Great Value Colleges: Methodology

Great Value Colleges seeks to provide prospective students who are seeking a high-quality online education at an affordable price with the most current and relevant information possible. We feel that this information will allow them a greater opportunity to make an informed decision when plotting the course for their education.

With this in mind, we have designed a methodology based primarily upon tuition costs while also considering key factors such as the potential return on investment, the flexibility of the distance learning programs, academic quality, and the resources available to online students. Below is the standard methodology applied as we develop our rankings.

Ranking Methodology:


  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio – according to the National Center for Education Statistics

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) – according to

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

We then work program flexibility, student support availability, and specialized accreditation into our calculations. This information is collected from the school’s website or program page at the time of  ranking creation.

However, it is worth noting that no one ranking is one size fits all. The best school for any individual student will depend on the students’ goals and preferences in terms of cost, location, and program setup.