American colleges have a higher price tag than ever. But steep costs alone don’t equal high quality.
To make the most of your investment, you want to find a college that offers an excellent education for the lowest price possible.
U.S. News & World Report recently released its best-value colleges list for 2018, ranking the top universities with both high-quality academics and low costs for the average undergraduate student who receives need-based financial aid.
Only schools ranked in the top half of the 2018 best national universities ranking were considered for this list.
For each of the schools, U.S. News considered three factors:
- Ratio of quality to price: A school’s overall best colleges ranking score (out of 100) divided by the net cost for the average student receiving need-based financial aid.
- Need-based aid: The percentage of undergraduates receiving need-based scholarships or grants during the 2016-2017 academic year.
- Average discount: The percentage of a school’s 2016-2017 total sticker cost — tuition, room and board, fees, books and other expenses — that was covered by the average need-based aid.
Topping the best-value colleges list for national universities is Princeton University, which also took the top spot in the overall best colleges list. Ivy Leagues Harvard and Yale round out the top three.
Below, check out the list of the top 10 best colleges for your money, according to U.S. News.
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