2014 Best Colleges Preview: Top 10 Best Value Schools

US News

Updated 9/10/13: The 2014 Best Colleges rankings have been released; check out the full Best Value Schools.

For the majority of prospective college students and their families, cost is a major factor in determining which schools are viable options. Knowing which schools are best buys - which colleges provide the highest quality education for the lowest price - is imperative.

To help provide that information, U.S. News surveys colleges and universities each year and ranks nearly 1,400 of them in different categories according to our methodology.

Here, we offer a sneak peek of the 2014 Best Colleges rankings.

These schools - listed alphabetically below - are considered the top 10 Best Value Schools among those in the National Universities category. National Universities emphasize faculty research and offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and Ph.D. programs.

National University (state)
Brigham Young University--Provo (UT)
California Institute of Technology
Columbia University (NY)
Cornell University (NY)
Dartmouth College (NH)
Harvard University (MA)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Princeton University (NJ)
Stanford University (CA)
Yale University (CT)

These schools - listed alphabetically below - are considered the top 10 Best Value Schools among those in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category. Liberal Arts Colleges emphasize undergraduate education, awarding at least 50 percent of their degrees in the arts and sciences.

National Liberal Arts College (state)
Amherst College (MA)
Barnard College (NY)
Grinnell College (IA)
Pomona College (CA)
Soka University of America (CA)
Swarthmore College (PA)
Vassar College (NY)
Washington and Lee University (VA)
Wellesley College (MA)
Williams College (MA)

The actual Best Value rankings of these and other schools will be available Sept. 10, 2013 on usnews.com.

To see full rankings, SAT and ACT scores, scholarship and grant information, graduation rates and more, sign up for the U.S. News College Compass.

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