MONEY magazine has released its 2019 list of Best Colleges for Your Money, ranking West Chester University at No. 179 out of 744 universities eligible for inclusion. WCU is the ninth-highest-ranked institution in Pennsylvania, and the only public university in the state in the Top 200 best values nationwide.
Drawing data from the U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, PayScale.com, and MONEY/College Measures calculations, the researchers ranked colleges and universities on 26 factors within three categories: quality of education, affordability, and outcomes.
“Because these three factors are so interrelated and crucial to families, we gave them equal weights in our ranking,” the magazine’s editors wrote.
Among the more than 19,000 data points that MONEY weighed are unique measures that its says contributes to a college’s value, including:
- a deeper dive into graduation rates based on the economic and academic profile of the student body
- student loan repayment and default rates
- post-graduation earnings, after adjusting for the types of students each school admits
“We believe this analysis gives students and parents a much better indication of which colleges will provide real value for their tuition dollars,” the editors said.
In the explanation for its methodology, MONEY explains how it arrived at net prices: “MONEY’s estimated net price is likely to be higher than the average price actually paid by most families. It is crucial to understand that while the MONEY net price estimate is based on the average price charged by the college, families will pay less than that if their student receives any federal, state, or private scholarships. Also, WCU’s net price is based on the average student’s time-to-degree.
Complete methodology details are available here.