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Best value small colleges in America

  • Best value small colleges in America
    1/ Canon.vs.nikon // Wikicommons

    Best value small colleges in America

    Some high schoolers on the hunt for the perfect college are looking for a place where they won’t get lost in the crowd. Small colleges can provide a closer sense of community for young adults leaving home for the first time. Before they get to campus, however, students have to figure out a way to pay for it all. On average, four years at a public college in-state will cost $56,840, while private colleges average $104,400; and prices are going up every year. After dozens of applications for scholarships, financial aid, and loans, students can be left feeling like just another number in the system.

    To save some time for those students looking for a smaller community and a more affordable price tag, Stacker took a look at Niche’s list of Best Value Colleges in 2019, which uses Department of Education data on net price, alumni earnings, graduation rate, and student debt at graduation to rank the most affordable colleges around the country. Stacker then selected the top 50 schools with a student body of fewer than 5,000, with the ranks listed on each slide after “value grade” to show where these schools sit on Niche’s overall value list.

    Looking for a great value small college? Read on find which branch of the U.S. military topped our list, and perhaps find the perfect fit for your personality and your wallet while you’re at it.

    RELATED: Best big college towns in America

  • #50. University of Connecticut - Stamford
    2/ John9474 // Wikicommons

    #50. University of Connecticut - Stamford

    Location: Stamford, Connecticut

    Acceptance rate: 57%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,194

    Net price: $7,380

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,800

    Value grade: A (ranked #131)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #49. Wabash College
    3/ Nyttend // Wikicommons

    #49. Wabash College

    Location: Crawfordsville, Indiana

    Acceptance rate: 63%

    Number of undergraduates: 842

    Net price: $24,245

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,600

    Value grade: A (ranked #129)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #48. DePauw University
    4/ Rovergirl88 // Wikicommons

    #48. DePauw University

    Location: Greencastle, Indiana

    Acceptance rate: 58%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,390

    Net price: $30,863

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,700

    Value grade: A (ranked #125)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #47. University of the Sciences
    5/ USciences

    #47. University of the Sciences

    Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Acceptance rate: 60%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,325

    Net price: $34,796

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $91,800

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #119)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #46. Gustavus Adolphus College
    6/ McGhiever // Wikicommons

    #46. Gustavus Adolphus College

    Location: Saint Peter, Minnesota

    Acceptance rate: 65%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,219

    Net price: $24,293

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #118)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #45. Davidson College
    7/ Dacoslett // Wikicommons

    #45. Davidson College

    Location: Davidson, North Carolina

    Acceptance rate: 20%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,796

    Net price: $27,897

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #112)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #44. Illinois Institute of Technology
    8/ Naotake Murayama // Flickr

    #44. Illinois Institute of Technology

    Location: Chicago, Illinois

    Acceptance rate: 57%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,712

    Net price: $25,847

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $69,800

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #111)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #43. College of Saint Benedict
    9/ Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikicommons

    #43. College of Saint Benedict

    Location: St. Joseph, Minnesota

    Acceptance rate: 88%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,939

    Net price: $26,867

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,000

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #110)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #42. Union College - New York
    10/ Tobias Leeger // Flickr

    #42. Union College - New York

    Location: Schenectady, New York

    Acceptance rate: 37%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,132

    Net price: $38,621

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #109)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #41. Wesleyan University
    11/ Steadyjohn // Wikicommons

    #41. Wesleyan University

    Location: Middletown, Connecticut

    Acceptance rate: 18%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,918

    Net price: $20,490

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #106)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #40. Kettering University
    12/ User:Bryan Duggan // Wikicommons

    #40. Kettering University

    Location: Flint, Michigan

    Acceptance rate: 72%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,782

    Net price: $37,169

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $78,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #104)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #39. Bates College
    13/ Josh Kuckens // Wikicommons

    #39. Bates College

    Location: Lewiston, Maine

    Acceptance rate: 23%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,780

    Net price: $24,055

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,700

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #97)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #38. Franklin & Marshall College
    14/ Pâmella Ferrari // Flickr

    #38. Franklin & Marshall College

    Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania 

    Acceptance rate: 36%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,225

    Net price: $23,182

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #96)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #37. Colby College
    15/ Roman Boed // Flickr

