The 50 Colleges That Add the Most Value

The schools that best help students exceed expectations.

It’s not surprising that elite schools report high graduation rates, or that their alumni move on to high-paying jobs. Their high-achieving (and often well-to-do) students arrive with the talent and resources to thrive. What’s impressive is when a college can help students do far better than you’d expect based on their academic and economic backgrounds and the mix of majors at their schools (something we measure with what we call a value-added grade). These 50 schools do just that. To compile this list, we ranked colleges based solely on value-added grades for graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment, eliminating schools with a negative grade in any of those areas or a graduation rate below 50%. These schools are ranked by the sum of their performance on all of our value-added measures.

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