New Forbes List: 100 Best Value Colleges

How about a free college education? According to Forbes’ latest study on best value colleges, they found four colleges offering free tuition, the only catch is a short stint in military service.

U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Naval Academy all topped the list of best value colleges. The fact that they are free likely had something to do with their placement.

To get an idea of how schools were scored, Forbes used the following weighted average:

The rankings are based on five general categories: postgraduate success (30%), which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction (27.5%), which includes professor evaluations and freshman-to-sophomore retention rates; debt (17.5%), which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rates (17.5%); and competitive awards (7.5%), which rewards schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright.

Below are the top ten.

Best colleges for the money: The top 10
Rank School Total annual cost Student population SAT range Applicants admitted
1 U.S. Military Academy Free 4,621 1140-1350 14%
2 U.S. Air Force Academy Free 4,620 1230-1380 17%
3 U.S. Naval Academy Free 4,552 1140-1360 10%
4 Cooper Union (N.Y.) Free 995 1220-1510 7%
5 U.S. Merchant Marine Academy $7,281 982 N/A 38%
6 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) $8,776 1,347 N/A 9%
7 Berea College $8,986 1,548 1020-1270 19%
8 U.S. Coast Guard Academy $4,600 973 1150-1360 25%
9 Brigham Young University, Idaho $12,920 14,944 990-1230 97%
10 University of Wyoming $24,886* 12,427 970-1220 97%
*Out-of-state tuition; in-state students pay $16,576
See the full list of “best buy” colleges

(You can download a list of the top 100)

State schools were the predominant trend in the listing. Scroll through the list of top 100, I see the following from NY:

Cooper Union – 4th

CUNY Baruch College – 21st

CUNY Queens College – 28th

SUNY Binghamton – 37th

SUNY Stony Brook – 46th

SUNY Albany – 59th

SUNY Geneseo – 62nd

SUNY Buffalo – 75th

SUNY, College of
Environmental Science
and Forestry – 77th

While there are a lot of good colleges, it was rare to find one of the best value college under $20,000. Meaning even for a good value, you will start your career paying $80,000.

I wish you well young adults.

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