Best Value Public & Private Schools of 2011


The Princeton Review has updated its annual lists featuring the best value public and best value private schools, and those winners are the University of Virginia and Swarthmore College respectively. As it has done for the two previous years, the Princeton Review has teamed up with USA Today again to share its findings.

Each list consists of the top 50 public and private school values based on more than 12,000 respondents to its 2010 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey’ of college applicants and their parents. A whopping 86 percent of the respondents told the Princeton Review that it would be ‘very necessary’ for them to foot the bill. Therefore, finding colleges offering the best value is of significant importance to many families.

Top Choices

A number of the colleges and universities featured in each of the top ten lists may be a surprise for you. For example, Ivy League schools charge some of the highest sticker prices in the nation, but with financial aid, eligible families may be able to reduce these costs to a fraction of that amount.

For your inspection, the following are the top ten best values in each category as presented by the Princeton Review:

Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges for 2011:

1. University of Virginia (Charlottesville VA)
2. New College of Florida (Sarasota FL)
3. University of Florida (Gainesville FL)
4. State University of New York at Binghamton (Binghamton NY)
5. University of Georgia (Athens GA)
6. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor MI)
7. College of William and Mary (Williamsburg VA)
8. University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill NC)
9. North Carolina State University (Raleigh NC)
10. City University of New York – Hunter College (New York NY)

Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges for 2011:

1. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore PA)
2. Duke University (Durham NC)
3. Princeton University (Princeton NJ)
4. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena CA)
5. Harvard College (Cambridge MA)
6. Wesleyan University (Middletown CT)
7. Williams College (Williamstown MA)
8. Vanderbilt University (Nashville TN)
9. Wesleyan College (Macon GA)
10. Yale University (New Haven CT)

California led the nation by placing 13 ‘best values’ on the combined list followed by Massachusetts with 10. Some states such as Vermont and Utah were absent from the list, but that may have to do with incomplete data as much as cost. Families should always consider their own financial aid offerings when evaluating schools.


Book Review: The Best 373 Colleges

Book Review: Guide to College Majors


USA Today: Schools Tout Efforts to Keep Tuition in Check

Source: Princeton Review


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