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50 best value colleges for 2018

  • Tim Sackton // Flickr
    1/ Brian A Jackson // Shutterstock

    Tim Sackton // Flickr

    With American student loan debt totaling $1.3 trillion and the average Class of 2016 graduate leaving school $37,172 in debt, parents and students are increasingly concerned with finding schools that offer strong career prospects without over-the-top costs. 

    To help navigate the college landscape, Stacker looked a Niche's 2018 Best Value Colleges rankings for over 2,000 U.S. colleges and universities. For each school, Niche evaluated the net price (average cost after financial aid), alumni earnings, graduation and employment rates, student debt data and other factors to determine which colleges deliver the best return on investment.

    The list ranges from maritime academies to classic Ivy League institutions; read on to see the 50 colleges across America with the highest bang for your buck.

  • #50. Stonehill College
    2/ Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Stonehill College

    Location: Easton, MA

    Net Price: $29,370
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $58,800
    SAT Range: 1030-1230
    Acceptance Rate: 75.0%

  • #49. Missouri University of Science & Technology
    3/ Adavidb // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. Missouri University of Science & Technology

    Location: Rolla, MO

    Net Price: $13,910
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $65,500
    SAT Range: 1080-1300
    Acceptance Rate: 88.0%

  • #48. Johns Hopkins University
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    #48. Johns Hopkins University

    Location: Baltimore, MD

    Net Price: $28,334
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $69,200
    SAT Range: 1360-1530
    Acceptance Rate: 14.0%

  • #47. Middlebury College
    5/ Greenmountainboy // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. Middlebury College

    Location: Middlebury, VT

    Net Price: $20,197
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $53,400
    SAT Range: 1270-1500
    Acceptance Rate: 17.0%

  • #46. University of Virginia
    6/ Aaron Josephson // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. University of Virginia

    Location: Charlottesville, VA

    Net Price: $14,539
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $58,600
    SAT Range: 1250-1460
    Acceptance Rate: 30.0%

  • #45. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    7/ UpstateNYer // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Location: Troy, NY

    Net Price: $37,820
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $81,700
    SAT Range: 1280-1490
    Acceptance Rate: 44.0%

  • #44. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    8/ Runningonbrains // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Location: Worcester, MA

    Net Price: $39,011
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $77,600
    SAT Range: 1310-1480
    Acceptance Rate: 49.0%

  • #43. Massachusetts Maritime Academy
    9/ Dan Logan // Shutterstock

    #43. Massachusetts Maritime Academy

    Location: Buzzards Bay, MA

    Net Price: $13,673
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $79,500
    SAT Range: 980-1160
    Acceptance Rate: 74.0%

  • #42. College of William & Mary
    10/ Jrcla2 // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. College of William & Mary

    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    Net Price: $14,310
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $56,400
    SAT Range: 1260-1460
    Acceptance Rate: 34.0%

  • #41. Northwestern University
    11/ Titration451 // Wikimedia Commons

    #41. Northwestern University

    Location: Evanston, IL

    Net Price: $30,552
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $64,100
    SAT Range: 1400-1560
    Acceptance Rate: 13.0%

  • #40. Bowdoin College
    12/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #40. Bowdoin College

    Location: Brunswick, ME

    Net Price: $23,156
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $54,800
    SAT Range: 1360-1510
    Acceptance Rate: 15.0%

  • #39. Vanderbilt University
    13/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #39. Vanderbilt University

    Location: Nashville, TN

    Net Price: $22,937
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $60,900
    SAT Range: 1430-1590
    Acceptance Rate: 12.0%

  • #38. Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
    14/ UpstateNYer // Wikimedia Commons

    #38. Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

    Location: Albany, NY

    Net Price: $31,183
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $110,600
    SAT Range: 1070-1270
    Acceptance Rate: 66.0%

  • #37. Clarkson University
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    #37. Clarkson University

    Location: Potsdam, NY

    Net Price: $29,666
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $68,400
    SAT Range: 1080-1290
    Acceptance Rate: 68.0%

  • #36. Williams College
    16/ Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Williams College

    Location: Williamstown, MA

    Net Price: $21,546
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $58,100
    SAT Range: 1330-1550
    Acceptance Rate: 18.0%

