5 of the Best Values in Private Colleges

Dear College Made Simple Reader,

How do you know if a private college is worth the price tag?

A good place to start is Kiplinger. The publisher compiles an annual list of the 100 best value private colleges in the country.

Read on to get our take on five of the best from their list, and to see what kind of bang for your buck each one can offer.

– Scott

5 Great Values in Private Colleges

Kiplinger’s definition of “value” is a blend of academic quality and affordability.

They factor in aspects like low acceptance rates and freshman retention to denote scholastic strength… while examining average debt and cost on the financial side.

Many of the Ivy League heavy hitters like Princeton hover around the top of the list year after year. Today we’ll focus on somewhat lesser-known private colleges and universities which just may give you the most for your money.

#1 – Rice University

Houston-based Rice University fulfills 100% of its students’ financial aid need requirements on top of the lowest total yearly cost within the top 25 private institutions ($48,621).

It also retains an impressive 95% of its freshman.

If you factor in the drop in Rice’s average cost to around $21,000 after need based financial aid is met, as well as a student-faculty ratio of 6:1 for a student body of 3,529 students (meaning more time with professors), it’s easy to see the value in this private university.

#2- Duke University

While on the more expensive side ($55,245), Duke University financial aid can be extremely generous, lowering the average cost to $19,667 after need is fulfilled.

With 100% of need met, Duke graduates can expect to walk away with an average total debt of only $21,884.

Furthermore, this highly selective university (only 19% admission rate) retains 97% of its freshman and graduates nearly 87% of its students in 4 years.

Financial savvy and excellent academic quality makes Duke a no brainer.

NEXT STORY: 3 more private colleges providing great value – including one college you may have never heard of.

To your college funding & admissions success,


Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC
Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network


Related Articles:

Finding Colleges with Low Tuition

An Elite Private College for Less Than the Cost of a State School

How to Pick the College that Will Give You the Best Financial Aid Package

7 Strategies to Help You Get the Maximum Amount of Money for Your Child’s College Education

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.