Take a Tour of the 300 Best Values in U.S. Colleges

Choosing the right school is as much an art as a science.

(Image credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund)

As you or members of your family gear up to visit colleges with your kids or grandkids this spring, make your first stop Kiplinger’s 2017 rankings of the top 300 college values. They’ll help you narrow your search and potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Once you’ve zeroed in on your top candidates, go to each school’s website to see how it measures outcomes for its graduates. When you arrive on campus, stop at the career center to find out about counseling services, internships, grad-school opportunities and job recruiting. Does the school have a vibrant alumni network? Pepper your campus tour guide with questions about student involvement and the campus social scene, which are particularly difficult to quantify. And remember that no single source can give you the whole story. In a twist on the old adage, Kaitlin observes that when it comes to choosing a college, you should “measure three times and cut once.”

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Janet Bodnar
Editor-at-Large, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. While editor, Bodnar was honored by Folio as one of its Top Women in Media. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.