As students prepare to return to school and college application application deadlines appear on the horizon, The Best Colleges has put together a special 2011-2012 back-to-school report to help prospective students find the best colleges and college degrees for their money. In tough economic times like these it is more important than ever for students (and their parents) to figure out where they can get the most bang for their college buck. In this special report we highlight colleges and universities that offer the best education at the best value.
Top 50 Colleges and Universities in America of 2011-2012
Leading off the report is the inaugural edition of our Top 50 Colleges and Universities in America. We set out to create a college ranking that does a better job of measuring the things that prospective students and their parents actually care about than other major ranking systems like U.S. News & World Report. In addition to measuring the standard indicators of academic quality and student satisfaction used by other major ranking systems, we also considered indicators of a school’s overall economic value and the quality of life offered by its location. By emphasizing economic value and quality of life, the ranking offers students a fresh angle from which to evaluate their college options that is particularly relevant to the current economic and educational situation in America. Students and their parents are watching their dollars more closely than ever and can’t afford to throw money away on a high-priced college degree with little promise of a future economic return. And given the importance of social networking for future career success and the fact that students are taking longer than ever to graduate, a college town’s quality of life in terms of affordability and the opportunity for relationships with other young, successful and highly educated people is more important than ever.
Best College and University Bargains of 2011-2012
Students mainly interested in where they can get a college education for the least amount of money should start by checking out The 10 Best Colleges With Free Tuition, which highlights several remarkable American college and universities that don’t cost students a dime. If none of the schools on that list seem like a good fit, bargain hunting students should check out our articles on The Best Public School Bargains for 2011-2012 and The Best Private School Bargains for 2011-2012, which discusses colleges and universities with some of the lowest average total costs according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Highest Paying Majors for 2011-2012
Almost as important as selecting the right school is selecting the right major, at least according to the numbers. Certain majors lead to higher paying careers than others. Once you’ve decided which college or university is best for you, find out which majors tend to pay of the most with our report on The Highest Paying College Majors for 2011-2012.
As always, students can find our ever-expanding list of traditional and online college and degree rankings on our rankings page.