Make Your Kidâ??s College Fund Count

By  January 08, 2009
Does the school have core requirements? Does it have a good student-teacher ratio? Does it place graduates in good jobs? Those are some to the age-old questions parents ask when helping their kids decide which college to attend.

But this year, with layoffs, losses in the stock market and the uncertainty of the economy in general, parents concerned with footing a college bill might shift their focus to getting the most for their money.

And Princeton Review, (known most for its annual guide to the top colleges, and its college test prep courses) has released a new list that cash-strapped families will want to see: a ranking of schools that offer the most bang for your buck.

This new list (published January 7) ranks schools based not just on tuition, and room and board, but on overall value – including quality of education, costs, and financial aid your student can receive. It also breaks the list down by private and public institutions – an important distinction given the disparity in overall costs.

So here they are – the schools deemed the greatest overall value – both for you bank account and your blossoming college student.

College Best Buys – Private Institutions
1. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pa.)
2. Harvard College (Cambridge, Mass.)
3. Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
4. Rice University (Houston, Texas)
5. Yale University (New Haven, Conn.)
6. Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.)
7. Amherst College (Amherst, Mass.)
8. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena)
9. Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)
10. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)

College Best Buys – Public Institutions
1. University of Virginia (Charlottesville)
2. New College of Florida (Sarasota)
3. College of William & Mary (Williamsburg, Va.)
4. State University of New York-Binghamton
5. Florida State University (Tallahassee)
6. North Carolina State University (Raleigh)
7. University of California San Diego
8. City University of New York — Hunter College (New York, N.Y.)
9. University of Georgia (Athens)
10. The College of New Jersey (Ewing)

Photo credits: iStockPhoto