The 17 best colleges for the value

caption
Vanderbilt University.
source
Facebook/Vanderbilt University

The best education isn’t necessarily the most expensive one.

As Kiplinger details in its 2017 ranking of the best colleges for the value, which accounted for acceptance and graduation rates relative to debt, some of the most worthwhile schools are cheaper and less well-known than their Ivy League counterparts.

These schools don’t all have the same brand recognition, but they may be smarter choices in the long run.


17. Rice University

source
Rice University/Facebook

Admission rate: 16%

Total cost per year: $58,448

Avg. need-based aid: $36,025

Avg. debt at graduation: $25,528


16. Wesleyan University

source
Joe Mabel/Flickr

Admission rate: 22%

Total cost per year: $66,062

Avg. need-based aid: $41,244

Avg. debt at graduation: $24,860


15. Williams College

source
Williams College/Facebook

Admission rate: 18%

Total cost per year: $66,280

Avg. need-based aid: $46,007

Avg. debt at graduation: $16,593


14. Amherst College

source
Flickr / David Brooks

Admission rate: 14%

Total cost per year: $67,446

Avg. need-based aid: $49,134

Avg. debt at graduation: $15,756


13. Yale University

source
Yale University / Michael Marsland

Admission rate: 7%

Total cost per year: $68,230

Avg. need-based aid: $47,960

Avg. debt at graduation: $15,521


12. Pomona College

source
Wikimedia Commons

Admission rate: 10%

Total cost per year: $65,857

Avg. need-based aid: $42,064

Avg. debt at graduation: $13,381


11. Middlebury College

source
Flickr/cogdogblog

Admission rate: 17%

Total cost per year: $65,332

Avg. need-based aid: $41,778

Avg. debt at graduation: $17,797


10. Wellesley College

source
Wikimedia Commons

Admission rate: 30%

Total cost per year: $65,016

Avg. need-based aid: $44,218

Avg. debt at graduation: $12,455


9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

source
Wikimedia Commons

Admission rate: 30%

Total cost per year: $46,576

Avg. need-based aid: $17,244

Avg. debt at graduation: $20,127


8. Vanderbilt University

source
Facebook/Vanderbilt University

Admission rate: 12%

Total cost per year: $62,598

Avg. need-based aid: $40,267

Avg. debt at graduation: $21,506


7. Thomas Aquinas College

source
Wikimedia Commons

Admission rate: 75%

Total cost per year: $32,500

Avg. need-based aid: $14,997

Avg. debt at graduation: $16,901


6. Harvard University

source
Via Flickr

Admission rate: 6%

Total cost per year: $64,565

Avg. need-based aid: $46,409

Avg. debt at graduation: $16,723


5. Washington and Lee University

source
Shutterstock

Admission rate: 24%

Total cost per year: $61,477

Avg. need-based aid: $42,322

Avg. debt at graduation: $21,683


4. Duke University

source
Flickr / Matt Phillips

Admission rate: 11%

Total cost per year: $66,963

Avg. need-based aid: $44,725

Avg. debt at graduation: $19,104


3. Princeton University

source
Flickr / regexman

Admission rate: 7%

Total cost per year: $61,140

Avg. need-based aid: $44,890

Avg. debt at graduation: $8,577


2. Davidson College

source
Dacoslett/Wikimedia Commons

Admission rate: 22%

Total cost per year: $62,923

Avg. need-based aid: $40,140

Avg. debt at graduation: $19,929


1. Swarthmore College

source
EAWB via flickr

Admission rate: 12%

Total cost per year: $64,840

Avg. need-based aid: $44,256

Avg. debt at graduation: $18,262