COST & FINANCING
What school provides the best return on an undergraduate’s investment? The school they can afford, Dick Carpenter, a professor at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, says in the report.
“For students with greater means, a small, higher-priced liberal arts college or the out-of-state public university located somewhere the student aspires to eventually pursue a career may be affordable, logical choices,” Carpenter says.
“For students with limited means, two years at a community college followed by two years at one of their state universities will provide them quality education and open up career opportunities without necessarily crushing them with debt. Where people attend college does not inexorably determine the trajectory of their lives. What they do with that education matters more.”
But, top students shouldn’t automatically count out the Ivies based on price alone, according to Elizabeth Gil, assistant Professor at Fordham University. A school may have an excellent program in the student’s area of interest which may make the return on investment more appealing in the long run. Name brand schools in the Ivy League may have more resources (and very large endowments) to help offset the costs for students and families.
“When institutions can offer aid that reduces financial barriers, financial access can be increased for applicants and the ‘sticker price’ can look quite different than the actual cost of attending,” Gil says in the report.
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 metric’s in WalletHub’s methodology page.