The Best Value College of 2020 is Brigham Young University, with Western Carolina University, Dickinson State University, National Louis University, and Ferris State University rounding out the top 5.
As the editors explain, "The College Consensus methodology pulls together rankings from:
- U.S. News & World Report
- The Wall Street Journal
- Washington Monthly
Then we average student reviews from sites like Cappex, Niche, Student Review, and more, to get the full picture of how students see their colleges, which we call the Student Review Rating. Put them together, and we have the College Consensus." Learn more about the College Consensus rankings methodology at https://www.collegeconsensus.com/about/.
But then, for the Best Value ranking, editors added one essential factor - the cost. With tuition costs continually on the rise, college students and their families have to take cost into consideration. That's why College Consensus has done the work of finding low-cost colleges and universities that are still high quality. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Consensus editors searched for reputable, accredited institutions with the lowest tuition costs.
To help traditional and nontraditional-aged students and their families make the most economical choice for their schooling, College Consensus has identified the most affordable colleges and universities, based on verified costs. To qualify for the ranking, institutions must have a Consensus score.
The remaining top 25 (in alphabetical order) are:
- CUNY Baruch College
- CUNY Brooklyn College
- CUNY City College
- CUNY Hunter College
- CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- CUNY Lehman College
- CUNY Queens College
- Coppin State University
- Fitchburg State University
- Framingham State University
- Lake Superior State University
- North Dakota State University
- Truman State University
- University of Minnesota-Crookston
- University of Minnesota-Morris
- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
- University of Wisconsin-Platteville
- Valley City State University
- Westfield State University
- Winona State University
"In the age of rapidly rising tuition – college costs have risen far faster than the rate of inflation in the 21st century, and even faster than financial aid," Consensus editors note, "affordability is no joke." With scholarships and grants in limited supply, for most students "earning a college degree without setting yourself up for a life of loan repayment – which never goes away, not even in bankruptcy – has turned into the Holy Grail: much sought, found by only a lucky few," according to the editors. After all, as the editors explain, student loan debt is nearly the highest consumer debt, second only to mortgages. With affordable tuition rates, the choice doesn't have to be purely financial; students can choose the program that offers the most for their career goals.
The College Consensus ranking of the Best Value Colleges and Universities is based on an understanding of the needs of today's students. As the editors explain, "The most affordable colleges and universities recognize that college students are real people with real needs, real dreams, and real futures, and they work to make sure students can live up to their potential without being dragged down by debt." They are "the heroes in the higher education landscape." The College Consensus Best Value ranking brings those heroes to the forefront.
College Consensus is a new approach to college rankings. We combine the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores. College Consensus also offers expert advice and guidance on all aspects of college life, from finding the perfect college, to getting accepted, paying for it, and finding your professional path after graduation.