  • #35. Carleton College
    17/ McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

    #35. Carleton College

    Location: Northfield, MN

    Net Price: $31,568
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $46,100
    SAT Range: 1320-1520
    Acceptance Rate: 21.0%

  • #34. Stevens Institute of Technology
    18/ Jeffrey Vock Photography // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. Stevens Institute of Technology

    Location: Hoboken, NJ

    Net Price: $34,935
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $82,800
    SAT Range: 1240-1425
    Acceptance Rate: 44.0%

  • #33. College of the Holy Cross
    19/ George Rypysc III // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. College of the Holy Cross

    Location: Worcester, MA

    Net Price: $24,728
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $63,700
    SAT Range: 1230-1370
    Acceptance Rate: 37.0%

  • #32. Villanova University
    20/ Alertjean // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. Villanova University

    Location: Villanova, PA

    Net Price: $31,668
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $73,700
    SAT Range: 1200-1400
    Acceptance Rate: 48.0%

  • #31. Bentley University
    21/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #31. Bentley University

    Location: Waltham, MA

    Net Price: $33,133
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $74,900
    SAT Range: 1140-1330
    Acceptance Rate: 42.0%

  • #30. Boston College
    22/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    #30. Boston College

    Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

    Net Price: $26,284
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $67,000
    SAT Range: 1260-1470
    Acceptance Rate: 29.0%

  • #29. Virginia Military Institute
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    #29. Virginia Military Institute

    Location: Lexington, VA

    Net Price: $15,197
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $56,600
    SAT Range: 1040-1230
    Acceptance Rate: 53.0%

  • #28. Columbia University
    24/ Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Columbia University

    Location: New York, NY

    Net Price: $17,678
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $72,900
    SAT Range: 1380-1570
    Acceptance Rate: 7.0%

  • #27. Carnegie Mellon University
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    #27. Carnegie Mellon University

    Location: Pittsburgh, PA

    Net Price: $33,657
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $72,000
    SAT Range: 1360-1540
    Acceptance Rate: 24.0%

  • #26. Colorado School of Mines
    26/ ChrisEngelsma // Wikimedia Commons

    #26. Colorado School of Mines

    Location: Golden, CO

    Net Price: $24,297
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $74,700
    SAT Range: 1250-1420
    Acceptance Rate: 38.0%

  • #25. Claremont McKenna College
    27/ Victoire Chalupy // Wikimedia Commons

    #25. Claremont McKenna College

    Location: Claremont, CA

    Net Price: $29,894
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $63,600
    SAT Range: 1340-1530
    Acceptance Rate: 11.0%

  • #24. Brown University
    28/ Apavlo // Wikimedia Commons

    #24. Brown University

    Location: Providence, RI

    Net Price: $22,957
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $59,700
    SAT Range: 1370-1560
    Acceptance Rate: 9.0%

  • #23. Lehigh University
    29/ Peter L Moore // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. Lehigh University

    Location: Bethlehem, PA

    Net Price: $27,715
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $76,800
    SAT Range: 1230-1420
    Acceptance Rate: 26.0%

  • #22. Dartmouth College
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    #22. Dartmouth College

    Location: Hanover, NH

    Net Price: $21,348
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $67,100
    SAT Range: 1330-1560
    Acceptance Rate: 11.0%

  • #21. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
    31/ Cjeiler // Wikimedia Commons

    #21. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Location: Terre Haute, IN

    Net Price: $40,198
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $78,900
    SAT Range: 1180-1420
    Acceptance Rate: 58.0%

  • #20. Cornell University
    32/ sach1tb // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Cornell University

    Location: Ithaca, NY

    Net Price: $28,656
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $70,900
    SAT Range: 1330-1530
    Acceptance Rate: 15.0%

  • #19. Lafayette College
    33/ Shuvaev // Wikimedia Commons

    #19. Lafayette College

    Location: Easton, PA

    Net Price: $24,993
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $69,800
    SAT Range: 1200-1380
    Acceptance Rate: 30.0%

  • #18. Babson College
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    #18. Babson College

