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2023 Best Value Colleges

Best Value Colleges

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Deciding which college to attend can be an overwhelming task, and determining a college's return-on-investment and overall value is perhaps at the root of that mystery. As you'll see in our detailed methodology pages, we determine college value from more than 20 different attributes, and that's just scratching the surface.

How to Determine if a College is a Good Value?

Many factors such as the cost of attendance and the average starting salary should factor into this equation. Additionally, how high is the graduate rate, and how likely are students to continue studying at a given college after starting - this can be a trailing indicator of how happy students are and how much worth they find in their continued studies. In addition, how affordable are the financial aid packages, and are there scholarships available to students - both can greatly reduce the initial financial burden and increase the college value. Other obvious factors include the cost of living, which should be carefully evaluated, as this can lead to dramatic and unexpected costs - living in a small rural town is completely different than setting up camp in Manhattan for a 4 year college journey.

What Are the Best Value Colleges?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sitting on top of the best value ranking is Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also known as MIT. Although the price tag is hefty, coming in at $53,450, MIT is infamous for producing some of the top minds in many professional fields, so the cost is actually fairly in-line with the outcomes that can be expected. However, with an acceptance rate of just 7%, it can be challenging to gain entry, but once inside the environment is rather exclusive as there's just over 12 thousand total students on campus. Another bonus, not only is the school a great value, but it also ranks as the best overall college as well.

Stanford University

Next is Stanford University, located in the Silicon Valley and coming in at a cost of $52,857, it's ranked as the second best value college and is a great fit for students wanting to gain access to the dynamic and ever-evolving technology economy. It can also be difficult to get accepted, as the acceptance rate sits at 4%, but the rewards can be worth it as the overall college is ranked #2.

Duke University

Duke University comes in at #3 and is not only a great value, but also holds an overall college ranking of #6. With an acceptance rate of 8%, and tuition of $55,880, Duke does a great job at meeting the needs of its students and providing them with an amazing educational experience.

Harvard University

Harvard University is #4, and although the tuition is significantly lower than the other colleges at just $47,730, the acceptance rate is only 5%, which is one of the most challenging acceptance rates in the United States. Additionally, with an overall college ranking of #3, it really is a no-brainer for students wanting to be near the top of their graduating class.

Yale University

Last but not least, is Yale University, and although it ranks just one spot behind Harvard, the tuition is quite a bit higher at $55,500. And, the acceptance rate isn't much easier at 6%, so students that have their hearts set on Yale shouldn't take the admissions process lightly.

How Can I Spot Best Value Colleges?

Value can be an ambiguous topic, to say the least. Of course there’s the cold hard facts of tuition cost and salary, but simply making a quick return on invested cash isn’t always the best measure of a school’s value, and as such, these recommendations should simply serve as a starting point for your value search. The majority of the schools in this ranking have low acceptance rates, which is a testament to their academic rigor and academic excellence. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t excellent value opportunities that have easier admission processes. Ultimately, college aid and scholarship can play a huge part in reducing cost and driving up the value of a college education.

Best Value Colleges

Best Value Colleges

A+

Rating

#1 2023 Best Value Colleges

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA | web.mit.edu/

7%

Acceptance

12,195

Students

#1

Ranking

$53K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#2 2023 Best Value Colleges

Stanford University

Stanford, CA | www.stanford.edu/

5%

Acceptance

20,961

Students

#2

Ranking

$56K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#3 2023 Best Value Colleges

Duke University

Durham, NC | www.duke.edu/

8%

Acceptance

17,855

Students

#6

Ranking

$58K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#4 2023 Best Value Colleges

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA | www.harvard.edu/

5%

Acceptance

41,024

Students

#3

Ranking

$54K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#5 2023 Best Value Colleges

Yale University

New Haven, CT | https://www.yale.edu/

7%

Acceptance

14,910

Students

#8

Ranking

$58K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#6 2023 Best Value Colleges

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ | www.princeton.edu/

6%

Acceptance

8,532

Students

#5

Ranking

$49K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#7 2023 Best Value Colleges

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA | www.upenn.edu/

9%

Acceptance

30,688

Students

#7

Ranking

$60K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#8 2023 Best Value Colleges

Georgetown University

Washington, DC | www.georgetown.edu/

17%

Acceptance

22,720

Students

#19

Ranking

$58K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#9 2023 Best Value Colleges

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY | www.cornell.edu/

11%

Acceptance

24,594

Students

#14

Ranking

$59K

Tuition

A+

Rating

#10 2023 Best Value Colleges

Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY | www.columbia.edu/

7%

Acceptance

33,882

Students

#10

Ranking

$62K

Tuition

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