Yale University is best college in America, according to a new WalletHub ranking.
The finance website ranked more than 800 higher-education institutions in the United States across 30 key measures to determine the top-performing schools at the lowest possible costs for undergraduates. Ranking data was grouped across seven categories, including student selectivity, cost and financing, and career outcomes.
YALE COMES OUT ON TOP
The Connecticut-based Ivy League school took the top spot ranking highly for metrics such as student selectivity (how difficult it is to gain admission), faculty resources, education outcomes, and career outcomes.
Yale fared poorly when it came to cost and finance, however, as well as campus safety. The total cost of tuition and fees for the 2023-24 year at Yale is a whopping $83,880. That’s nearly six-times as much as in-state tuition at Texas A&M University, which ranked number one for cost and finance.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked number two overall. MIT scored the highest for student selectivity, faculty resources, and education outcomes. MIT scored poorly on cost & finance, however, with a sticker price of $59,750.
Princeton University came in third on the list. The New Jersey Ivy League school ranked highly for student selectivity, faculty resources, campus experience, and education outcomes. Similar to Yale and MIT, Princeton ranked poorly on cost and finance with tuition at $59,710 a year.
Despite having a high sticker price, experts say the Ivy League brand name is worth the cost—especially given the fact that many Ivy League schools offer significant financial aid.
“The sticker price is not the price that students pay,” Tolani A. Britton, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education – University of California, Berkeley, says. “Many colleges with high sticker prices also have relatively low net prices, particularly for students who come from working-class families. While college debt is a significant issue for students and families, there is still a positive return to a college degree both fiscally and concerning various social outcomes such as health and civic participation.”
PUBLIC SCHOOLS OFFER STRONG RETURN ON INVESTMENT
A number of public schools showed strong return on investment. A number of the City University of New York colleges ranked highly for cost and financing with CUNY-Baruch College ranking number three and CUNY-Queens College ranking number four.
“Online data indicates that large public universities provide the best return from a long-term perspective,” Rene S. Parmar, Dean of the School of Education at Lehman College, says. “They not only provide an excellent affordable education, but many are highly regarded in terms of research and employment outcomes.”
Other experts agree. Jamel K. Donnor, a Professor of Education at William & Mary Law School, says “…non-profit public universities, after Ivy League and Ivy League Adjacent universities, public colleges and universities, including community colleges, provide the best return on investment, as they are not simply public goods but also sites of hope, opportunity, and innovation.”
WALLETHUB’S BEST COLLEGES IN AMERICA RANKING
|Overall Rank*||University/College||State||Total Score**||Student Selectivity Rank||Cost & Financing Rank||Faculty Resources Rank||Campus Safety Rank||Campus Experience Rank||Education Outcomes Rank||Career Outcomes Rank|
|2||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||MA||78.83||1||775||3||357||27||10||22|
|4||California Institute of Technology||CA||77.2||2||825||1||709||34||22||1|
|9||Johns Hopkins University||MD||75.96||8||793||5||241||31||21||75|
|13||Carnegie Mellon University||PA||74.35||22||857||15||99||28||39||2|
|16||Georgia Institute of Technology||GA||74.02||45||613||765||260||197||32||13|
|19||University of Florida||FL||73.85||58||76||543||105||532||36||242|
|20||University of Pennsylvania||PA||73.79||15||854||24||191||60||2||4|
|23||Washington and Lee University||VA||73.48||44||836||11||602||96||12||17|
|24||University of California, Berkeley||CA||73.45||36||675||778||732||124||15||29|
|25||University of Chicago||IL||73.32||4||855||2||163||48||5||57|
|26||University of California, Irvine||CA||73.23||55||275||664||544||70||60||91|
|29||University of Michigan–Ann Arbor||MI||72.92||49||656||302||712||428||24||58|
|30||University of Notre Dame||IN||72.75||30||794||348||279||74||7||40|
|32||University of California, Los Angeles||CA||72.48||32||608||650||785||158||19||67|
|33||University of Southern California||CA||72.41||34||800||170||177||114||25||39|
|34||Claremont McKenna College||CA||72.38||41||822||21||769||3||44||20|
|37||Washington University in St. Louis||MO||72.33||23||837||23||401||139||29||21|
|39||University of Virginia||VA||71.74||42||755||456||267||364||9||42|
|40||Harvey Mudd College||CA||71.63||21||833||77||622||71||34||14|
|43||University of California, San Diego||CA||71.16||53||522||799||707||82||59||54|
|46||University of Texas at Austin||TX||70.62||66||231||721||98||612||58||99|
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