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12 Best Value Colleges: Princeton Review, 2021

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The Princeton Review recently published its rankings of the best value colleges for 2021.

The ratings are based on analyses of some 40 data points, covering academic offerings, costs and financial aid, career placement services, graduation rates and student debt, as well as alumni salary levels and job satisfaction.

Researchers analyzed data from surveys of administrators at more than 650 colleges in 2019–’20 as well as surveys of students attending the schools. They also factored in data from PayScale surveys of alumni of the schools. 

Among the top 50 public best value colleges, the average grant to students with need is $13,700, the median starting salary of graduates is $59,500 and their mid-career salary is $109,700.

The average grant to students with need is $48,200 among the top 50 private best value colleges, graduates’ median starting salary is $68,500 and their mid-career salary is $129,900.

See the gallery for the top-ranked private and public best value colleges. The Princeton Review, which is not affiliated with Princeton University, ranked these categories separately.

We also added average net price — the average costs for beginning students who received aid from the government or the school — from the National Center for Education Statistics from the 2018-2019 school year, the most recent data available.

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