Berea College is committed to providing students with an affordable, high quality option for college. Every student admitted to Berea receives a 4 year scholarship of $100,000, intended, when combined with other forms of financial aid, to completely cover the cost of attendance for all four years a student is at Berea. This small liberal arts school is a bit off the radar for most, but when you consider that it is free or nearly free for every student who attends, it's hard to argue that it shouldn't be considered a best value school. Kiplinger ranks Berea in its top 100 best value liberal arts schools, and it is ranked #1 best value among schools where students pay under $20,000 per year on average. The average student debt upon graduation for the few students who do borrow money is one of the lowest among private colleges in the country at just over $7,000 which is $21,000 under the national average.
In higher education, Colleges, Universities, Academies, and Institutes are all slightly different, but these terms as used in the United States tend to be more interchangeable than the way they are used in other countries. On this list we will be examining the best value colleges and academies in the United States. Both public and private schools are included on this list.
Top 25 Best Value Schools
Methodology: Here's How We Rank Schools
At Best Value Schools, we help students of all ages get the best possible value for their education. When choosing the best schools and programs, we prioritize tuition rates, student debt, financial aid opportunities, graduation rates, and the availability of online programs.
We source unbiased data from government and educational databases like the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 6,374 schools across the U.S. We organize that data into five weighted categories to compile our school rankings.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 25% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 35% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 15% Program Offerings Number of program options 10% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 15%
You can read more about our comprehensive evaluation process on our methodology page.
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
Similar IndustriesBest Online Colleges and Universities Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in General Studies Most Affordable Online Master’s in General Studies
Factors Considered When Ranking Schools
The ranking methodology used to assemble this list is centered on low average student loan debt, which signifies strong financial aid programs available to students. Low average student debt is important when considering the value of a college, as not all majors have the same earning potential. The colleges vary on points of accessibility and other limiting factors, but as a whole the list represents a broad range of schools. Data source: College Navigator/NCES.
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