College & Value Do Go Together

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Let’s face it: attending college these days can be very expensive, even prohibitive for some students.

tuitionYes, scholarships, grants and family income considerations can reduce the cost of obtaining a higher education, but not everyone can afford to pay massive student loan debt for many years to come.

Fortunately, there are some alternatives for students who want a degree without being encumbered by debt for many years after graduation. Thanks to the work of the Princeton Review, a New York City-based education services company best known for its test-prep courses, college and graduate school admission services, books, and education programs, schools offering top value for a minimal cost have been featured on their 100 ‘Best Value Colleges for 2009’ list.

The Princeton Review surveyed 650 colleges and universities across the United States to come up with their top schools . The University of Virginia was rated tops for a public university while Swarthmore College garned the top rating for a private school.

SayCampusLife isn’t permitted to post the entire list from the folks at Princeton Review, but we do have their permission to share with you the top ten from each category. For the complete list of the 50 top private and 50 top public ‘value’ universities, please visit either http://www.princetonreview.com/bestvaluecolleges or http://www.bestvaluecolleges.usatoday.com/ for that information.

The Princeton Review “Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges for 2009” are:

1. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore PA)
2. Harvard College (Cambridge MA)
3. Princeton University (Princeton NJ)
4. Rice University (Houston TX)
5. Yale University (New Haven CT)
6. Williams College (Williamstown MA)
7. Amherst College (Amherst, MA)
8. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena CA)
9. Pomona College (Claremont CA)
10. Stanford University (Stanford CA)

The “Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges for 2009” are:

1. University of Virginia (Charlottesville VA)
2. New College of Florida (Sarasota FL)
3. College of William & Mary (Williamsburg VA)
4. State University of New York at Binghamton (Binghamton NY)
5. Florida State University (Tallahassee FL)
6. North Carolina State University (Raleigh NC)
7. Univ. of California – San Diego
8. City University of New York – Hunter College (New York NY)
9. Univ. of Georgia (Athens GA)
10. The College of New Jersey (Ewing NJ)

Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review VP-Publisher, “We have always believed finding the ‘best fit’ college should be the foremost goal for student applicants and their families. But the economic crisis and financial downturn have presented sobering challenges both to families struggling to afford college and to higher education institutions struggling to maintain their programs in the face of budget and funding shortfalls. We are pleased to partner with USA TODAY to present these schools for all they are doing to provide outstanding academics at a relatively low cost of attendance and/or generous financial aid.”

Remember, the key to this list is that some schools may still have a high “sticker price” but thanks to a robust student aid program, can offer a package for your student which manages to bring down the final cost of schooling significantly.

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Categories: College Budgeting