Best bang-for-buck college is Amherst?

Washington Monthly‘s 2013 College Guide and Rankings “asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country.”

Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the  affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it? Are they trying to become more productive—and if so, why is average tuition rising faster than health care costs?

The Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges are topped by Amherst: Nearly everyone graduates and the net price is only $843 after financial aid. Then come two City University of New York schools, Cal State Fullerton and the University of Florida.

Here’s are some stand-outs in value, with more on how the Monthly rates college value.

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  1. Crimson Wife says:

    Except on another page in the same site, they list a net price for Amherst of $17,574. Personally, I find that figure a LOT more believable than $853.

    • Crimson Wife says:
    • Mark Roulo says:

      For “bang for the buck” ranking, they used the claimed price paid by a student who (1) comes from a family with an income of $75K or less (2) is the first in the family to attend college, and (3) attends full time. I expect that the $17K number is for the student body as a whole.
      Given that the list price for Amherst tuition plus room and board is $58K (so figure tuition of about $45K), I don’t think I believe the $17K number.

      • Crimson Wife says:

        USNWR says that 62% of Amherst students receive financial aid from the school so I’d believe that $17k figure is the average or median amount paid.

        • Mark Roulo says:

          $17K is *roughly* 38% of $45K … so if 62% are getting non-loan financial aid and 32% are not AND the average cost is $17K, then 2/3 of the students are not paying tuition at all and 1/3 are paying list price. I don’t believe that 🙂