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Best Value Private Colleges

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Some students prefer a private college or liberal arts college to provide them the best education. Of course it helps to research different colleges so that you apply to the one(s) that you feel best meet your needs. Kiplinger’s has done some legwork for you and narrowed down the top 50 best value liberal arts colleges and the top 50 best value private colleges. Here is a short summary of their list:


  1. Top School Financially: Wheaton College, Wheaton IL.
    With total costs averaging $31,000 per year, this is on the low end for a liberal arts school. Students who receive need based aid are able to lower that figure to about $18,000. Students have an average debt of $19,000 at graduation.

  2. Top School with lowest average debt: Williams College, Williamstown MA.
    Students graduating from this liberal arts school carry a low debt averaging $9900. Not too bad for a liberal arts school.

  3. Top School with the best student/faculty ratio: Williams College, Williamstown MA.
    This school tops the list with the smallest student/faculty ratio. With an average of seven students to each professor, students receive a more one on one education.

  4. Top School Overall: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore PA.
    This small university located outside of Philadelphia is ranked the number one school overall financially and academically. Swarthmore offers a small school setting at a decent price.


  1. Top School Financially: Elon University, Elon NC.
    With total costs averaging $30,000 per year, you can receive a top education at a private school for minimal cost. The average cost after aid is awarded is $22,000 and the average debt carried by students at graduation is $21,000.

  2. Top School with lowest average debt: Princeton University, Princeton NJ.
    Although the total costs for this school average nearly $50,000, most students only carry $4900 debt at graduation. Not bad for a first class education at a top-notch school.

  3. Top School with best student/faculty ratio: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
    Talk about a small ratio, CalTech-Pasadena has an average of three students to each professor. This is perfect for the student who prefers a more one on one education during their college experience.

  4. Top School Overall: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.
    After all factors are combined, CalTech-Pasadena tops the list as the top private school. With a low graduation debt, low student/faculty ratio, and high graduation rates, this is one school that should be considered by anyone preferring an education from a top private school.

Choosing the school that is perfect for you takes time and research and in the end it will be the school that is right for YOU, not because it made a top list somewhere. Just make sure to choose the factors most important to you in choosing a school and in the end, you will be happy with your decision.


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