contributing to its high ROI. HR Management courses cover areas like compensation, labor management relationships, training and development, and employment staffing. Students have access to the Career Connections Center which provides career planning services and networking opportunities for both students and alumni. A team of Outreach and External Relations staff work with the Career Center to keep students current on employment opportunities and networking events.
#12 – Rutgers University-Camden – Camden, New Jersey
BS in Business-Strategic HR Management Track
20 Year Net ROI: $319,000 in-state and $261,000 out-of-state
The Rutgers University School of Business features a major in management with coursework in HR management. Courses cover areas like strategic HR management, legal issues in HR, employee and labor relations, and career planning and career management. All students complete a structured internship experience in cooperation with the School of Business-Camden. Honors students can choose to complete an individual research project. The Student Experience Center is a unique resource available to students, providing them with educational and experiential activities that help them succeed in college and in their career.
#11 – Ferris State University – Big Rapids, Michigan
Bachelors Degree HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $332,000 in-state and $307,000 out-of-state
Another great school offering a high ROI and a cheap bachelor’s in HR management is Ferris State University. This well-rounded, high value HR Management degree program includes business courses in accounting, computer information systems, finance, and international business. Key HR courses cover areas like employment law, negotiation, and recruitment and selection. This ACBSP accredited program is taught by professional teachers, not grad students. Class size is intentionally kept small so professors can focus on their students and prepare them for a successful future in HR.
#10 – University of Nevada-Las Vegas – Las Vegas, Nevada
BS in Business Administration; Management-HR Management Concentration
20 Year Net ROI: $335,000 in-state and $280,000 out-of-state
The affordable BSBA HR management degree program offered by the University of Nevada Las Vegas teaches students how to recruit, retain, train, compensate, and develop talent. HR Management courses cover areas like employment law, compensation, and negotiation. Students can choose to complete an internship to gain professional training outside the traditional classroom setting. Career services can help students maximize their ROI with resume writing, interview preparation, job searching assistance, and networking.
#9 – Florida International University – Miami, Florida
Bachelor of Business Administration in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $339,000 in-state and $290,000 out-of-state
Florida International University features a flexible and low cost BBA in HR Management emphasizing current industry trends. Students will be able to follow HR industry standards, improve HR functions, improve retention within an organization, and ensure training has a positive ROI for the corporation. HR Management courses cover areas like union-management relations, HR information systems, and compensation and benefits. Students can maximize their ROI by utilizing the Business Career Center to help gather resources to pursue potential business opportunities.
#8 – Oakland University – Rochester Hills, Michigan
Bachelor’s in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $344,000 in-state and $293,000 out-of-state
The top value bachelor’s in HR management from Oakland University is just one of three HR programs in the state accredited by the SHRM. The cheap HRM program emphasizes hands-on experience through a capstone that consists of either a portfolio project or internship (or both!). Students in this AACSB accredited program make industry connections through guest lectures, case-based classroom assignments, on-campus recruiting events, and student organizations. Students can feel confident in getting a high ROI on their education, 97% of recent HR grads found a job in the field or enrolled in grad school within a year of graduation.
#7 – University of Houston-Victoria – Victoria, Texas
BBA in General Business-HR Management Concentration
20 Year Net ROI: $350,000 in-state and $305,000 out-of-state
The School of Business Administration at the University of Houston-Victoria features a low cost bachelor’s in HR management with specialized courses in staffing, compensation, employee relations, and training and development. Business core classes can be taken online or at either the Victoria or Katy campuses. The HR concentration courses are available entirely online. Graduates of this high ROI HR degree program are prepared for careers in payroll, benefits administration, labor relations, and training and development.
#6 – Central Washington University – Ellensburg, Washington
B.S. Business Administration-HR Management Specialization
20 Year Net ROI: $358,000 in-state and $307,000 out-of-state
Interested in an inexpensive HR bachelor’s degree program focused current trends, best practices, and innovative research while providing a high ROI? Central Washington University features a top HR programs with courses covering areas like training and development, employee relations, and compensation policy and administration. All students complete an internship experience as part of their studies. Courses are taught by internationally renown professors with experience in HR management and organizational behavior. Graduates are working in exciting roles with Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon and Starbucks.
#5 – Lamar University – Beaumont, Texas
Bachelor’s Degree in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $400,000 in-state and $364,000 out-of-state
The Department of Management, Marketing and Human Resources at Lamar University features a top value Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources covering the recruitment, selection, maintenance and development of an organization’s talent. Students have in-class opportunities to work with a variety of business organizations in hands-on projects. Training on industry recognized software programs give students the tech skills needed to management projects and complete data analysis. Graduates of this top ROI degree program have found success working for leading companies like T Mobile, Chase Bank, and Enterprise Rental Car.
#4 – Utah State University – Logan, Utah
Bachelor’s in Management-HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $410,000 in-state and $361,000 out-of-state
Utah State University features a cheap bachelor’s in management with an emphasis in HR Management through the Huntsman School of Business. Students can takeHR courses in areas like business law, big data analytics, managing human capital, and managerial ethics. Students can work with career coaches to help land the perfect job. Focused Fridays give students the chance to meet with executives and industry experts. A network of over 30,000 alumni are available to help students make connections with industry experts which is a factor as to why this school has such a high ROI.
#3 – Weber State University – Ogden, Utah
BS in Business Administration, Human Resource Management
20 Year Net ROI: $444,000 in-state and $409,000 out-of-state
The best value Business Administration bachelor’s degree program with an emphasis in HR management from Weber State University is an AACSB accredited program with small class size and expert faculty. Students gain technical skills from business courses and leadership and people skills from a strong HR curriculum. Graduates of this low cost HR degree program report starting salaries above the national average. The HR program boasts a 100% internship and job placement rate, contributing to the UT Dallas’ high ROI.
#2 – The University of Texas at Dallas – Richardson, Texas
Bachelor of Science in HR Management
20 Year Net ROI: $510,000 in-state and $445,000 out-of-state
The University of Texas at Dallas features a cheap bachelor’s in HR recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). This AACSB accredited HR program includes courses in employment law, organizational behavior, training and development, and leading organizational change. All students complete a community engagement experience to gain valuable work experience. A practicum experience is also required to develop professional skills. These professional opportunities can greatly improve a student’s ROI.
#1 – University of Washington – Seattle, Washington
BA in Business Administration-HR Management option
20 Year Net ROI: $555,000 in-state and $468,000 out-of-state
The University of Wisconsin features the highest ROI for any school offering a bachelor’s in HR on our list. The Michael G. Foster School of Business offers a top value BABA with an option in HR management with multiple experiential learning opportunities designed to prepare students for a successful career in HR. Students can participate in internships to supplement their classroom learning. Student organizations like the Business Ethics Association, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), and the Undergraduate Management Consulting Association provide professional development opportunities. An Honors Option is available to students needing more rigorous study.
Other Rankings of Interest:
- Top 25 Online Masters in HR that Require No GRE or GMAT
- 10 Most Affordable Online PhD in Human Resources
- 20 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Human Resources
- Top 10 PhD Programs in Human Resources
- 20 Best Master’s in Human Resources (Campus-based)
- Top 10 Online Ph.D. Programs in Human Resources
- 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Organizational Behavior Degree Programs
- 50 Most Affordable Human Resource MBA Degree Programs
- 25 Best Online Human Resources Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)
- 15 Best HR Associations for Human Resource Professionals