Some of the best universities in the country are also the most affordable, according toU.S. News & World Report’s new list of the best value schools.
Harvard University again topped the magazine’s best value schools ranking, which factors in both a school’s quality and the average net price for a student receiving financial aid — basically, how much they’re actually paying after grants. As U.S. News puts it, “The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.”
Only schools in the first half of U.S. News’ best national universities list were considered for inclusion on their best values ranking.
As Business Insider noted in a post last week, there is often a misunderstood difference between a college’s sticker price — the full cost of tuition and fees often most visible on a website — and the net price — what families actually pay after financial aid and grants.
The Ivy League schools offer particularly generous need-based financial aid packages to students, thanks to their large endowments. On average, around half of students at those eight colleges receive financial aid, with an estimated average aid package of $US40,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year.
At Harvard, which was the top-ranked school for value, the average annual cost for a student who received grants was just $US15,169.
Of the 10 best value schools, nine were also among the 10 best universities on this year’s U.S News & World Report list.
Here are the 10 best value universities and the average cost for a student receiving grants:
1. Harvard University — $US15,169 (58% of students receive need-based grants)
2. Princeton University — $US17,994 (58.8 % of students receive need-based grants)
3. Yale University — $US17,352 (52.2% of students receive need-based grants)
4. Stanford University — $US19,361 (47.9% of students receive need-based grants)
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — $US21,363 (57.3% of students receive need-based grants)
6. Columbia University — $US21,906 (47.6% of students receive need-based grants)
7. Dartmouth College — $US22,503 (48.5% of students receive need-based grants)
8. California Institute of Technology — $US23,281 (51.2% of students receive need-based grants)
9. Rice University — $US19,976 (40.6% of students receive need-based grants)
10. University of Pennsylvania — $US23,542 (46.5% of students receive need-based grants)
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