New Ranking: 2023’s Top Colleges & Universities For Quality & Price

Stanford University


When looking at colleges or universities, what are the best strategies for students looking to graduate with minimal debt? Take your search beyond the myriad of rankings, says Stephen M. Brown, professor emeritus of management, John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University.

“Job preparation is not the only benefit of a university degree nor is it the only reason to attend college. In the current social/economical order most graduates will change fields in their lifetime. So, only looking at the short-term return on investment is short-sighted. That being said, the current cost of college attendance does make the ROI discussion more relevant,” Brown says.

“If you know the profession in which you are interested, talk to professionals in the field about the training, where they went to school, and schools that they recommend. Perceptions and support of a university in the field make a difference in your job prospects. Visit several campuses and ask to speak to faculty in your chosen field. Ask for placement rates and starting salaries of the recent graduates.

“Remember, these figures will generally be a bit inflated. Get an estimate of the net cost of attendance. Ask about internships and other opportunities to work in the field. Get help deciding on the college and lots of help on landing the first job after graduation. This kind of help should start in your sophomore year and continue through graduation. Remember to compare net costs and include all costs of attendance.”

Wallethub’s Cost & Financing metric compares schools according to net cost, availability of employment services for students, and student-loan debt. You can see more detail on all of these metrics on WalletHub’s methodology page.

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