College affordability is on the front burner in today’s tough economy. The estimated total annual cost of attending a private college can exceed $50,000, and for out-of-state students, the price tag for a year at a public university can surpass $40,000. While “sticker prices” are out of reach for most families, robust financial aid programs (grants, scholarships, loans), available at some schools, can radically improve the economics. The nation’s “Best Values in Private Colleges and Universities,” according to Kiplinger’s findings, are published Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.
Kiplinger’s best college values ratings are based on a combination of “academic quality” (e.g. admissions rate, SAT scores, graduation rate, student/faculty ratio) and “affordability” (i.e. the cost of attendance before and after financial aid).