Best College Value (Princeton Wins Again)

Kiplinger Reports Just Released Their 2018 Category Listing

Containing the 300 best schools, considering quality and affordability. Winner in the private schools for the fourth time in a row is Princeton. Liberal arts college-Davidson. Public-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the 17TH TIME IN A ROW.

The report considers quality first. They examine school’s admission rate, test scores, student-faculty ratios, four-year graduation rates, cost, average aid, debt at grad time, and salary yardstick. I vouch and recommend Kiplinger; have been a subscriber for nigh on to 50 years. (The salary yardstick is based on average earnings ten years after graduation.)

For the complete report go to

Do Not Confuse This Report With The Equally Famous Report From US News And World Report

This report breaks all the colleges down to departments; Their overall ratings: #1- a school from New Jersey named Princeton, #2- Harvard, #3- U of Chicago, #4- Yale. Visit US News and World Report at

An example on Kiplinger: Princeton- Admit rate-7% (helps to get in if you can hit a volleyball very hard as Freshman Jess Hunt from San Clemente is doing this year), cost is $61,140 per year, aid average- $47,497, debt at grad time- $8,908 (that is good, trust me), salary yardstick- $80,500.

Some Other Interesting Statements From The Study

  1. Top West Coast School:  Pomona at #6, followed by CIT-#18, Stanford-#20, Pitzer-#53, Cal-#64, USC-#83, UCLA-#84, Cal Poly SLO-#86 and so on.
  2. Lowest Debt At Graduation: So low it must be a misprint; Baruch College of the City University of New York at $7,915. Compare this to UCLA at $21,323 and USC at $27,882. (my friends Gene and Janis G. matriculated at good old BC.)
  3. Best Salary Yardstick:  MIT at $94,200 (no surprise to me). Stanford is at $85,700 which is top in the West.
  4. Lowest Admission Rate: Harvard-#5; Yale-#6; Stanford-#5; Chicago-#8; Pomona-#9; CIT-#8; also, USC-#17, UCLA-#18, Cal Poly SLO-#29
  5. Grad Rate After 4 Years: Pomona-#92; Davidson-#90; Princeton-#89; USC-#77; UCLA-#74; Cal Poly SLO-#48 (granddaughter made it in 4, way to go Ashley, and granddaughter, Kaylee, at UCLA did the four year trick).
  6. Top Cost: From what I could read, Chicago at $73,560 and closely followed by Harvey Mudd of CA at $73,270, now that is a lot of money.
  7. Some Of The Top Need-Based Aid Schools: Yale-$50,565, Amherst-$50,380, and USC at $35,011, and UCLA at $19,577 and Cal Poly SLO at $3,524.
  8. Non-Need-Based Aid: Duke-$63,349, now that also is a lot of money.
  9. College of the Atlantic, ME salary yardstick is $24,300 (a little low), UCLA is $58,700 while Cal Poly SLO is $63,100 (go figure) and USC is $70,400, Cal Tech is $74,200.

So many facts, so many decisions. Many high school seniors will be making this very important decision soon. Just read one announcement that Community College for those seniors in CA will be $0 for next year, that is not a lot of money. Ignore the peer pressure and go community. I did one year and it was so helpful in getting me the “free ride” at Indiana University. Also, the classes were smaller and just as good as other schools I attended. Let’s keep student debt low. Someday you will want to get a loan and buy a house.

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