U.S. News and World Report College Rankings 2010

U.S. News names best universities

harvard_college_-_annenberg_hall1

Harvard

Choosing a college is an important, expensive decision. Several publications every year come out with college rankings, and U.S. News and World Report has named the best colleges to attend in 2010.

Just as you want to get the best auto financing you possibly can, you must pick a college that gives you the best education you can afford. U.S. News and World Report college rankings conveniently include a “best values” category. Here are the top three schools listed under Best Values in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings for 2010.

Harvard University

U.S. News and World Report college rankings say that Harvard University is number one when it comes to value. This was confusing to me because Harvard is one of the most expensive schools in the country, but it turns out that 57 percent of the students attending Harvard get needs-based grants, and the average discount from total cost is 73 percent.

So, basically, if you can meet Harvard standards well enough to get accepted, the school will help you afford it. I guess that explains why it is number one in value on the U.S. News and World Report college rankings.

Yale University

For similar reasons, Yale came in second place on the best values list on U.S. News and World Report college rankings. Here’s an explanation of the methodology from the U.S. News web site:

Ratio of quality to price: A school’s overall score in the America’s Best Colleges 2010 rankings was divided by the 2008-2009 academic year net cost to a student receiving the average need-based scholarship or grant. The higher the ratio of a school’s America’s Best Colleges 2010 edition rank to the discounted total cost less the average 2008-2009 academic year need-based scholarship or grant, the better the value. Total cost equals the sum of 2008-2009 academic year tuition, room and board, fees, books, and other expenses, including transportation.

Other parts of the Best Value equation include how many students get need-based scholarships and average discounts.

Princeton University

Third on the list of best values among national universities is Princeton University. At this point, one must consider the fact that even receiving a hefty discount on the cost of attending Harvard, Yale or Princeton leaved one with an expensive bill.

I have read several studies that talk about salaries after college compared to the cost of a specific university, and I definitely recommend going to a state school and paying residential tuition instead of paying the cost of going to a private university. But who am I to argue with U.S. News and World Report college rankings for 2010? If you check out rankings.usnews.com/best-colleges/, you can also view college rankings base on highest acceptance rate, highest graduation rate and students older than 25.

There also are categories for economic diversity, eithnic diversity, freshman retention and most and least debt.

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