The 43 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.

College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Median SAT/ACT score
Est. price 2017-18 without aid
Est. price 2017-18 with avg. grant
% who get need-based grants
% who get merit grants
Early career earnings
College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Median SAT/ACT score
Est. price 2017-18 without aid
Est. price 2017-18 with avg. grant
% who get need-based grants
% who get merit grants
Early career earnings
99
1
New York, NY
NA/NA $35,083 $17,587 53% 33% $49,400
131
2
920/18 $57,161 $30,536 86% 84% $47,400
96
3
Rockville Centre, NY
1060/24 $49,901 $28,776 70% 5% $57,600
219
4
1010/22 $61,565 $41,192 65% 18% $48,200
124
5
940/21 $56,749 $18,283 59% 36% $47,100
82
6
NA/NA $21,499 $7,978 70% 8% $44,900
390
7
1080/23 $52,399 $38,926 67% N/A $55,000
58
8
Wellesley, MA
1280/28 $68,214 $29,805 42% 6% $59,800
203
9
970/21 $56,588 $25,566 84% 5% $51,200
9
10
1210/28 $36,294 $18,188 60% 1% $53,000
2
11
1240/NA $31,365 $9,845 51% 8% $51,600
167
12
NA/NA $24,853 $10,941 56% N/A $50,700
186
13
960/20 $47,345 $20,858 70% 52% $46,400
268
14
NA/NA $34,893 $20,609 68% 5% $46,800
422
15
1100/25 $60,834 $29,581 67% 78% $47,900
205
16
1100/25 $64,640 $35,721 69% 17% $51,700
213
17
Riverdale, NY
1090/25 $60,628 $35,102 82% 10% $60,200
156
18
1040/22 $27,689 $14,733 52% 3% $57,400
46
19
Schenectady, NY
NA/NA $69,571 $40,347 49% 5% $54,300
96
20
1120/25 $31,223 $12,414 62% 2% $52,100
562
21
950/19 $54,498 $30,188 90% 3% $50,200
78
22
1240/28 $66,000 $35,784 43% 7% $61,400
481
23
Waterville, ME
NA/NA $40,436 $21,423 87% 17% $47,500
138
24
Santa Clara, CA
1300/30 $67,215 $40,174 33% 15% $63,400
254
25
1170/26 $59,907 $34,557 72% 83% $49,700
213
26
940/20 $25,710 $9,672 73% 6% $47,900
288
27
South Orange, NJ
1130/25 $58,927 $29,596 37% 34% $50,700
170
28
Waynesburg, PA
1000/23 $36,685 $19,873 70% 8% $46,000
159
29
1180/27 $65,332 $33,185 50% 4% $51,600
504
30
1030/22 $30,685 $20,741 61% 2% $48,400
412
31
Lawrenceville, NJ
1030/22 $58,989 $31,950 73% 14% $46,200
450
32
1010/22 $47,818 $28,185 78% 9% $52,200
216
33
1170/27 $59,630 $38,082 51% 25% $53,600
186
34
NA/NA $64,944 $39,526 45% 6% $54,400
114
35
Bethlehem, PA
1320/30 $66,123 $29,932 39% 6% $63,500
127
36
1150/26 $28,651 $18,701 42% 9% $52,100
88
37
Chestnut Hill, MA
1370/32 $70,329 $28,387 36% 1% $57,400
31
38
1290/29 $27,789 $18,755 33% 12% $53,900
204
39
1300/29 $70,325 $35,351 36% 2% $52,900
314
40
1200/28 $64,408 $43,444 54% 7% $51,000
72
41
NA/NA $70,245 $36,377 51% 7% $54,400
268
42
1220/29 $55,701 $31,081 69% 23% $57,900
59
43
1420/32 $70,113 $30,948 45% N/A $62,500
1
Saint Paul, MN
Money rank
268
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
2
Schenectady, NY
Money rank
46
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
3
Waltham, MA
Money rank
78
Median SAT/ACT score
1240/28
4
Santa Clara, CA
Money rank
138
Median SAT/ACT score
1300/30
5
Philadelphia, PA
Money rank
254
Median SAT/ACT score
1170/26
6
Sacramento, CA
Money rank
213
Median SAT/ACT score
940/20
7
Syracuse, NY
Money rank
159
Median SAT/ACT score
1180/27
8
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
314
Median SAT/ACT score
1200/28
9
Rochester, NY
Money rank
72
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
10
Teaneck, NJ
Money rank
124
Median SAT/ACT score
940/21
11
Wellesley, MA
Money rank
58
Median SAT/ACT score
1280/28
12
West Hartford, CT
Money rank
203
Median SAT/ACT score
970/21
13
Davis, CA
Money rank
9
Median SAT/ACT score
1210/28
14
Hayward, CA
Money rank
167
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
15
Belmont, CA
Money rank
562
Median SAT/ACT score
950/19
16
Dekalb, IL
Money rank
504
Median SAT/ACT score
1030/22
17
Newburgh, NY
Money rank
450
Median SAT/ACT score
1010/22
18
Seattle, WA
Money rank
216
Median SAT/ACT score
1170/27
19
Fairfield, CT
Money rank
186
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
20
Rochester, NY
Money rank
268
Median SAT/ACT score
1220/29
21
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
131
Median SAT/ACT score
920/18
22
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
219
Median SAT/ACT score
1010/22
23
Turlock, CA
Money rank
82
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
24
Queens, NY
Money rank
422
Median SAT/ACT score
1100/25
25
Chicago, IL
Money rank
96
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/25
26
South Orange, NJ
Money rank
288
Median SAT/ACT score
1130/25
27
Bethlehem, PA
Money rank
114
Median SAT/ACT score
1320/30
28
Fairfax, VA
Money rank
127
Median SAT/ACT score
1150/26
29
Austin, TX
Money rank
31
Median SAT/ACT score
1290/29
30
Ithaca, NY
Money rank
59
Median SAT/ACT score
1420/32
31
New York, NY
Money rank
99
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
32
Boston, MA
Money rank
390
Median SAT/ACT score
1080/23
33
Sparkill, NY
Money rank
186
Median SAT/ACT score
960/20
34
Moraga, CA
Money rank
205
Median SAT/ACT score
1100/25
35
San Jose, CA
Money rank
156
Median SAT/ACT score
1040/22
36
Waynesburg, PA
Money rank
170
Median SAT/ACT score
1000/23
37
Boston, MA
Money rank
204
Median SAT/ACT score
1300/29
38
Rockville Centre, NY
Money rank
96
Median SAT/ACT score
1060/24
39
New York, NY
Money rank
2
Median SAT/ACT score
1240/NA
40
Riverdale, NY
Money rank
213
Median SAT/ACT score
1090/25
41
Waterville, ME
Money rank
481
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
42
Lawrenceville, NJ
Money rank
412
Median SAT/ACT score
1030/22
43
Chestnut Hill, MA
Money rank
88
Median SAT/ACT score
1370/32
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