The best colleges for your money: 2015-16
We talk a lot about college value, but few rankings systems take affordability into account.
MONEY, however, recently released its yearly list of the colleges ranked by how much value they deliver to the student, by providing a great education at an affordable price and good career prospects.
We’re big fans of their methodology, because unlike the rankings in U.S. News and many other publications, they strive to show students how important it is to consider return on investment when choosing a college.
Top colleges for education quality & affordability
Despite its 2015-16 cost of attendance of $64,477, Stanford University was ranked the best college for your money.
It was joined by many other elite high-priced colleges, such as Princeton and Harvard, in the top 10.
While you’d expect these colleges to rank high for education quality, many people don’t realize that these schools are often quite affordable due to their generous financial aid packages. MONEY took these into account and found many of these colleges to have relatively low net prices after financial aid.
And you also might not expect colleges like Babson College (ranked #2) and Maine Maritime Academy (#8) to rank right along (or ahead of) Ivies in the top 10 in terms of quality as well as affordability, but they also offer a great education at a low price, according to MONEY’s methodology.Check out the top 20 below, and be sure to check out the full list, as well as some of their other rankings that take affordability into account, such as the 50 Most Affordable Private Colleges, The 25 Best Private Colleges for Merit Aid, and The 50 Colleges That Add the Most Value.
1. Stanford University — Stanford, California
2. Babson College — Babson Park, Massachusetts
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Cambridge, Massachusetts
3. Princeton University — Princeton, New Jersey
5. California Institute of Technology — Pasadena, California
6. Harvard University — Cambridge, Massachusetts
6. Harvey Mudd College — Claremont, California
8. Maine Maritime Academy — Castine, Maine
9. Amherst College — Amherst, Massachusetts
9. Cooper Union For The Advancement of Science and Art — New York, New York
9. University of California at Berkeley — Berkeley, California
12. University of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
13. University of California-Irvine — Irvine, California
14. Rice University — Houston, Texas
15. Brigham Young University-Provo — Provo, Utah
15. Bentley University — Waltham, Massachusetts
17. University of Virginia — Charlottesville, Virginia
18. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor — Ann Arbor, Michigan
19. Claremont McKenna College — Claremont, California
20. Texas A&M University-College Station — College Station, Texas