Students and their parents in the midstate looking for value in a college education might not have far to go, judging by a ranking released this spring.
Two area colleges, Dickinson College and Franklin & Marshall College, have made Princeton Review’s eagerly awaited Best Value Colleges List for 2021.
Dickinson also ranked 11th on a select list of 20 private colleges ranked for having an impact.
The two colleges are roughly the same size in terms of student numbers. Princeton Review lists full-time enrollment at Dickinson at 1,932, and Franklin & Marshall’s at 2,254. Dickinson is in Carlisle and Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster.
Princeton Review ranks its Best Value Colleges on what it calculates as each college’s return on investment. It says it relies on more than 40 data points covering academic offerings, cost and financial aid, career placement services, graduation rates and student debt, among others. They include two criteria that will appeal to most students as well as parents: the salary levels of their alumni and job satisfaction.
In all, nine Pennsylvania colleges and universities made the list of 209 Best Value Colleges. The others are Carnegie-Mellon University Grove City College, Haverford College, Lehigh University, Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State-University Park.
Colleges generally (but not always) welcome a mention in lists like this. “It’s always nice to be recognized for the long-term value that a Lehigh education offers our students,” said Dan Warner, Lehigh’s vice provost for admissions and financial aid.
Penn State knocked it out of the park in one category. It was the top public school in the nation for best alumni network.