10 Best Colleges for Your Money - Brigham Young University

Monday, July 28, 2014

Head of the class

Which of the nation’s roughly 1,500 four-year colleges and universities provide the biggest bang for your tuition buck -- that is, offer students a great education at a comparatively reasonable price that usually leads to a well-paid career? To find out, Money.com culled the list of schools to those with a graduation rate at or above the median in its category (pubic or private), then screened out those with financial difficulties or insufficient data. That left 665 colleges, which were then ranked on 17 factors in three equally-weighted categories: educational quality, affordability, and alumni earnings (included: a “value added” grade that rated each college in light of the economic and academic background of its students and the types of majors that predominate at the institution). These 10 schools went to the head of the class.

No. 9: Brigham Young University

Location: Provo, UT
Value Grade/Ranking Score: A/4.06
Enrollment: 31,060
Net Price of Degree: $82,037
Acceptance Rate: 55%
Average H.S. GPA: 3.79
Avg. Annual Salary Within 5 Yrs: $50,000
Website: byu.edu

BYU-Provo is the main campus of a private college system specializing in educating members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Non-Mormons can attend, but are charged twice as much for tuition as church members and must obey the school’s strict honor code. That means abstaining from coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; dressing modestly; and living a “chaste and virtuous life” on and off campus.

The lack of distraction appears to work to students’ advantage: BYU grads report earning, on average, $50,000 a year within five years. That’s $2,700 more than schools that take in students with similar test scores and economic backgrounds.

Not surprisingly, the campus is not very diverse. Fewer than 6% of students say they are either black or Hispanic. BYU’s Division 1 sports teams are very competitive, especially in football, volleyball, track, and women’s soccer. The comparatively modern campus is about 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, and offers views of the nearby Rocky Mountains. Because of the emphasis on church, family and the honor code, students say that dating is a main social activity, and that many of them marry.

Find the full rankings at money.com/colleges.

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