Best Value Colleges: Did your school make the 2024 rankings?

Academics, cost, financial aid, career services, graduation rates, student debt and alumni support are key factor, says the Princeton Review.

In these days of rising skepticism around higher education, what makes a “Best Value College?” Academics, cost, financial aid, career services, graduation rates, student debt and alumni support, among other factors measured by the Princeton Review.

Value, of course, extends beyond campus. For its 2024 Best Value College rankings, the company also surveyed students and alumni of the 209 schools on the list about starting and mid-career salaries and job satisfaction.

The colleges and universities on the list “share three compelling distinctions,” including just over four in 10 accepting 50% or more of their applicants, said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review.


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“All provide outstanding academics. All support their undergraduates with stellar career services. All demonstrate impressive commitments to affordability via extremely generous financial aid for students with need and/or a comparatively low sticker price,” he noted.

The best value colleges list is divided into the top 50 public and private institutions, ranking schools overall and in several categories, including financial aid, internships, career placement and alumni networks. Among the top 50 public schools, the average grant to students with need is $14,794 and the median starting salary of graduates is $72,247. For privates, the average need-based grant is $55,621, and the median starting salary of graduates is $82,388.

Top 10 best value public colleges

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology
  2. University of California, Berkeley
  3. University of Virginia
  4. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  5. University of California, Irvine
  6. University of California, San Diego
  7. University of Michigan
  8. University of California, Santa Barbara
  9. NC State University
  10. The University of Texas at Austin

Top 10 best value private colleges

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  2. Princeton University
  3. Stanford University
  4. Harvey Mudd College
  5. California Institute of Technology
  6. Dartmouth College
  7. Harvard College
  8. Williams College
  9. Yale University
  10. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (New York City)

Find the full rankings here.

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is the managing editor of University Business and a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for University Business, he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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