The 50 Colleges That Add the Most Value

It’s not surprising that elite schools report high graduation rates, or alumni success. What’s impressive is when a college helps students do far better than would be expected from their academic and economic backgrounds (something we measure with what we call a comparative-value grade). For this list, we ranked colleges based on comparative-value grades for graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment, eliminating schools with any negative grades or a graduation rate below 50%. We also adjusted alumni earnings for the mix of majors at each college.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations.

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College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Est. price 2016-17 without aid
Est. price 2016-17 with avg. aid
% who get need-based aid
% who get merit aid
Early career earnings
Avg. SAT/ACT score
College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Est. price 2016-17 without aid
Est. price 2016-17 with avg. aid
% who get need-based aid
% who get merit aid
Early career earnings
Avg. SAT/ACT score
1
Rockville Centre, NY
84
$47,300 $34,200 78% 6% $58,900 1055 / 23
2
72
$61,200 $34,500 44% 20% $58,400 1225 / 28
3
Riverdale, NY
125
$56,300 $37,300 67% 24% $58,000 1080 / 25
4
37
$29,300 $23,500 49% 2% $49,200 1030 / 22
5
Philadelphia, PA
171
$56,600 $31,900 80% 16% $47,000 990 / 22
6
Providence, RI
134
$61,500 $37,200 52% 17% $50,400 1155 / 26
7
17
$35,100 $26,900 63% 4% $51,000 1195 / 26
8
95
$23,300 $18,000 50% 1% $48,100 1015 / 22
9
160
$62,300 $37,700 52% 12% $51,900 1184 / 27
10
5
$18,500 $14,700 39% 23% $51,800 1255 / 29
11
5
$35,700 $25,300 51% 2% $60,300 1355 / 30
12
65
$62,100 $30,000 46% 2% $49,500 1384 / NA
13
185
$62,300 $41,200 43% 33% $54,000 1282 / NA
14
14
$32,500 $24,700 58% 2% $53,700 1280 / 28
15
296
$29,500 $25,500 36% 4% $43,700 970 / NA
16
157
$63,100 $36,700 45% 7% $57,400 1305 / 30
17
56
$30,700 $24,700 61% 3% $51,000 1120 / 24
18
18
$26,900 $22,600 32% 12% $55,300 1220 / NA
19
375
$29,100 $15,400 0% N/A $42,100 839 / 18
20
22
$30,800 $22,100 37% 11% $56,800 1355 / 29
21
157
$39,200 $25,000 79% 13% $47,000 1060 / 24
22
173
$58,500 $36,600 50% 33% $52,200 1195 / NA
23
31
$65,000 $29,800 43% 7% $58,700 1430 / 33
24
Durham, NC
39
$66,600 $24,900 41% 12% $61,600 1455 / 32
25
282
$29,000 $11,400 19% N/A $49,200 1248 / NA
26
109
$32,000 $20,800 47% 16% $47,600 1100 / NA
27
294
$61,700 $33,900 52% 11% $50,600 1155 / 26
28
74
$53,600 $29,100 71% 28% $43,900 1210 / 27
29
20
$34,300 $23,400 54% 3% $52,200 1300 / 28
30
Smithfield, RI
272
$57,600 $39,200 48% 21% $51,700 1135 / 25
31
64
$66,200 $30,700 46% N/A $60,700 1420 / 32
32
223
$63,300 $37,100 0% N/A $46,100 1130 / 25
33
Houston, TX
4
$58,600 $24,300 39% 13% $63,700 1460 / 33
34
38
$29,400 $20,300 41% 11% $52,400 1230 / 28
35
114
$24,200 $20,000 38% 2% $46,800 1105 / 25
36
13
$23,900 $15,900 37% 7% $55,100 1180 / 26
37
21
$30,300 $22,700 37% 24% $53,100 1245 / 29
38
175
$64,500 $39,300 65% 32% $50,300 1310 / NA
39
West Long Branch, NJ
359
$50,300 $35,100 37% 29% $45,700 1060 / 24
40
Oakland, CA
175
$61,700 $35,400 81% 13% $47,500 1145 / 26
41
213
$52,300 $36,600 56% 40% $51,200 1175 / 27
42
Loudonville, NY
72
$50,800 $29,100 73% 17% $46,700 1120 / 25
43
561
$44,400 $32,900 80% 17% $45,600 925 / 20
44
296
$56,900 $38,600 53% 4% $51,200 1160 / 27
45
155
$67,300 $36,400 37% 18% $54,600 1380 / 31
46
454
$61,200 $43,100 69% 15% $50,700 1175 / 26
47
193
$51,600 $35,000 56% 11% $47,600 1160 / 26
48
54
$27,300 $19,300 41% 23% $50,700 1170 / 27
49
Lewiston, ME
61
$65,300 $24,800 44% N/A $46,700 NA / NA
50
Albany, NY
167
$24,000 $20,600 54% 5% $46,300 1100 / 24
51
182
$45,400 $31,400 61% 17% $50,300 1140 / 26
52
Philadelphia, PA
535
$45,800 $29,700 85% 10% $45,200 935 / 19
53
Saint Paul, MN
238
$49,800 $28,600 83% 15% $43,800 1110 / 24
54
413
$24,300 $21,000 55% N/A $45,900 990 / 21
55
499
$60,800 $38,300 71% 21% $52,200 1040 / 23
56
Garden City, NY
441
$52,000 $34,200 46% 21% $46,500 1120 / 22
57
380
$61,200 $46,400 55% 22% $50,400 1190 / 27
58
188
$29,700 $24,300 46% 9% $50,700 1225 / NA
59
190
$18,800 $11,500 57% 22% $47,800 1105 / 24
60
424
$26,300 $23,200 60% 2% $42,100 1070 / 21
61
329
$20,800 $18,400 78% 1% $44,100 920 / 19
62
369
$25,200 $19,600 67% 1% $48,300 995 / 22
63
332
$38,100 $25,400 89% 6% $43,700 1070 / 20
64
211
$47,800 $25,800 64% 26% $47,000 1105 / 26