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Wed Aug 15, 2018, 11:03 AM

Money magazine: These Are the 727 Best Colleges in America

Hat tip, the Fresno Bee: Fresno State named one of the 100 best schools in the country

You may disagree with the rankings. Or is that, you might disagree with the rankings?

These Are the 727 Best Colleges in America

College is a great investment—if you choose the right school. MONEY analyzed graduation rates, tuition charges, family borrowing, and alumni earnings (plus 22 other data points) to find the country’s top values. Find your fit with rankings that combine educational quality, affordability, and alumni success.

Published August 13, 2018. Read the full methodology here. Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations.

College Name

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

University of California-San Diego
La Jolla, CA

University of California-Irvine
Irvine, CA

University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Stanford University
Stanford, CA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

University of California-Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College
New York, NY

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI

University of Virginia-Main Campus
Charlottesville, VA


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Reply Money magazine: These Are the 727 Best Colleges in America (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 2018 OP
exboyfil Aug 2018 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 2018 #2
exboyfil Aug 2018 #3
snowybirdie Aug 2018 #4
exboyfil Aug 2018 #5

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 11:36 AM

1. These lists to some degree are meaningless

For example Tennessee Tech at 404 is great value. A small school with a great engineering program. I worked with many graduates from that school, and I would not have hesitated to send my engineering daughter to that school if we had remained in Tennessee (she went to Iowa State).

U of Wisconsin - La Crosse (208) vs. -Platteville (233). While UW Lacrosse is a good school, Platteville is another excellent small state university engineering school that should have been rated higher.

Unless you are an exceptional student, I would strongly recommend sticking with your state schools. Also look beyond the flagships in some case (above two examples - I would send my kid to either one of them over UT-Knoxville or UWisconsin).

The thing I would emphasize is to stay away from the for profits in general. My daughter had a friend who lived in La Crosse and was taking accounting courses through a for profit. UW-LaCrosse has an excellent accounting program that would take her further for far less money.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #1)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 11:53 AM

2. I agree (that the lists tend to be meaningless).

I checked for Iowa State. It was up there.

If you exclude California, there are not many school west of the Mississippi highly ranked on that list. Especially when you get west of the Pecos and west of the Rockies, they are scarce. Rice is, IIRC, the highest ranked school west of the Mississippi not in California, followed by the University of Washington. I'll have to check. Those California schools dominated the top of the list. That's good news for residents of California.

I didn't get the ranking of a lot of those schools, but I didn't look into the methodology.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #2)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 12:03 PM

3. I lived in California from 2nd to 9th grade

I always wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in the state. Most likely I would have gone to one of the Cal State schools and not to University of California system (probably would not have had the grades). I did end up at Purdue University after graduating high school in Mississippi. I kind of think I was an affirmative action admission into the engineering program (getting diversity from other states). While I had a good ACT (31) and a ROTC scholarship, I was definitely not in the top 10 to 15 of my graduating class (it was an exceptional class in my opinion).

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 01:19 PM

4. These polls are meaningless

Statistically, how many actual students can pick and choose from these lists? Most are unable to pay the stratospheric tuitions charged, not can they afford the costs of room and board by heading cross country in search of the "best" ranked. We see kids struggling to afford a class at a time, or a single mom trying to fit in school between work and childcare. The 1 % likely loves these rankings but the rest of us could give a damn.

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Response to snowybirdie (Reply #4)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 05:00 PM

5. If your child has an excellent academic record

High test scores, extracurriculars, etc, then some of the Ivy League schools do make sense for poor families. These schools are all needs based, and you might find them less expensive than even your own state universities.

Point taken on costs though. In general stay with the state schools. Also take everything you can online and at the local community college before paying big dollar room and board and higher tuition at the university.

My oldest was able to finish her first two years of college by doing the above described (she did take one Chemistry course at our local university) before going off to Iowa State. She finished her BS Mechanical Engineering in two years on campus.

Also look at colleges that don't appear on this list that are specific to certain occupations. For example hospital affiliated nursing colleges can be a great option. That is what my other daughter did, and, while the tuition was high, she was able to live at home.

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