COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — With the rising cost of college tuition and the enormous amount of student debt most graduates take on, prospective college students predictably want to get the most for their money. For students planning to enroll this year, a new list ranks the best value colleges in the country for 2018 and 3 of those colleges are right here in Colorado, with a Colorado Springs institution in the top 30.
The list is compiled by Kiplinger, a personal finance and business forecasts publisher. Kiplinger notes that nationally over the past 20 years, in-state students attending public four-year universities have gone up 82 percent when adjusted for inflation. Tuition hikes have been less dramatic at private, non-profit four-year colleges, but still jumped 59 percent.
Student-loan debt has also gone up while average earnings of recent college graduates have remained relatively flat, according to Kiplinger. The publication’s annual list of the 300 best value colleges and universities weighs quality with affordability, giving students a resource to see where they’ll get the most for their investment.
Kiplinger defines value as "a high-quality education at an affordable price."
The three Colorado institutions that are among 300 in the country that rank as "best value colleges" are:
To come up with the rankings, Kiplinger looks at admission and graduation rates, academic support, tuition costs and financial aid, average student debt and the salary graduates might earn a decade after they graduate. (You can read more about Kiplinger’s methodology here.)
The top 10 colleges on the list are:
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusett Duke University, Durham, North Carolina Pomona College, Claremont, California Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Rice University, Houston, Texas Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Image: Students walk between classes during a fresh snow fall on the campus of the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colo., Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)