Best Value Colleges for 2010
USA Today © 2010 YellowBrix, Inc.
January 14, 2010
A four-year degree doesn’t have to bury college-bound students in debt.
Faced with state budget cuts and recession, some colleges and universities are stepping up their financial aid offerings.
Many of those schools are on The Princeton Review’s list of 100 Best Value Colleges for 2010, four-year public and private institutions that strive for both quality and affordability.
“These schools are excelling at fulfilling the financial aid need for students, and the rigor of academics is still very high,” says David Soto, director of content development for The Princeton Review, which produces the annual list. The company has partnered with USA TODAY to publish an interactive database, with detailed analysis of the schools and why they were chosen, at BestValueColleges.usatoday.com.
The Princeton Review looked at academics, costs and financial aid from about 700 campuses its editors considered the most selective out of more than 2,000 public and private four-year schools in the USA. The New York education services and test-prep company is not affiliated with Princeton University.
This year’s list keeps the University of Virginia and Swarthmore College in the No. 1 spots for public and private schools, like last year. Several others on this year’s list also appeared last year, including Harvard, Florida State and the University of Georgia. Some are new to the top 10, such as the University of Colorado-Boulder, Texas A&M, MIT, Virginia Tech, the University of Oklahoma, Wellesley and Wesleyan College in Georgia.
Academic ratings were based on surveys of students about class sizes and professors’ accessibility, as well as student/faculty ratios and percentage of classes taught by teaching assistants. Financial aid rankings came from school-reported data and student surveys, and factored in tuition, fees, room and board.