Most Transformative Colleges

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. We call this a college’s value add. For this list, we ranked colleges based on our exclusive value-added scores for graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment, eliminating schools with any negative scores or a graduation rate below 50%.

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

College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Est. price 2018-19 without aid
Est. price 2018-19 with avg. grant
% with need who get grants
Average student debt
Early career earnings
Earnings premium over peers
College Name
Overall
MONEY
Rank
Est. price 2018-19 without aid
Est. price 2018-19 with avg. grant
% with need who get grants
Average student debt
Early career earnings
Earnings premium over peers
179
1
$54,600 $40,200 93% $27,000 $61,700 $16,100
69
2
Wellesley, MA
$70,100 $29,500 95% $26,000 $66,600 $12,300
85
3
$67,800 $38,200 98% $26,500 $62,000 $9,900
61
4
$28,800 $14,800 93% $15,000 $58,500 $12,100
219
5
$60,800 $29,100 80% $25,000 $51,400 $8,000
266
6
Riverdale, NY
$61,700 $35,000 81% $26,000 $60,700 $13,300
160
7
$65,900 $41,400 85% $27,000 $57,100 $7,500
11
8
$36,600 $17,200 96% $14,700 $56,700 $6,800
103
9
Santa Clara, CA
$71,100 $40,400 71% $21,500 $63,800 $10,600
187
10
North Andover, MA
$59,300 $35,400 99% $27,000 $51,900 $5,200
139
11
Rockville Centre, NY
$51,600 $29,900 93% $27,000 $57,100 $9,800
108
12
$31,400 $12,400 81% $18,800 $52,800 $7,400
125
13
Lewisburg, PA
$71,800 $36,900 95% $27,000 $62,300 $7,200
169
14
$25,700 $11,600 94% $16,300 $53,900 $7,800
42
15
$67,800 $29,000 82% $27,500 $56,000 $5,100
8
16
$32,500 $10,200 89% $10,800 $54,500 $7,400
253
17
$67,100 $38,300 98% $25,000 $56,000 $8,300
257
18
$58,100 $33,200 100% $27,000 $49,900 $2,200
110
19
Boston, MA
$59,600 $32,000 100% $26,000 $51,300 $3,800
439
20
Manchester, NH
$58,200 $34,500 100% $27,000 $52,500 $4,400
62
21
$25,000 $14,700 78% $17,000 $52,700 $6,200
222
22
$59,100 $36,500 99% $26,000 $53,700 $4,200
115
23
$60,700 $34,100 78% $24,300 $55,100 $4,700
117
24
Bethlehem, PA
$67,500 $29,500 98% $24,300 $65,400 $10,400
259
25
$35,300 $20,900 93% $22,400 $47,200 $2,300
91
26
Winston-Salem, NC
$70,800 $25,600 96% $23,000 $56,000 $4,700
191
27
$62,600 $36,200 95% $27,000 $52,000 $3,500
196
28
Sioux Center, IA
$44,900 $25,900 100% $23,000 $47,200 $400
416
29
$61,300 $28,500 78% $26,000 $51,800 $5,600
292
30
South Orange, NJ
$58,500 $29,900 58% $25,000 $53,900 $7,000
17
31
$29,200 $16,600 82% $18,800 $57,200 $4,800
172
32
Providence, RI
$66,500 $37,800 98% $27,000 $54,700 $3,900
174
33
Philadelphia, PA
$48,000 $16,800 94% $27,000 $48,300 $1,200
97
34
$29,900 $19,400 78% $19,800 $55,100 $5,500
153
35
$68,800 $39,900 99% $28,300 $70,800 $19,300
49
36
$21,000 $8,100 87% $15,000 $47,000 $2,800
60
37
Chestnut Hill, MA
$72,300 $29,200 88% $19,000 $59,200 $2,100
39
38
Harrisonburg, VA
$26,700 $17,500 51% $20,900 $53,400 $2,600
251
39
Garden City, NY
$57,700 $30,200 97% $25,500 $51,500 $4,600
162
40
Westminster, MD
$57,200 $25,000 100% $27,000 $48,700 $1,400
482
41
$66,200 $42,300 99% $27,000 $49,600 $3,400
170
42
Worcester, MA
$55,900 $31,600 100% $27,000 $50,700 $2,800
100
43
$33,800 $24,800 71% $27,000 $50,600 $2,000
53
44
Schenectady, NY
$70,300 $41,500 94% $27,000 $58,500 $6,600
255
45
$58,900 $33,600 99% $28,000 $50,400 $800
281
46
Smithfield, RI
$61,300 $39,200 70% $27,000 $56,300 $6,300
80
47
Collegeville, MN
$57,200 $27,500 98% $27,000 $54,700 $3,900
96
48
$36,900 $17,500 93% $20,000 $53,500 $5,700
443
49
$49,300 $27,000 97% $25,500 $47,500 $200
3
50
$34,700 $14,800 96% $17,000 $54,900 $100
Rank
1
Hayward, CA
Money rank
169
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
2
Boston, MA
Money rank
110
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
3
Dayton, OH
Money rank
222
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
4
Bethlehem, PA
Money rank
117
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
5
Saint Paul, MN
Money rank
259
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
6
Winston-Salem, NC
Money rank
91
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
7
Queens, NY
Money rank
416
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
8
Westminster, MD
Money rank
162
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
9
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
482
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
10
Schenectady, NY
Money rank
53
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
11
Santa Cruz, CA
Money rank
96
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
12
Los Angeles, CA
Money rank
219
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
13
Davis, CA
Money rank
11
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
14
Santa Clara, CA
Money rank
103
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
15
North Andover, MA
Money rank
187
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
16
Chicago, IL
Money rank
108
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
17
Chico, CA
Money rank
62
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
18
South Orange, NJ
Money rank
292
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
19
Providence, RI
Money rank
172
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
20
Philadelphia, PA
Money rank
174
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
21
Fairfax, VA
Money rank
97
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
22
Worcester, MA
Money rank
170
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
23
Wellesley, MA
Money rank
69
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
24
San Jose, CA
Money rank
61
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
25
Riverdale, NY
Money rank
266
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
26
Worcester, MA
Money rank
42
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
27
Manchester, NH
Money rank
439
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
28
Scranton, PA
Money rank
191
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
29
Hoboken, NJ
Money rank
153
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
30
Turlock, CA
Money rank
49
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
31
Harrisonburg, VA
Money rank
39
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
32
Durham, NH
Money rank
100
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
33
Boston, MA
Money rank
179
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
34
Fairfield, CT
Money rank
160
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
35
Lewisburg, PA
Money rank
125
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
36
New York, NY
Money rank
8
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
37
Newport, RI
Money rank
257
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
38
Sioux Center, IA
Money rank
196
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
39
Garden City, NY
Money rank
251
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
40
Smithfield, RI
Money rank
281
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
41
Nashua, NH
Money rank
443
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
42
Waltham, MA
Money rank
85
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
43
Rockville Centre, NY
Money rank
139
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
44
Moraga, CA
Money rank
253
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
45
Portland, OR
Money rank
115
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
46
College Station, TX
Money rank
17
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
47
Chestnut Hill, MA
Money rank
60
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
48
Colchester, VT
Money rank
255
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
49
Collegeville, MN
Money rank
80
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
50
Irvine, CA
Money rank
3
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
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