    #37. Colby College

    Location: Waterville, Maine

    Acceptance rate: 19%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,879

    Net price: $21,032

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,000

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #94)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #36. Maine Maritime Academy
    16/ Billy Hathorn // Wikicommons

    #36. Maine Maritime Academy

    Location: Castine, Maine

    Acceptance rate: 76%

    Number of undergraduates: 981

    Net price: $19,225

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $84,000

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #93)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #35. Kenyon College
    17/ Curt Smith // Wikicommons

    #35. Kenyon College

    Location: Gambier, Ohio

    Acceptance rate: 27%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,689

    Net price: $28,192

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $44,300

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #92)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #34. Ohio Northern University
    18/ Bmamlyuk // Wikicommons

    #34. Ohio Northern University

    Location: Ada, Ohio

    Acceptance rate: 64%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,065

    Net price: $24,348

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $62,800

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #88)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #33. Stonehill College
    19/ Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikicommons

    #33. Stonehill College

    Location: Easton, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 73%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,455

    Net price: $31,010

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,700

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #87)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #32. Barnard College
    20/ WalkingGeek // Flickr

    #32. Barnard College

    Location: New York, New York

    Acceptance rate: 15%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,461

    Net price: $22,815

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #85)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #31. Gettysburg College
    21/ Jason Kowell // Wikicommons

    #31. Gettysburg College

    Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Acceptance rate: 43%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,378

    Net price: $34,636

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $53,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #82)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #30. Saint John's University - Minnesota
    22/ Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikicommons

    #30. Saint John's University - Minnesota

    Location: Collegeville, Minnesota

    Acceptance rate: 88%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,737

    Net price: $25,625

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,100

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #81)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #29. Milwaukee School of Engineering
    23/ Dori // Wikicommons

    #29. Milwaukee School of Engineering

    Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Acceptance rate: 66%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,528

    Net price: $23,998

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #78)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #28. Hamilton College
    24/ Lvklock // Wikicommons

    #28. Hamilton College

    Location: Clinton, New York

    Acceptance rate: 26%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,868

    Net price: $24,397

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #77)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #27. Haverford College
    25/ Jackbauerinvc // Wikicommons

    #27. Haverford College

    Location: Haverford, Pennsylvania

    Acceptance rate: 21%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,268

    Net price: $21,144

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,300

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #75)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #26. California State University Maritime Academy
    26/ Bill Williams // Flickr

    #26. California State University Maritime Academy

    Location: Vallejo, California

    Acceptance rate: 68%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,075

    Net price: $14,606

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,000

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #71)

    Overall Niche grade: B

  • #25. Middlebury College
    27/ Alan Levine // Wikicommons

    #25. Middlebury College

    Location: Middlebury, Vermont

    Acceptance rate: 16%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,506

    Net price: $21,437

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #70)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #24. Swarthmore College
    28/ Dwight Sipler // Flickr

    #24. Swarthmore College

    Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

    Acceptance rate: 13%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,542

    Net price: $19,641

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,500

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #69)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #23. Wellesley College
    29/ Jared and Corin // Wikicommons

    #23. Wellesley College

    Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 28%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,347

    Net price: $20,013

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $60,100

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #68)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #22. Amherst College
    30/ Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism // Wikicommons

    #22. Amherst College

    Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 14%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,849

    Net price: $19,055

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,700

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #67)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #21. Mount Carmel College of Nursing
    31/ Tysto // Wikicommons

    #21. Mount Carmel College of Nursing

    Location: Columbus, Ohio

    Acceptance rate: 79%

    Number of undergraduates: 635

    Net price: $16,660

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,100

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #66)

    Overall Niche grade: B

  • #20. Pomona College
    32/ Nostalgicwisdom // Wikicommons

    #20. Pomona College

    Location: Claremont, California

    Acceptance rate: 9%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,556

    Net price: $18,140

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #63)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #19. Vassar College
    33/ Sabatheus // Wikicommons

    #19. Vassar College

    Location: Poughkeepsie, New York 

    Acceptance rate: 27%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,405

    Net price: $21,933

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #58)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #18. SUNY Maritime College
    34/ Julie McCoy // Wikicommons

