The ‘Best Bang for Your Buck’ is at UVA, According to Princeton Review

View of Cabell hall from the Rotunda at night time with Milkyway visible

Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications

The University of Virginia is No. 1 among public colleges and universities in Princeton Review’s annual return-on-investment rankings, “Top 50 Colleges That Pay You Back.”

The return-on-investment listing is among the rankings and categories that Princeton Review compiles in the 2019 edition of “The Best 384 Colleges,” which was released earlier this month.

The ROI rankings are based on data collected from student and alumni surveys, starting and mid-career salaries, academic selectivity and admissions, financial aid packages, career social impact and costs. The costs were calculated by taking the sticker price of each institution (tuition, required fees and room and board) and subtracting the average aid (scholarships and grants) awarded to students. All of the info was put into an algorithm that produced the “best bang for your buck.”

Two hundred schools made Princeton Review’s overall “Colleges That Pay You Back” list, of which the Top 50 list is a subset. All schools on the list shared three “exceptional” features: “stellar” academics, “affordable” cost and “strong” career prospects for graduates.

“Students who attend these schools don’t have to mortgage their futures to pay for their degrees – and we believe they will graduate with great career prospects,” the publication reads, adding that they deliver “an amazing college experience that’s worth every penny.”

Among all public and private institutions in the return-on-investment rankings, UVA landed at No. 13, behind only private schools Stanford University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Harvey Mudd College, Dartmouth College, Williams College, Yale University, Harvard College, Vanderbilt University and Amherst College.

Princeton Review is not the only publication that recognizes UVA’s value and quality. In Money Magazine’s 2018 “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings that were announced on Monday, UVA was ranked 10th, leapfrogging Harvard from the previous year.

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