Best Value Schools

National Liberal Arts Colleges

Best Value Schools Methodology

Which colleges and universities offer students the best value? The calculation used here takes into account a school's academic quality, as indicated by its 2014 U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2012-2013 net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included, because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.

Rank School Percent receiving need-based grants Average cost after receiving grants based on need
#1 Amherst College

Amherst, MA

55.0% $16,286
#2 Barnard College

New York, NY

37.8% $12,282
#3 Williams College

Williamstown, MA

53.1% $19,251
#4 Pomona College

Claremont, CA

54.5% $18,249
#5 Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo, CA

86.2% $17,861
#6 Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY

59.7% $19,470
#7 Grinnell College

Grinnell, IA

71.4% $20,334
#8 Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

58.5% $20,771
#9 Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

51.4% $20,839
#10 Washington and Lee University

Lexington, VA

41.4% $18,241

1 2 3 4

Show 10 schools

College Search

Top College Resources

Looking at colleges? Find out what you need to know.

Studying in the United States
Paying for College
Finding the Right School
Applying to College

Find Accredited Colleges

AA, AS and Other 2-Year Degrees; BA, BS and Other 4-Year Degrees; MA, MS, MBA and Other Master's Degrees; Professional Certificates and Certifications.
Learn More at!