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Best value private colleges in America

Best value private colleges in America

As Albert Einstein once said, the value of a college education “is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned in textbooks.” This may be true; but today, serious college debt and other financial concerns have made prospective students even more anxious that the value of their private programs go beyond training their minds. There’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt across the country and an average debt of about $30,000 per person. Studies have found that this debt has impeded millennials' ability to buy a home, and has caused many to delay marriage and having a family. It also has reportedly prevented many students from pursuing their dream jobs in order to make their loan payments.

As such it makes sense that today’s college students want to attend programs with track records of success, too. The average private program today costs $26,000. Elite liberal arts schools are even more expensive, topping out around $50,000 for annual tuition. Amidst all the private programs offered in the United States, there are many that have proved their worth. Some elite schools with higher endowments are able to offer significant financial aid while others have brand names and alumni networks that open doors to high-paying jobs and other avenues for paying off student loans. But which ones best the rest?

This data comes to you from Niche's list of the best value colleges in America for 2019. Stacker's list includes only private, four-year colleges. Not only does this ranking weigh the cost of tuition, but it also covers each school's acceptance rate, quality of professors, diversity, and median alumni earnings six years after graduation.

Read on to discover the best value private colleges in America and see where students are getting the most bang for their buck.

Story updated by Isabel Sepulveda.

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#50. Hamilton College

- Location: Clinton, NY
- Students: 1,886
- Acceptance rate: 24%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $54,080
- Six-year median earnings: $60,200

#49. Wake Forest University

- Location: Winston-Salem, NC
- Students: 5,046
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Graduation rate: 88%
- Faculty ratio: 11:1
- Tuition: $51,400
- Six-year median earnings: $63,800

#48. Milwaukee School of Engineering

- Location: Milwaukee, WI
- Students: 2,508
- Acceptance rate: 63%
- Graduation rate: 67%
- Faculty ratio: 16:1
- Tuition: $39,039
- Six-year median earnings: $71,300

#47. Bucknell University

- Location: Lewisburg, PA
- Students: 3,585
- Acceptance rate: 31%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $53,986
- Six-year median earnings: $70,800

#46. Haverford College

- Location: Haverford, PA
- Students: 1,294
- Acceptance rate: 20%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Faculty ratio: 8:1
- Tuition: $52,994
- Six-year median earnings: $60,700

#45. Wellesley College

- Location: Wellesley, MA
- Students: 2,374
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $50,840
- Six-year median earnings: $60,800

#44. Amherst College

- Location: Amherst, MA
- Students: 1,836
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 8:1
- Tuition: $54,310
- Six-year median earnings: $65,000

#43. University of Chicago

- Location: Chicago, IL
- Students: 5,978
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Faculty ratio: 5:1
- Tuition: $55,425
- Six-year median earnings: $68,100

#42. Clarkson University

- Location: Potsdam, NY
- Students: 3,021
- Acceptance rate: 66%
- Graduation rate: 73%
- Faculty ratio: 14:1
- Tuition: $47,950
- Six-year median earnings: $72,000

#41. Bowdoin College

- Location: Brunswick, ME
- Students: 1,813
- Acceptance rate: 14%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $51,848
- Six-year median earnings: $65,500

#40. Santa Clara University

- Location: Santa Clara, CA
- Students: 5,411
- Acceptance rate: 54%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Faculty ratio: 11:1
- Tuition: $49,233
- Six-year median earnings: $72,600

#39. Villanova University

- Location: Villanova, PA
- Students: 6,525
- Acceptance rate: 36%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Faculty ratio: 11:1
- Tuition: $50,554
- Six-year median earnings: $77,900

#38. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

- Location: Troy, NY
- Students: 6,200
- Acceptance rate: 44%
- Graduation rate: 80%
- Faculty ratio: 13:1
- Tuition: $51,000
- Six-year median earnings: $82,000

#37. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

- Location: Worcester, MA
- Students: 4,301
- Acceptance rate: 48%
- Graduation rate: 89%
- Faculty ratio: 13:1
- Tuition: $48,628
- Six-year median earnings: $84,900

#36. Johns Hopkins University

- Location: Baltimore, MD
- Students: 5,668
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $52,170
- Six-year median earnings: $73,200

#35. Pomona College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Students: 1,578
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $51,075
- Six-year median earnings: $58,100

#34. Stevens Institute of Technology

- Location: Hoboken, NJ
- Students: 3,113
- Acceptance rate: 44%
- Graduation rate: 83%
- Faculty ratio: 10:1
- Tuition: $52,394
- Six-year median earnings: $89,200

#33. Boston College

- Location: Chestnut Hill, MA
- Students: 9,681
- Acceptance rate: 32%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Faculty ratio: 13:1
- Tuition: $53,346
- Six-year median earnings: $72,500

#32. Lafayette College

- Location: Easton, PA
- Students: 2,551
- Acceptance rate: 31%
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Faculty ratio: 10:1
- Tuition: $51,600
- Six-year median earnings: $68,600

#31. Columbia University

- Location: New York, NY
- Students: 7,592
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 6:1
- Tuition: $57,208
- Six-year median earnings: $83,300

#30. Tufts University

- Location: Medford, MA
- Students: 5,483
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $54,318
- Six-year median earnings: $75,800

#29. Washington University in St. Louis

- Location: Saint Louis, MO
- Students: 7,074
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 8:1
- Tuition: $54,250
- Six-year median earnings: $70,100