    Location: Wellesley, MA

    Net Price: $27,597
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $85,500
    SAT Range: 1200-1440
    Acceptance Rate: 26.0%

  • #17. Georgetown University
    35/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. Georgetown University

    Location: Washington, DC

    Net Price: $26,749
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $83,300
    SAT Range: 1320-1500
    Acceptance Rate: 17.0%

  • #16. Tufts University
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    #16. Tufts University

    Location: Medford, MA

    Net Price: $26,976
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $67,800
    SAT Range: 1370-1520
    Acceptance Rate: 16.0%

  • #15. Rice University
    37/ Leonard Lane // Wikimedia Commons

    #15. Rice University

    Location: Houston, TX

    Net Price: $22,462
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $59,900
    SAT Range: 1390-1560
    Acceptance Rate: 16.0%

  • #14. Georgia Institute of Technology
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    #14. Georgia Institute of Technology

    Location: Atlanta, GA

    Net Price: $12,736
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $74,000
    SAT Range: 1310-1500
    Acceptance Rate: 32.0%

  • #13. Harvey Mudd College
    39/ TythosEternal // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Harvey Mudd College

    Location: Claremont, CA

    Net Price: $34,529
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $78,600
    SAT Range: 1400-1560
    Acceptance Rate: 13.0%

  • #12. United States Merchant Marine Academy
    40/ Kimberlee Hewitt // White House

    #12. United States Merchant Marine Academy

    Location: Kings Point, NY

    Net Price: $4,701
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $89,000
    SAT Range: 1190-1250
    Acceptance Rate: 22.0%

  • #11. Colgate University
    41/ Dennis Liu // Wikimedia Commons

    #11. Colgate University

    Location: Hamilton, NY

    Net Price: $21,741
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $61,500
    SAT Range: 1250-1450
    Acceptance Rate: 27.0%

  • #10. University of Pennsylvania
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    #10. University of Pennsylvania

    Location: Philadelphia, PA

    Net Price: $23,924
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $78,200
    SAT Range: 1380-1550
    Acceptance Rate: 10.0%

  • #9. California Institute of Technology
    43/ Kevin Stanchfield // Wikimedia Commons

    #9. California Institute of Technology

    Location: Pasadena, CA

    Net Price: $23,213
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $74,000
    SAT Range: 1500-1600
    Acceptance Rate: 9.0%

  • #8. Princeton University
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    #8. Princeton University

    Location: Princeton, NJ

    Net Price: $17,901
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $75,100
    SAT Range: 1390-1590
    Acceptance Rate: 7.0%

  • #7. University of Notre Dame
    45/ Matthew Rice // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. University of Notre Dame

    Location: Notre Dame, IN

    Net Price: $26,698
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $69,400
    SAT Range: 1350-1530
    Acceptance Rate: 20.0%

  • #6. Yale University
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    #6. Yale University

    Location: New Haven, CT

    Net Price: $18,164
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $66,000
    SAT Range: 1430-1600
    Acceptance Rate: 7.0%

  • #5. Duke University
    47/ fw_gadget // Wikimedia Commons

    #5. Duke University

    Location: Durham, NC

    Net Price: $21,295
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $76,700
    SAT Range: 1360-1550
    Acceptance Rate: 11.0%

  • #4. Washington & Lee University
    48/ Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

    #4. Washington & Lee University

    Location: Lexington, VA

    Net Price: $21,379
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $77,600
    SAT Range: 1310-1470
    Acceptance Rate: 24.0%

  • #3. Stanford University
    49/ King of Hearts // Wikimedia Commons

    #3. Stanford University

    Location: Stanford, CA

    Net Price: $19,245
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $80,900
    SAT Range: 1390-1580
    Acceptance Rate: 5.0%

  • #2. Harvard University
    50/ Caroline Culler // Wikimedia Commons

    #2. Harvard University

    Location: Cambridge, MA

    Net Price: $15,742
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $87,200
    SAT Range: 1400-1600
    Acceptance Rate: 6.0%

  • #1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    51/ Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Location: Cambridge, MA

    Net Price: $21,691
    Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $91,600
    SAT Range: 1430-1580
    Acceptance Rate: 8.0%

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