The University of Virginia has moved up two spots to No. 14 in the Princeton Review’s 2016 list of the top-50 schools that give the highest return on the cost of tuition.
“Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck – 2016 Edition” contains six other top-25 school rankings that focus on different aspects of financial aid and career preparation. UVA ranked seventh for best return for students who do not qualify for financial aid (up four spots) and 11th for best alumni network.
In all, the new book features 200 schools, which are not ranked but listed in alphabetical order, chosen because they offer stellar academics, strong career prospects for graduates and affordable cost, either through a low sticker price, generous financial aid or both.
In the book, the Princeton Review highlights UVA’s efforts to keep down the cost of tuition. “UVA has one of the largest per-capita endowments of any public school in the country and exerts a tremendous effort to ensure that its undergraduates have access to an affordable education regardless of economic circumstances.
“By limiting debt – or eliminating it altogether, in the case of students with the most need – UVA ensures that you can afford to attend the university as long as you can get admitted and maintain decent grades.”
The Class of 2019 numbers 3,674. Thirty-five percent are receiving assistance from the University’s financial aid program.
The 200 schools listed in the new book were selected based on a specially developed return-on-investment rating. It weighted more than 40 data points, culling data from surveys conducted in 2014-15 of administrators at 650 colleges and of students at the schools. Also factored in was data from PayScale.com surveys of alumni conducted through April 2015, covering starting and mid-career salaries, and career social impact.
In fact, the Class of 2015 is doing exceptionally well in the job market. The most recent UVA graduates are enjoying some of the most impressive employment statistics since the recession, and the success is shared across schools and majors.
“On so many fronts that matter to parents and students alike, these colleges are truly standouts,” said Robert Franek, the Princeton Review’s senior vice president and publisher, and the lead author of the book. “They offer outstanding academics and generous financial aid to students with need and/or charge a relatively low cost of attendance. Some, phenomenally, do both. Their students also have access to extraordinary career services programs and a lifetime of alumni connections and post-grad support.”