College Decision Day is fast approaching. High school seniors, transfer students and their families will soon make one of the most important personal and financial decisions of their lives: What schools are worth the investment?
With prices topping $80,000 for a public 4-year college degree and $180,000 for their private counterparts, selecting an undergraduate school is one of the biggest financial decisions a typical American high school student and her family will make. Yet for too many years, weighing a college’s value has been stymied at soft metrics such reputation and selectivity. As compelling as this is, it cedes all power to university admissions algorithms and the college-prep industrial complex.
To our way of thinking, it’s time to empower the consumer-student. The question we begin with is not “what’s the ‘best’ school?” but whether a college will deliver a meaningful return on investment. We offer an answer. The FORBES 2017 Best Value College ranking indexes 300 schools that deliver the best bang for the tuition buck based on tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success.