Welcome to BestCollegeValues.com, an online resource for prospective college students seeking an education worth its cost. Best College Values strives to provide the most comprehensive and rigorously researched set of online resources on the intersections of college affordability, educational quality, and educational outcomes so that individuals pursuing higher education can make informed decisions about what to study and where to study it.
Our resources include rankings on top value residential programs of study in general disciplines such as education, business, nursing, etc., as well as shorter more detailed rankings of online programs of study in more specific areas such as curriculum & instruction, accountancy, gerontology, etc. In addition to these numbered rankings, our FAQ section provides well researched answers to common questions regarding college values, the admission process, financial aid, and more.
To get started you can read our FAQ “What makes a college a good value?” to find out more about how we think about college value, or take a look at “How important are college rankings?” to get a better sense of how resources like our rankings can be effectively used.
Why Best College Values?
While publications such as U.S. News and World Report provide a range of detailed rankings of colleges and universities that include rankings by discipline, these rankings are heavily weighted to favor academic quality and prestige. The high cost of many of these top schools prohibits the average person from enrolling in them. While we believe that U.S. News’ and similar publications’ college rankings are valuable indicators of schools’ academic performance and reputations, we also believe that for the average prospective student seeking an education that will prepare them to enter the workforce, a number of other factors ought to be considered more heavily. Best College Values is thus dedicated to producing rankings of undergraduate and graduate level programs that are built on composite scores based off of affordability, financial outcomes post graduation, and institutional reputation. We believe these rankings highlight the colleges and universities where students will be able to earn a degree that strikes a balance between all three factors. These are the Best College Values.
When we refer to “value,” we recognize that what makes a college education valuable is a shifting terrain. While it is not exactly possible to quantify the value of higher education as it certainly still includes things like intellectual formation, the development of coherent views of the world and society, building meaningful relationships with peers and faculty mentors, and self-discovery, today, these values, while important, are being increasingly outmoded by the need for training of professionals for the increasingly complex tasks of the 21st century workforce.
At a time when the cost of a college education is higher than it has ever been and an increasing number of secure and decent paying jobs demand that competitive candidates possess a degree from a reputable school, it is more important than ever to know what you are getting for what you are paying into your education. So while “value” cannot necessarily be objectively defined, there are objective factors that can be assessed. Our rankings are built to do just that. By aggregating publicly available data on institutional reputation, tuition costs, return on investment, graduation rates, and cohort default rates, we give prospective students a well rounded, objective picture of where they can get the best education for the best price.