    #18. SUNY Maritime College

    Location: Throggs Neck, New York 

    Acceptance rate: 58%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,590

    Net price: $16,301

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $76,700

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #55)

    Overall Niche grade: B+

  • #17. Bowdoin College
    35/ Ron Cogswell // Wikicommons

    #17. Bowdoin College

    Location: Brunswick, Maine

    Acceptance rate: 15%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,801

    Net price: $24,888

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,700

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #53)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #16. Massachusetts Maritime Academy
    36/ Massachusetts Maritime Academy // Flickr

    #16. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

    Location: Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 80%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,605

    Net price: $14,035

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,300

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #43)

    Overall Niche grade: B

  • #15. College of the Holy Cross
    37/ Paul Keleher // Wikicommons

    #15. College of the Holy Cross

    Location: Worcester, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 38%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,689

    Net price: $26,965

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $65,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #40)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #14. Williams College
    38/ Daderot // Wikicommons

    #14. Williams College

    Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 18%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,058

    Net price: $18,167

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,100

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #39)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #13. Carleton College
    39/ Dogs1337 // Wikicommons

    #13. Carleton College

    Location: Northfield, Minnesota

    Acceptance rate: 23%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,087

    Net price: $28,587

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #32)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #12. Virginia Military Institute
    40/ Capt. Matthew Roman // U.S. Army Reserve

    #12. Virginia Military Institute

    Location: Lexington, Virginia

    Acceptance rate: 51%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,713

    Net price: $16,195

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #31)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #11. Lafayette College
    41/ Tomwsulcer // Wikicommons

    #11. Lafayette College

    Location: Easton, Pennsylvania

    Acceptance rate: 28%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,505

    Net price: $26,208

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $67,500

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #30)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #10. Claremont McKenna College
    42/ Craig Stanfill // Flickr

    #10. Claremont McKenna College

    Location: Claremont, California

    Acceptance rate: 9%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,346

    Net price: $30,527

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $75,000

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #29)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #9. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    43/ Yipdw~commonswiki // Wikicommons

    #9. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

    Acceptance rate: 61%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,180

    Net price: $41,691

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $79,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #19)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #8. Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
    44/ UpstateNYer // Wikicommons

    #8. Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

    Location: Albany, New York

    Acceptance rate: 69%

    Number of undergraduates: 895

    Net price: $29,929

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $122,600

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #18)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #7. Colgate University
    45/ Fryslan0109 // Wikicommons

    #7. Colgate University

    Location: Hamilton, New York

    Acceptance rate: 29%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,864

    Net price: $22,463

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,300

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #17)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #6. Harvey Mudd College
    46/ Imagine // Wikicommons

    #6. Harvey Mudd College

    Location: Claremont, California

    Acceptance rate: 13%

    Number of undergraduates: 829

    Net price: $35,460

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $74,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #16)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #5. Babson College
    47/ Daderot // Wikicommons

    #5. Babson College

    Location: Wellesley, Massachusetts

    Acceptance rate: 25%

    Number of undergraduates: 2,283

    Net price: $27,453

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $91,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #15)

    Overall Niche grade: A

  • #4. St. Louis College of Pharmacy
    48/ Paul Sableman // Flickr

    #4. St. Louis College of Pharmacy

    Location: St. Louis, Missouri 

    Acceptance rate: 71%

    Number of undergraduates: 528

    Net price: $26,252

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $120,400

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #14)

    Overall Niche grade: A-

  • #3. Washington & Lee University
    49/ Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikicommons

    #3. Washington & Lee University

    Location: Lexington, Virginia

    Acceptance rate: 24%

    Number of undergraduates: 1,824

    Net price: $23,867

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $72,300

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #13)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #2. California Institute of Technology
    50/ Canon.vs.nikon // Wikicommons

    #2. California Institute of Technology

    Location: Pasadena, California

    Acceptance rate: 8%

    Number of undergraduates: 979

    Net price: $26,839

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $74,200

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #8)

    Overall Niche grade: A+

  • #1. United States Merchant Marine Academy
    51/ George W. Bush // White House

    #1. United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Location: Kings Point, New York

    Acceptance rate: 20%

    Number of undergraduates: 904

    Net price: $4,548

    Median earnings six years after graduation: $78,900

    Value grade: A+ (ranked #6)

    Overall Niche grade: A

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