Ranking the Best Value Colleges of 2021

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Let's be honest: college is *expensive*. If you're going to take out student loans that may take years to pay back, you want to make sure you're getting the best education at the best price. Our researchers examined every single college in the nation in order to devise the encyclopedic 2021 Highest Value Colleges list. A couple of our top choices may be surprising.

Massachusetts leads the United States in yielding first-rate value, with 2 of the top 10 schools.

To share some facts about our first choices with you, the 10 best value have a medium-sized average enrollment of 5,627 full-time students. They admit, on average, 11.1% of applicants, and their admitted students scored between 1260 and 1535 on the SAT. On average, their undergrads end up paying approximately $19,858 annually, after financial aid and scholarships, and their undergraduates receive $45,037 on average in financial assistance every year. Furthermore, they have a median student--faculty ratio of 7:1, and their overall ratings on School Authority range from 9.46 to 10

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most esteemed colleges in the world, ranked first overall in the United States. It is located in Cambridge, MA, with a remarkably low acceptance rate. It is a smaller institution with 4,2 84 full-time undergrads in attendance. 31% of graduates secure a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Alternative frequent choices include Mathematics, Physics, and Electrical Engineering, but there are 33 available majors to choose from. ...

#1

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$19,919
Acceptance
7%
SAT Score

1500-1570


ACT Score

34-36

Duke University
Durham, NC

Located in Durham, NC, Duke University is one of the most renowned private, Christian universities in the world, ranking 6th overall in the country. Admission is nearly as selective as the CIA. It is a mid-sized institution with full-time enrollment of 6,335 undergraduate students. Duke has 49 total majors across six academic disciplines. The most desired picks are Computer Science, Economics, and Public Policy Analysis, with 11% of graduates receiving a Bachelor's degree in ...

#2

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$18,795
Acceptance
9%
SAT Score

1450-1570


ACT Score

33-35

Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Located in Cambridge, MA, Harvard University is one of the most reputable private universities in the world, ranking 4th in America. Admission is fiercely competitive. It is a medium-sized university with full-time enrollment of 7,504 unde rgrads. Harvard provides 57 different majors across four disciplines. The most frequently in-demand fields are Economics, Computer Science, and Political Science and Government, with 12% of graduates receiving a Bachelor's degree in Economi ...

#3

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$18,469
Acceptance
5%
SAT Score

1460-1580


ACT Score

33-35

Rice University
Houston, TX

Located on a striking campus in Houston, TX, Rice University is one of the most renowned private universities in the world, ranked 9th in the country. Admission is fiercely competitive. It has a smaller student body with full-time enrollme nt of 4,111 students. 10% of its graduates procure a Bachelor's degree in Economics. Additional popular options include Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Kinesiology and Exercise Science, but there are 49 total focuses to ch ...

#4

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$22,041
Acceptance
11%
SAT Score

1450-1560


ACT Score

33-35

Yale University
New Haven, CT

Yale University is one of the most highly respected universities in the world, ranking third overall in the US. It is located on a stunning campus in New Haven, CT, and only admits 6% of applicants. It has a medium-sized student body with full-time enrollment of 5,455 undergrads. 12% of its graduates get a Bachelor's degree in Economics. Additional favored options include Political Science and Government, Cellular Biology, and Liberal Arts and Humanities, but there are 57 fo ...

#5

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$17,810
Acceptance
6%
SAT Score

1460-1570


ACT Score

33-35

United States Merchant Marine Academy
Kings Point, NY

United States Merchant Marine Academy is a public college in Kings Point, NY. It is a moderately rated institution, ranking two hundred and forty-sixth in the USA. Admission is highly selective, with a 22% acceptance rate. It has a small s ized student body with full-time enrollment of 1,001 students. Students at Kings Point can study Marine Science, Engineering, or Systems Engineering. 49% of the student body chooses Marine Science. It has a strong environmental science prog ...

#6

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$3,274
Acceptance
22%
SAT Score

1190-1330


ACT Score

27-30

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN

University of Notre Dame is a private, Catholic university located on an amazing campus in Notre Dame, IN. It is an exceptionally distinguished institution, ranking 15th in the nation and is without a doubt competitive. It has a medium-siz ed student body with 8,984 full-time students enrolled. Notre Dame provides 56 unique majors across five disciplines. The most often chosen principal courses of study are Finance, Economics, and Mechanical Engineering, with 10% of graduates ...

#7

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$31,740
Acceptance
18%
SAT Score

1400-1550


ACT Score

33-35

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania is one of the most highly respected universities in the world, ranking 10th in the United States. It is located on a beautiful campus in Philadelphia, PA, with an acceptance rate of 8%. It has an above average si zed student body with full-time enrollment of 9,971 undergraduate students. 10% of Penn's graduates are awarded a Bachelor's in Finance. Other routinely selected academe include Nursing, Business, and Philosophy, but there are 76 total offe ...

#8

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$27,579
Acceptance
8%
SAT Score

1420-1550


ACT Score

32-35

Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH

Dartmouth College is a private college in Hanover, NH. It is a highly distinguished institution, ranked 17th in the US, with shockingly competitive admissions (9% acceptance rate). It is a smaller college with full-time enrollment of 4,578 students. 15% of graduates procure a Bachelor's in Economics. Other preferred picks include Computer Science, Engineering Science, and Biology, but there are 45 unique focuses to choose from. If you want to major in global studies and have ...

