These Are the Top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S. That Offer Students the Best Value

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The U.S. News & World Report released its annual list of the colleges and universities that offer students the best value.

This year's list weighs each school's ranking on the overall U.S. News best colleges report, plus the 2021-2022 net cost of attendance at the school for an out-of-state student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

The report states that the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.

The 2022-2023 best-value schools ranking was determined based on four indicators:

  • academic quality relative to the average discount price paid by full-time undergraduates after receiving need-based grants
  • the percentage of all full-time undergraduates receiving need-based scholarships or grants
  • the percentage of 2021-2022 full-time undergraduates who received need-based aid and an additional grant or scholarship
  • the average discount from the school's total sticker price for full-time undergraduates

It's important to note that the U.S. News & World Report ranking does not include schools that do not charge tuition.

No.1 best value liberal arts college in the U.S.: Principia College

Principia College is a private institution that was founded in 1910. The Illinois school had a total undergraduate enrollment of 322 in the fall of 2021, and its yearly tuition and fees are $32,130, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The scholarship program at Principia is open to all degree-seeking prospective students and offers academic, merit, and affiliate options as well.

According to PayScale, the median starting salary of alumni is $54,600.

Top 10 best value liberal arts colleges in the U.S.

  1. Principia College
  2. Williams College
  3. Amherst College
  4. Pomona College
  5. Swarthmore College
  6. Wellesley College
  7. Bowdoin College
  8. Grinnell College
  9. Claremont McKenna College
  10. Davidson College

Williams College landed in second place on this list of colleges that offer the best value but also topped the list of best national liberal arts colleges, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

The private Massachusetts institution was founded in 1793 and is one of the oldest schools in the United States.

Williams College has an acceptance rate of 15% and a 7:1 student-faculty ratio.

According to the school's website, 100% of classes are taught by professors, and students receiving aid can take advantage of free textbooks, course materials, music lessons, and health insurance.

Amherst College rounded out the top three. The private school was founded in 1821 and offers degrees in 40 different majors.

It also allows students the opportunity to take classes in the following colleges: Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

According to the school's website, 84% of Amherst courses have fewer than 30 students, and the average class size is 19.

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