In the latest rating of colleges, Princeton Review and USA Today have released a list of what they consider the 100 best value colleges for 2009. After a quick review it does appear that these organizations have listed most of the schools with the strongest package of financial aid and academics.
Here is a quote from the article about how the “best value” colleges were chosen.
Overall selection criteria included more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs and financial aid. Academic ratings were based on student surveys about such issues as professors’ accessibility and class sizes, as well as institutional reports about student-faculty ratios and percent of classes taught by teaching assistants.
Normally, I consider the Princeton Review rankings with a fair degree of scepticism given there reliance on imprecise student surveys. However, in this case, I think the overall assessment of the value of the colleges listed is fairly sound, even if the underlying criteria used to evaluate the colleges is suspect.
The list includes both public and private colleges throughout the country so there is a “best value” college close to almost everyone.