#9

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$22,224
Acceptance
9%
SAT Score

1420-1560


ACT Score

31-35

Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology is a public college in Atlanta, GA. It is a distinguished college, ranking 42nd in America, with seriously competitive admissions (22% acceptance rate). It is a large college with full-time enrollment of 14, 672 undergraduates. Georgia Tech's most frequently preferred major is a Bachelor's in Information Science, which amounts to 17% of students. Other commonly desired options include Mechanical Engineering, which accounts for 14% of students, ...

#10

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$16,102
Acceptance
22%
SAT Score

1390-1540


ACT Score

31-34

Williams College
Williamstown, MA

Williams College is a private, liberal art college in Williamstown, MA. It is a esteemed college, ranking 32nd in the US, with immensely selective admissions (13% acceptance rate). It has a small student body with 2,149 full-time students in attendance. Williams offers 35 potential majors across three disciplines. The most highly demanded choices are Economics, Mathematics, and Biology, which when pooled amount to 32% of the student body. Its art and history programs are bot ...

#11

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$18,030
Acceptance
13%
SAT Score

1410-1550


ACT Score

32-35

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Princeton University is one of the most elite universities in the world, ranking 5th in the United States. It is in Princeton, NJ, and admits only 5% of applicants. It has a smaller student body with full-time enrollment of 4,997 undergrad s. Princeton has 38 unique majors across two disciplines. The most preferred selections are Computer Hardware Engineering, Economics, and Public Policy Analysis, with 13% of graduates receiving a Bachelor's degree in Computer Hardware Engin ...

#12

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$17,001
Acceptance
5%
SAT Score

1440-1570


ACT Score

32-35

Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA

Harvey Mudd College is a private, liberal art college in Claremont, CA. It is a very esteemed college, ranked 48th in America, with an extremely low acceptance rate. It is a very small sized institution with full-time enrollment of 801 und ergrads. 32% of its graduates obtain a Bachelor's in Engineering. Other popular choices include Physics, Computational and Applied Mathematics, and Bioinformatics, but there are 17 distinct offerings to choose from. If you would like to foc ...

#13

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$36,829
Acceptance
14%
SAT Score

1490-1560


ACT Score

34-35

Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University is a private university located in Pittsburgh, PA. It is a notable college, ranking 28th in the USA, with highly competitive admissions. It is a midsized institution with full-time enrollment of 6,612 undergrads. 12% of graduates procure a Bachelor's in Computer Science. Other often picked fields include Statistics, Business, and Mechanical Engineering, but there are 58 distinct focuses to choose from. If you plan to major in information technology ...

#14

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$32,389
Acceptance
17%
SAT Score

1450-1550


ACT Score

33-35

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

Colgate University is a private, liberal art university located in Hamilton, NY. It is a highly respected and quite selective institution ranking 46th in the country and accepting only 25% of applicants. It is a small institution with full -time enrollment of 2,996 students. Colgate's most preferred major is a Bachelor's degree in Economics, which is comprised of 12% of students. Other routinely desired academe include Political Science and Government, which accounts for 7% o ...

#15

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$24,210
Acceptance
25%
SAT Score

1320-1510


ACT Score

31-34

Brown University
Providence, RI

Brown University is one of the most highly respected universities in the world, ranked 8th overall in the nation. It is located on a gorgeous campus in Providence, RI, with fiercely competitive admissions. It is a middle sized university w ith 6,332 full-time students enrolled. Brown's most regularly selected major is a Bachelor's in Computer Science, which makes up 9% of the student body. Other regularly picked fields include Economics, which accounts for 9% of students, and ...

#16

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$25,876
Acceptance
8%
SAT Score

1420-1550


ACT Score

32-35

Colorado School of Mines
Golden, CO

Colorado School of Mines is a public college in Golden, CO. It is an esteemed college, ranking 66th in the country but has an acceptance rate of 49%. It is a small college with full-time enrollment of 4,354 undergraduate students. 28% of Sc hool of Mines' graduates secure a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering. Additional favored choices include Engineering, Computer Science, and Chemical Engineering, but there are 14 different offerings to select from. If you want to major in ...

#17

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$27,055
Acceptance
49%
SAT Score

1290-1450


ACT Score

28-33

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA

California Institute of Technology is a private college located in Pasadena, CA. It is an extremely respected institution, currently ranked 18th in America. Admission is as competitive as a heavyweight title fight (7% acceptance rate). It has a very small sized student body with 912 full-time undergrads in attendance. Caltech has 17 unique majors across three disciplines. The most frequent choices are Computer Science, Physics, and Electrical Engineering, which when pooled a ...

#18

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$27,679
Acceptance
7%
SAT Score

1530-1580


ACT Score

35-36

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Terre Haute, IN

Rose-Hulman is a highly rated private college located in Terre Haute, Indiana. It is a small institution with an enrollment of 2,147 undergraduate students. Admissions is somewhat competitive as the Rose-Hulman acceptance rate is 68%. Popul ar majors include Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Chemical Engineering. Graduating 81% of students, Rose-Hulman alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $70,700. ...

#19

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$41,859
Acceptance
68%
SAT Score

1270-1480


ACT Score

28-33

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Northwestern University is a private university in Evanston, IL. It is a highly esteemed college, currently ranked 11th in America, and has an acceptance rate of 8%. It is an above average sized university with 8,615 full-time undergrads i n attendance. Northwestern provides 80 distinct majors across six disciplines. The most regularly in-demand fields are Economics, Psychology, and Journalism, which collectively account for 26% of the student body. If you are planning on foc ...

#20

Best Value Colleges

Tuition
$28,917
Acceptance
8%
SAT Score

1430-1550


ACT Score

33-35