FAQs on Our Rankings of Private College Values

Here are answers to your questions about how we pick the schools on our list.

Why isn't my school on the list?

Our lists exclude schools that do not meet our criteria for academic quality and affordability. We start with data on more than 600 private institutions and sort the schools first based on quality measures, such as the admission rate, the test scores of incoming freshmen, and four- and five-year graduation rates. We then add cost data, including tuition, fees, room and board and financial aid, and re-rank the institutions accordingly. It is this combination of quality and affordability -- certainly not any desire on our part to exclude a particular school or state -- that determines which schools make our lists for best value.

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Former Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance