10 best colleges for your money

Using unique measures of educational quality, affordability, and career outcomes, MONEY ranked the best schools for your investment.

 of 12
 of 12

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

236Comments
Jul 28, 2014 12:02PM
avatar
I use a ratio of cost vs. salary.  If in 5 years your annual salary does not meet at least what tuition cost for four years was, you paid too much.  In that light, all of these are losers.  4:1 ratio?  You go to an Ivy League school and five years later you are making $60K?  Should have been a welder.
Jul 28, 2014 12:42PM
avatar
My daughter just graduated from small state university, very affordable, with a degree in engineering. Her starting salary $49,000. It is more about what you major in and your GPA, than where you go to school.   
Jul 28, 2014 11:32AM
avatar

State colleges and universities are not available to all and they should be.  If you live in a snooty town like we did, that the high school brain-washed the kids that only if they go out of state they will not be considered "losers" forces people to take on unnecessary expenses.


Looking back and if I could do it again..... I would  send the kids to a vocational school to get a trade and then they can pay for their own education or  make sure they get some kind of technical degree on a work-study program.


My son graduated with an International Business degree in 1999....15 years later....he is a courier for a law firm because is no jobs out there.  Underemployed...... over-qualified....

I keep telling him...go be an electrician/plumber/heating and cooling tech whatever.  You will be needed more than you ever imagine.




Jul 28, 2014 11:43AM
avatar
The figures in this article are skewed with relation to the order in which these colleges are rated. It should be based on "return on investment" not randomly based on the prejudice of the author... 
Jul 28, 2014 11:56AM
avatar
Who writes these ridiculous articles?
Jul 28, 2014 11:51AM
avatar
Might as well just go the Washington University, Missouri State or Mizzou. Theses prices are not worth traveling to theses high cost of living states to go to school.
Jul 28, 2014 1:07PM
avatar
The best bang for your educational buck(s)? Community college or Vo-Tech schools for not much money and you get a real job at after graduation and these kids are winners.
Jul 28, 2014 12:31PM
avatar
I have to agree with wickedwitch, who rights these articles. if you are paying 150k + for an education that will only get you a 60K job something is wrong. My student loans on around 45k and my payments are over $500/mo. I can't imagine paying around 2k/month or more. In my opinion none of these institutions are worth the time and money. no wonder there are so many student loans in default.
Jul 28, 2014 1:03PM
avatar
I expected to read: The School of Hard Knocks and... The Streets. Degrees are a dime a dozen now and the nation couldn't be any worse for what they've done to us. We need actual basic ability and competence, not an Ivy League of paper and button pushers. 
Jul 28, 2014 1:26PM
avatar
I graduated from Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, WI. Tuition was about 1/8 the cost of these schools, yet I make more per year then about half. Bang for your buck? Don't trust mainstream thought. Look around for a better value!
Jul 28, 2014 1:18PM
avatar

Attending these schools can get you in the "club".  The education is not that different than what you would receive elsewhere but you will be in sitting in classrooms with two types of people, rich kids that bought their way in and super smart kids.  If they grade on a curve it can really be brutal for a kid that's never been exposed to that level of competition.   Either way, you are networking with some people that could help you in your future endeavors.  Also the number of companies that recruit at those schools greatly exceeds those at your average school.  Is it worth the extra $100k?   That's the big question.  For an average college bound kid the question is moot because they couldn't get in anyway.  Hence.... THIS IS A STUPID ARTICLE!!!!!!

 

If I had it to do over again I would go the vocational route with some business courses for good measure.  Then go to work for yourself.  The big companies that used to do the hiring are hiring fewer and fewer kids so unless you can get into a name school, they won't be recruiting you.  Better to be your own boss.


Everyone still seems to be selling the "degree" as the path to success but really the degree is the path to lending more money out to keep up the illusion that the economy is growing.  When it comes time to pay for many of these degrees, there will be nothing there.  The value of a higher education is as inflated at housing was in 2007.  You don't need a degree to sell cellphones or make cheeseburgers and that's about all that's growing in the US these days.



Jul 28, 2014 2:00PM
avatar
I wouldn't call Paul Krugman an important thinker. He's basically an ideological nimrod.
Jul 28, 2014 12:16PM
avatar

I am a wee bit shocked that Harvard has been able to stay on this list. Why? They have had an issue with students cheating without consequences!


sorry to Harvard But as one highly educated I do find highly disturbing---for when I attended College and then acquired several Advanced degrees we were taught that if we got caught cheating we would face immediate Expulsion! And Harvard does not honor the act of Expulsion for Cheating!

Jul 28, 2014 1:41PM
avatar
Holy crap this is bad.  What about schools like SNHU or other state universities that offer a wide range of degrees with high graduation and employment rates?  The number one choice here makes absolutely no sense when you look at cost, salary return, etc.
Jul 28, 2014 1:27PM
avatar
Yes.. all quite affordable for the average kid, he will have no problem getting into MIT or Stanford.
Jul 28, 2014 11:56AM
avatar
These days the average joe fm the street is soo lost as where to turn to get advice about his/hers prospects for a university career,,,.the average joe student, at an age when not sure of nothing as per which direction to turn when trying to figure out his/her future....
Jul 28, 2014 1:56PM
avatar
All I know is that my daughter is half way through Babson, has a fantastic internship this summer working directly for a VP at a Fortune 500 company, and is doing amazing things I never in a million years imagined she would do.  Her presentations and the review from her boss have blown people away.  Babson gets shorted on many college lists because they 'only' specialize in business and entrepreneurship and do not qualify for the Forbes or US News lists regarding broad based colleges, but being the best in what they do, business and entrepreneurship, should encourage EVERY high school student with a love and a passion for anything business related to apply.  There truly is NO other college like Babson in the world!  - A proud Daddy
Jul 28, 2014 11:51AM
avatar
Arizona State provided me a good education and the background for a great career as a Certified Public Accountant.  Subsequent masters degrees from California State University - Northridge and Golden Gate University also helped a lot. 
Jul 28, 2014 4:58PM
avatar
I'm a community college grad with an IT background and after 5 years in the field, I was making more than any of these offerings.  Now, after being in the field for 9 years, I'm making over 20K more a year than the highest on the list.  The degree from a prestigious university will likely help you get in the job field, but after that, it's about what you know and how good you are at it.
Jul 28, 2014 3:43PM
avatar
Education is a wonderful thing.  Remember that colleges are in the business of making money for their own pockets.  When you graduate hopefully you won't be flipping burgers to pay back your college education. 
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.