Top Colleges of 2014

Hey CCFO readers!

I came across an article that I thought you would enjoy! Every year, Forbes and many other sites release a ranking of the Top Colleges. This year does not disappoint (Williams, Stanford and Swarthmore took the top three spots!).

Forbes calls this year’s list proof of “higher education in flux, ongoing debate between the value of liberal arts vs. STEM degrees and a winning formula of high student satisfaction and graduation rates, alumni career success and low student debt”.

We at CollegeCFO thought this was particularly interesting:

Top schools cost money – and give out money. Of the top 50, the average total cost is nearly $59,000  and institutional aid is granted to nearly 53% of the student body – with the exception of the U.S. Military Academies, which are tuition free. Besides valuable degrees, the Ivies gift their students with low loan burdens. Only 8% of Princeton students had to take out loans in 2013; Yale is at 9% and Harvard and Stanford at 11%. The lowest in the country is Missouri’s College of the Ozarks and City University of New York, Baruch College at 6%, while 96% of students take out loans at Pacific University in Oregon and Immaculata University in Pennsylvania.

Many elite public schools are top schools at a better price than their private counterparts. At No. 37, California has the top-placing state school in the U.S.,University of California, Berkeley, and is followed by University of Virginia (No. 40), College of William & Mary (No. 41) and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (No. 45).

When choosing a school from any of the ‘Top Ten’ ranking lists, its very important to check out their financial aid offerings. Know the facts before setting your heart on an impossibly expensive university. I went through this experience with Carnegie Mellon in Pennsylvania, which was my dream school and offered zero financial aid. As this article shows, you might be better off getting a similar education for much less money.

How does your school compare? Let us know in the comments!


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