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FAQs on Our Private College Rankings

Our lists exclude schools that do not meet our criteria for academic quality and affordability. We start with data on more than 600 private institutions and sort the schools first based on quality measures, such as the admission rate, the test scores of incoming freshmen, and four- and five-year graduation rates. We then add cost data, including tuition, fees, room and board and financial aid, and re-rank the institutions accordingly. It is this combination of quality and affordability -- certainly not any desire on our part to exclude a particular school or state -- that determines which schools make our lists for best value.

In some states, no private college or university meets our criteria for qualify and affordability.

To better compare apples to apples, we group the institutions into two categories. One ranks liberal arts colleges, which focus on undergraduate education, and the other ranks universities, which include graduate students.

The costs reflect the amount each institution charges and the average amount of financial aid each institution offers for one academic year only.

Our private school rankings are just that -- they consider only private colleges and universities. We have separate rankings for best values in public colleges and universities (in which Truman State is ranked 20). Look for the 2011-12 rankings for best values in public colleges in Kiplinger's February 2011 issue.

Unlike other college rankings, ours are based on measurable criteria, such as student-faculty ratios, admission rates, on-time graduation rate, sticker price and financial aid. Neither our opinion nor anyone else's affects the calculation. See How We Rank the Schools .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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