Best Values in Private Colleges, 2012-13

Yale and Swarthmore top our list for quality and affordability.

It's probably not the first reason for considering (or aspiring to) a Yale education, but it's compelling nonetheless: Compared with other elite private institutions, the school is relatively cheap. Number one in this year's rankings for best values in private universities, Yale charges an annual sticker price of $52,700. Among our top 20 universities, only Rice University (ranked number two) charges less. But it gets better—lots better. Yale's need-based financial aid package, one of the most generous in the country, knocks down the average price for students with need to $13,786, lower than the average cost of an in-state education. And Yale's definition of need is expansive, extending to families who earn as much as $200,000 a year.

SEE OUR SLIDE SHOW: 10 Best Values in Private Universities, 2012-13

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Jane Bennett Clark
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The late Jane Bennett Clark, who passed away in March 2017, covered all facets of retirement and wrote a bimonthly column that took a fresh, sometimes provocative look at ways to approach life after a career. She also oversaw the annual Kiplinger rankings for best values in public and private colleges and universities and spearheaded the annual "Best Cities" feature. Clark graduated from Northwestern University.