How do colleges fare when compared to others in their geography or with similar academic programs from a pricing perspective? MyCollegePrice has provided a unique view into how colleges stack up relative to cost for the typical middle class family.
How do we do it?
It’s really quite straightforward. As the basis of our rankings we took a middle class family of four, with $80,000 income, $70,000 in total assets and one family member in college. This obviously doesn’t describe all situations but it gives us a reasonable baseline from which to assess how college costs compare. We’ve also grouped these comparisons into state and academic interest categories to accommodate the differences in how prospective students approach their choices for college.
These state and “major” or subject matter rankings can be a very valuable early research tool for the prospective student as he or she starts to focus in on college selection . Of course, the next step of using the MyCollegePrice customized net pricing tool will give the student the truly personalized view of these colleges and others that are ideally suited to his or her financial circumstances and other personal details.
As an example, here’s a snapshot of the top 10 schools in our Middle Class Affordability Rankings™ for the state of California for a middle class student who is resident in California:
As you can see, these rankings vary widely from what one would assume from the sticker price of these schools. We provide a drill down to the particulars of these schools under “More Info”.
As an example of our rankings by “Major”, here is a snapshot of the top 10 U.S. schools in our Middle Class Affordability Rankings™ for a middle class student who is interested in majoring in Philosophy, who is resident in New York and will be applying to schools across the U.S.:
As in the example above some fairly interesting schools with traditionally high sticker prices, e.g. Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton figure unexpectedly on this list.
As we’ve shown in one of our previous blog posts, college affordability isn’t just about the published sticker price for these schools. Digging further into the realities of the true net price of colleges can reveal some pretty surprising information.
So take a look at our Middle Class Affordability Rankings™ as they can give you a leg up on your research on affordable colleges. Again, these are in beta and we look forward to refining and enriching these rankings over time.