The cost of higher education has skyrocketed in the last couple of decades. The total student debt in the US has reached an all-time high of more than $1.56 trillion spread out among 45 million borrowers, according to Student Loan Hero. Earning a college diploma involves a hefty financial commitment. You’d be paying the student loans years after graduation. Here we take a look at the top 10 best value colleges of 2019 in the United States. Each of them offers an excellent return on your investment.
Forbes has compiled a list of the best value colleges of 2019 in the United States. They analyzed data on more than 600 colleges and universities across all 50 states in the country. The publication ranked colleges on quality, net price, net debt, timely graduation, alumni earnings, and access for low-income students. The presence of Pell Grant students in an institution indicates that it offers opportunities for low-income students.
For this ranking, Forbes looked at both public and private colleges and universities offering four-year degrees. In recent years, there has been a lot of debate on whether a college education is worth the investment. While the debate is raging on, numerous studies have shown that college graduates earn more money, live longer, enjoy better health, and face a much lower risk of unemployment than high school graduates.
These are the top 10 best value colleges in the United States, according to Forbes’ 2019 ranking.
10- University of Washington, Seattle
The University of Washington in Seattle is a public research university with more than 45,000 students. It’s also relatively easier to get into than UCLA. The total annual cost is $51,159, which includes the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, and other living expenses for out of state students living on campus. U-Dub promotes the entrepreneurial culture, having its own startup incubator.
9- CUNY, Baruch College
Established in 1919, Baruch College is a constituent college of the City University of New York (CUNY). The annual cost here is $39,172, including tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, and other living expenses for out of state students. According to Forbes, more than 70% Baruch students major in business. The New York Times has ranked it among the top 10 colleges for economic mobility. It means Baruch students are highly likely to move from low-income distribution to high-income distribution.
8- Amherst College
Amherst is a private liberal arts college in Massachusetts. According to Forbes, the total annual cost at Amherst is $71,300 and students receive an average financial aid of $47,517. It’s the best liberal arts college in the country. Amherst is an exclusively undergraduate four-year college with fewer than 2,000 students.
7- Harvard University
One of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in the world. It’s a private, not-for-profit research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The total annual cost at Harvard is $69,600, including the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, and other living expenses for out of state students. Students get an average of $48,195 in financial aid. Only about 5% applicants get enrolled at Harvard. Studying at Harvard could be expensive, but its students attract fat paychecks out of college.
6- Stanford University
Founded in 1891 in California, Stanford is one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions. Only about 5% applicants are admitted to Stanford. The total annual cost is estimated to be $69,109, which includes the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, and other living expenses for out of state students living on campus. Students get an average of $47,782 in financial aid. Thanks to its proximity to the Silicon Valley, Stanford has a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
5- University of California, Berkeley
Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the flagship institution of the ten research universities in the University of California system. Only 17% students get admitted to the UC Berkeley. It has more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs with about 40,000 students. At least 107 Nobel laureates, 25 Turing Award winners, and 14 Fields medalists have been associated with UC Berkeley.
4- University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA is the most applied-to university in the United States, having received 119,000 applications for Fall 2016. It is one of the best public universities in the country. The UCLA offers 337 undergraduate and graduate programs to about 43,000 students. Its faculty members and alumni pioneered reverse osmosis and helped create the Internet.
3- University of California, Irvine
This is the third institution from the University of California system to appear among the ten best value colleges in the country. UC Irvine offers 216 undergraduate and graduate programs. The average annual cost is $61,872 and the average financial aid is $18,506. The total annual cost includes the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, and other living expenses for out of state students living on campus. It’s one of the Public Ivies, meaning public universities that provide a quality of education on par with the Ivy League universities.
2- Princeton University
Princeton is a private, not-for-profit research university founded in 1746. Students receive an average of $42,307 in financial aid. Princeton offers more than 50 academic programs. At least 65 Nobel laureates and 15 Fields medalists have been affiliated with the university as alumni, faculty members, or researchers.
1- Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah is the best value college in the United States, according to Forbes. The tuition fee is the same for in-state as well as out-of-the-state students. The university has 179 undergraduate programs, 62 master’s programs, and 26 doctoral degree programs. The total annual cost is $18,370, which includes the cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies, room, and other living expenses for out of state students living on campus.