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There is a raging debate in the country about the value of a college education. Partly, the rising cost of education has prompted this debate. The average cost for a public 4-year college degree is over $80,000 and for private ones are $180,000. The burden of paying for a college education, both for rich and for middle class families, has considerably increased over the past 30 years. Some families find themselves too wealthy to qualify for financial aid, but are too strapped to pay out-of-pocket for college education. This is how federal financial aid works since it is needs based. If you are in this situation, check out our blog that addresses this issue and provides a guide for action.
Plus, given globalization and the slow growth economy worldwide, competition for jobs have intensified. The rising cost of a college education increases debt levels for students, and they struggle to pay the debt for a long time.
How can we empower families to deal with the rising cost of college education? Weighing a college's value has been done using soft metrics like reputation, selectivity and alumni networks. This type of evaluation cedes all power to university admissions algorithms, committees and various pressure groups seeking favors. You may be rich enough to send your kid to the top colleges, but you are not the decision maker.
It's time to challenge the way we look at the college admissions process. We want to empower the students and their families with useful information about the value of their college education.
We begin with asking questions like, “Which colleges are worth the investment?” instead of, “Which are the best colleges?”
Forbes has published a list of Best Value Colleges of 300 schools that delivers the best return on your investment. The FORBES 2017 Best Value College ranking indexed 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. The data was collected from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard as well as PayScale, the world's largest salary database.
The Top 50 Colleges:
Following is a list to top 50 colleges based on their value. UC Berkeley is the No. 1 Best Value College for the second year in a row, followed by UCLA and Princeton University. There are two more U.Cs in the top 10: UC Irvine and UC Davis. Elite schools like Harvard, MIT and Stanford are also among the top 10.
The rest of the top 300 schools can be found here.