Great Value Colleges strives to help those who are interested in going to college find the best degree for their goals, and then to find the best colleges offering that degree.
We recognize that earning a college degree is a big decision. Our mission is to help you get the best possible education for your money.
Our content are thoroughly researched guides to help you on your journey. We also have compiled rankings of the best schools for the most popular programs. We aim to use publicly available information from reputable third-party sources for our rankings. We reference the sources, along with the methodology we used, in developing the ranking.
However, we understand that the best college for any student is the one that suits your schedule and budget. Our rankings can offer you a starting point in your own research.
Higher & Higher Costs
According to a recent Digest for Educational Statistics report, the average total cost to attend a four-year college or university is $28,123 a year, with public colleges averaging $20,598 a year and private colleges averaging $44,662. These numbers include tuition, fees, and room and board.
These costs are merely the average. Some schools have a much higher tuition rate than others, and all states charge more tuition for out-of-state residents than they do for in-state residents.
Making the Smartest Choices
Our aim is to help you find the schools that provide the best value for your investment.
“Value” means different things to different people, depending upon your:
- Unique situation
- Individual circumstances
- Personal belief system
- Academic goals
- Desired major
- Desired career path
- Any special needs you may have
A “value college” is one that addresses issues such as these while remaining budget-friendly. For this reason, we do not take a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Below are some factors to consider when determining what makes a school a good value:
Total Cost of Attendance On-and-Off-Campus
Some students and their families only look at tuition prices when they are researching a university. They forget about the cost of books, room and board, the numerous fees, and the “incidental” money that a student needs.
Many people also forget to look at those expenses outside of the school: social and cultural activities, additional transportation, and the cost of living in the surrounding area for those who will reside off campus.
These factors have to be taken into account to measure true affordability.
Return on Investment
William Bennett, former Education Secretary under President Reagan coined the phrase “return on investment” (ROI).” In this case, ROI is the graduate’s future earnings. By examining such factors as the cost of attendance, the student debt incurred, and the lifetime earnings, a determination of the probable ROI can be made. We have examined the data in many categories, comparing the ROI suggestions from several different sources.
Availability of Financial Aid and Assistance
The largest single way colleges and universities can create a bridge to affordability for their students is by having a variety of financial aid and assistance in the form of:
- university-sponsored scholarships
- fellowship programs
- employment programs
The difference in offerings between two similarly-priced schools can be significant, and that difference can have a major impact on your decision.
These are just a few of the factors that we take into account. We want to be your resource for accurate information about the best colleges and universities right for you.
To get an idea of the best schools and programs around the country start here.