Forbes names the ‘best value’ colleges in the nation

University of California, Berkeley, scored the top spot

Forbes has released its eighth annual list of colleges that provide students with the most value for their money.

The newly designed Best Value Colleges list ranks 300 research and liberal arts institutions, both public and private. To create the list, Forbes partners with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP).

CCAP researchers used data from a variety of sources to analyze schools according to several factors that weigh into the ranking:

  • Quality (35%);
  • Post-graduate earnings (25%);
  • Drop-out risk (15%);
  • Time-to-graduation (15%);
  • Alumni skills (10%); and
  • Gross tuition and fees.

How to think about 'Best Colleges' lists

Researchers assess quality based on Forbes' 2015 ranking of "top colleges" and estimate post-graduate earnings based on data from the federal College Scorecard. Much of the other information comes from the Education Department's IPEDS database.

The top 10 schools in the ranking are:

  • University of California, Berkeley;
  • Brigham Young University;
  • University of Florida;
  • University of California, Los Angeles;
  • University of California, San Diego;
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;
  • Georgia Institute of Technology;
  • Harvard University; and
  • University of California, Irvine 

(Howard, Forbes, 3/29). 

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