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The Wall Street Journal
lunes, 21 de octubre de 2019
The Wall Street Journal
Is Your College Worth the Cost? Here’s What Students Say About Their Colleges
The Wall Street Journal
Is it worth the cost?
That’s the question many students increasingly ask as they contemplate which college to attend. It makes sense: With U.S. student-loan debt now upward of $1.5 trillion, many prospective college students and their families want to know what they’ll be getting in return for all the money they will be shelling out.
To help answer that question, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings asked current college students if they think their schools will turn out to have been worth the expense. Based on roughly 174,000 survey responses over the past two years, each school was scored on a 10-point scale.
Public schools did especially well on this score. In the overall rankings, only 10 public schools are among the top 50, but 28 are ranked in the top 50 for being worth the cost in the eyes of their students. Private colleges make up 47 of the 53 schools least worth the cost according to their students.
(You can see our full rankings as well as sort the complete rankings by a variety of measures and reweight the main contributing factors to reflect what’s most important to you. Or you can compare two colleges.)
Two of the top four colleges in the survey on cost are military schools. The U.S. Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md., tied for the top score. Students attend the academy, ranked No. 80 overall, tuition-free but are committed to serve in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps after graduation.
The academy tied with Brigham Young University-Provo, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU students pay around $5,500 a year in tuition and fees, and the school ranks No. 143 overall. The Virginia Military Institute ranks fourth in the cost survey and No. 176 overall. It charges in-state students around $18,000 and out-of-state students nearly $44,000 in tuition and fees.
The top-ranked schools overall generally rank well among students on being worth the cost. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, No. 2 in the overall ranking, is third in the cost survey, with Princeton University, tied for No. 5 overall, also tied for fifth on cost. Yale University, No. 3 overall, is tied for eighth on cost, while Harvard University, No. 1 overall, is tied for 13th in the survey. The California Institute of Technology, tied with Princeton for No. 5 overall, is tied for 52nd on cost. Among schools ranked in the top five overall, the University of Pennsylvania, ranked No. 4, got the lowest score in the cost survey, landing in the middle of the pack of all schools. Penn didn’t respond to requests for comment. Tuition and fees at the schools ranked in the top five overall range from about $47,000 to nearly $54,000.
A couple of colleges with a religious identity that are well down in the overall ranking were rated highly by students on being worth the cost. Lancaster Bible College in Pennsylvania, which ranks below 600 overall and charges more than $22,000 in tuition and fees, is tied for 13th on cost, while College of the Ozarks, in Point Lookout, Mo., which also provides a Christian education, ranks below 400 overall but is tied for 23rd on cost. College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis says his school’s students pay no tuition and graduate debt-free. In exchange, students must work a job on campus to help pay for the cost of their education; scholarships cover the rest.
A religious school also tied for the lowest rating from students for being worth the cost-the College of Saint Rose, one of six U.S. colleges sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, a Roman Catholic congregation. It ranks below 600 overall and charges tuition and fees of nearly $32,000. Saint Rose is tied in the cost survey with Long Island University Brooklyn, which ranks below 400 overall and charges tuition and fees of about $37,000. A Saint Rose spokeswoman says the survey results contradict the college’s own annual survey. LIU Brooklyn didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Two colleges with impressive overall rankings scored especially poorly when it came to student perceptions of the value of their education.
Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., which ranked No. 77 overall, tied for the fourth-lowest score on cost. Tied for the fifth-worst score was George Washington University, ranked No. 72 overall. Both are private colleges with tuition and fees that exceed $50,000.
George Washington declined to comment, and Pitzer didn’t respond to requests for comment.
By Charlie McGee