Our Mission:

The Best Value School Award is not based on a ranking system. There is no pecking order of schools on a list. Rather, schools honored with the Best Value School Award belong to an elite “club” of high quality, affordable post secondary institutions. Each Best Value School has been selected because it meets criteria important to postsecondary students of all ages. While each individual’s criteria may vary, all have basic requirements which include: a place where they fit in; where they find appropriate, top-notch academic programs; and where the costs to attend are reasonable and financial aid is available.

There is no limit to how many schools can be part of the program; however, the selection process is challenging and the criteria must be met annually.

We don’t just look at statistics. Our experienced researchers gather data by scouring the internet and tapping publically accessible databases, but also through one-on-one interviews. We have access to benchmarking databases and resources which allow us to make fair decisions about such things as affordability. We talk with students, faculty and administrators to find answers to important questions about what makes a school great.

No Institution Is Too Small or Too Specialized to Be Honored as a Best Value School

  • There are some 8,000 colleges, universities and career schools in the U.S. Of those, a few hundred regularly and very visibly make the traditional rankings and lists.
  • The Best Value School Award does not target those schools (although they may self-nominate or be nominated by a third party).
  • The objective of this award program is to honor the often overlooked schools—those small- to medium-sized colleges, universities and career schools that are struggling to attract the attention of potential students, but are affordable and loved by the majority of their students.

Selection Criteria

  • Cost. Is a school affordable and in-line with similar schools?
  • Do students like, support and recommend the school?
  • What’s unique about the institution?
  • Are students overloaded with debt?
  • What’s the student loan default rate?
  • How long does it take students to graduate?
  • What percentage of enrollees get a degree or credential?