#28. Bentley University

- Location: Waltham, MA
- Students: 4,171
- Acceptance rate: 44%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Faculty ratio: 11:1
- Tuition: $50,060
- Six-year median earnings: $86,900

#27. Georgetown University

- Location: Washington DC
- Students: 6,987
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 11:1
- Tuition: $52,300
- Six-year median earnings: $93,500

#26. Carleton College

- Location: Northfield, MN
- Students: 2,055
- Acceptance rate: 21%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $52,782
- Six-year median earnings: $54,200

#25. Vanderbilt University

- Location: Nashville, TN
- Students: 6,805
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $47,664
- Six-year median earnings: $69,000

#24. Lehigh University

- Location: Bethlehem, PA
- Students: 5,013
- Acceptance rate: 25%
- Graduation rate: 86%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $50,740
- Six-year median earnings: $81,900

#23. Northwestern University

- Location: Evanston, IL
- Students: 8,205
- Acceptance rate: 9%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 6:1
- Tuition: $52,678
- Six-year median earnings: $69,000

#22. Cornell University

- Location: Ithaca, NY
- Students: 14,898
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Graduation rate: 93%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $52,853
- Six-year median earnings: $77,200

#21. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

- Location: Terre Haute, IN
- Students: 2,147
- Acceptance rate: 61%
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Faculty ratio: 11:1
- Tuition: $48,012
- Six-year median earnings: $80,900

#20. Brown University

- Location: Providence, RI
- Students: 6,666
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $53,419
- Six-year median earnings: $67,500

#19. California Institute of Technology

- Location: Pasadena, CA
- Students: 961
- Acceptance rate: 8%
- Graduation rate: 89%
- Faculty ratio: 3:1
- Tuition: $49,908
- Six-year median earnings: $85,900

#18. Babson College

- Location: Wellesley, MA
- Students: 2,342
- Acceptance rate: 24%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Faculty ratio: 13:1
- Tuition: $51,104
- Six-year median earnings: $96,100

#17. Carnegie Mellon University

- Location: Pittsburgh, PA
- Students: 6,298
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Graduation rate: 89%
- Faculty ratio: 10:1
- Tuition: $53,910
- Six-year median earnings: $83,600

#16. College of the Holy Cross

- Location: Worcester, MA
- Students: 2,827
- Acceptance rate: 40%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Faculty ratio: 10:1
- Tuition: $52,770
- Six-year median earnings: $71,000

#15. Harvey Mudd College

- Location: Claremont, CA
- Students: 844
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Graduation rate: 96%
- Faculty ratio: 8:1
- Tuition: $54,636
- Six-year median earnings: $88,800

#14. Colgate University

- Location: Hamilton, NY
- Students: 2,854
- Acceptance rate: 28%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $55,530
- Six-year median earnings: $63,600

#13. Princeton University

- Location: Princeton, NJ
- Students: 5,260
- Acceptance rate: 6%
- Graduation rate: 97%
- Faculty ratio: 5:1
- Tuition: $47,140
- Six-year median earnings: $74,700

#12. Dartmouth College

- Location: Hanover, NH
- Students: 4,360
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Graduation rate: 96%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $53,496
- Six-year median earnings: $75,500

#11. Williams College

- Location: Williamstown, MA
- Students: 2,047
- Acceptance rate: 15%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 6:1
- Tuition: $53,550
- Six-year median earnings: $59,000

#10. University of Pennsylvania

- Location: Philadelphia, PA
- Students: 10,496
- Acceptance rate: 9%
- Graduation rate: 96%
- Faculty ratio: 6:1
- Tuition: $53,534
- Six-year median earnings: $85,900

#9. Washington & Lee University

- Location: Lexington, VA
- Students: 1,823
- Acceptance rate: 22%
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Faculty ratio: 8:1
- Tuition: $67,150
- Six-year median earnings: $76,100

#8. University of Notre Dame

- Location: Notre Dame, IN
- Students: 8,557
- Acceptance rate: 19%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 10:1
- Tuition: $51,505
- Six-year median earnings: $78,400

#7. Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

- Location: Albany, NY
- Students: 882
- Acceptance rate: 79%
- Graduation rate: 76%
- Faculty ratio: 9:1
- Tuition: $32,840
- Six-year median earnings: $124,700

#6. Yale University

- Location: New Haven, CT
- Students: 5,743
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Graduation rate: 97%
- Faculty ratio: 6:1
- Tuition: $51,400
- Six-year median earnings: $83,200

#5. Rice University

- Location: Houston, TX
- Students: 3,916
- Acceptance rate: 16%
- Graduation rate: 91%
- Faculty ratio: 6:1
- Tuition: $45,608
- Six-year median earnings: $65,400

#4. Harvard University

- Location: Cambridge, MA
- Students: 7,147
- Acceptance rate: 5%
- Graduation rate: 96%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $48,949
- Six-year median earnings: $89,700

#3. Duke University

- Location: Durham, NC
- Students: 6,669
- Acceptance rate: 10%
- Graduation rate: 95%
- Faculty ratio: 7:1
- Tuition: $53,744
- Six-year median earnings: $84,400

#2. Stanford University

- Location: Stanford, CA
- Students: 7,064
- Acceptance rate: 5%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 12:1
- Tuition: $49,617
- Six-year median earnings: $94,000

#1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

- Location: Cambridge, MA
- Students: 4,510
- Acceptance rate: 7%
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Faculty ratio: 3:1
- Tuition: $49,892
- Six-year median earnings: $104,700