Cost of Learning Introduces College Ratings Report Card on the Best Value Schools

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Service Academies Earn the Best Overall Grades while CUNY Baruch and University of Florida Make Top Ten List

Cost of Learning's College Ratings Report Card showing top 15 best value schools.

The top schools on our list are doing a good job to graduate students on time with little debt and at a reasonable cost, and some are doing so while serving a very diverse student body., the website providing transparency into the true cost of college, today released its first College Ratings Report Card to help families identify the best value schools. The proprietary Cost of Learning report card provides a letter grade for more than 1,600 public and private colleges that the company analyzed on four different performance dimensions: graduation rate, diversity, non-federal loan burden and net pricing.

To assess the overall grade for each college, Cost of Learning looked at the 1,600 public and private schools in its database and analyzed them across the four data points using data reported from the Dept. of Education. The data was weighted on four dimensions with graduation rate 30 percent, diversity 15 percent, student debt burden 20 percent and net pricing 35 percent of the total number. Cost of Learning then used its proprietary data modeling to transform these data points into a score which was assigned a letter grade.

Cost of Learning’s list of colleges with the best overall value includes:
1.    United States Naval Academy
2.    United States Airforce Academy
3.    United States Coast Guard Academy
4.    United States Military Academy
5.    Amherst College
6.    Dewey University
7.    Swarthmore College
8.    Stanford University
9.    University of Florida
10.    CUNY Baruch College
11.    Duke University
12.    United States Merchant Marine Academy
13.    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
14.    Harvard University
15.    CUNY Queens College

A list of the 30 top schools with the highest overall grades, as well as grades on each dimension, can be found here.

“With our statistical analysis, we were able to rank colleges based on factors we feel are key to a successful education,” said Jimmy Becker, CEO and Founder of Cost of Learning. “The result is an interesting mix of public and private institutions. The top schools on our list are doing a good job to graduate students on time, with little debt and at a reasonable cost, and some are doing so while serving a very diverse student body.”

The report card is integrated into Cost of Learning’s results for its universal net pricing calculator, making it convenient and comprehensive. With new enhanced graphical displays and charts, key facts for a college are easier to see and understand. Cost of Learning allows users to compare data, including the report cards, for up to three schools at once.

To see the College Ratings Report Cards and find the net pricing for more than 1,600 colleges and universities, families can visit

About Cost of Learning
Based in Boston, MA, Cost of Learning’s mission is to enable families to make well-informed financial decisions about the true cost of college. With, the company is bringing actionable, clear, and simple information to what is currently a challenging and stressful process for many families. College is too expensive and the financial aid system is too complex for most of families to easily navigate. Cost of Learning’s universal net price calculator makes it easy for families to determine their true net cost of college and compare those prices across a range of colleges. With this information, families can make better choices determining which college is best suited and most affordable for them.

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Nina Ronstadt
Ronstadt & Associates
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