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Colleges That Pay You Back

The Princeton Review has released the 2018 edition of Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools…

  • February 21, 2018

The Princeton Review has released the 2018 edition of Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.

This annual guidebook, now in its 4th year, is the education services company’s resource for college-bound students and their parents shopping for affordable, academically outstanding colleges that graduate their students to successful, rewarding careers.

Colleges That Pay You Back contains detailed profiles of the schools, plus seven ranking lists: one titled “Top 50 Colleges That Pay You Back” based on Princeton Review’s ROI ratings, and six “Top 25” lists (highlights follow).

The Princeton Review chose the 200 schools for this edition based on a comprehensive analysis of data from its surveys of administrators at more than 650 colleges in 2016-17.

Survey topics broadly covered academics, cost, financial aid, career services, graduation rates, student debt, and alumni support.

The company also factored in data from surveys of alumni of the schools about their starting and mid-career salaries and job satisfaction. In all, more than 40+ data points were crunched to select the 200 schools for the book and tally its seven ranking lists.

Ranking Highlights

Stanford University (CA) took the #1 spot on the book’s main ranking list, “Top 50 Colleges That Pay You Back.” Midlist at #26 was the University of Chicago (IL) while the University of Florida was #50.

Six other ranking lists report top 25 schools in high-interest categories. The list titles and #1 and #25 schools on them are:

“Best Financial Aid”

#1 Bowdoin College (ME) / #25 Macalester College (MN)

“Best Career Placement”

#1 Harvey Mudd College (CA) / #25 Cornell University (NY)

“Best Alumni Network”

#1 Pennsylvania State University / #25 Union College (NY)

“Best Schools for Internships”

#1 Northeastern University (MA) / #25 Gettysburg College (PA)

“Best Schools for Making an Impact”

#1 Wesleyan University (CT) / #25 Kalamazoo College (MI)

“Top Colleges That Pay You Back for Students with No Demonstrated Need”

#1 Harvey Mudd College (CA) / #25 University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

A printed version is available from (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books, for $22.99. The full lists, profiles, and information on the project methodology are accessible at

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