Three higher-education institutions in the region are ranked in SmartAsset's top ten of best value schools in the state, meaning budget-conscious parents and students have pocket-friendly post secondary education options to choose from.
SmartAsset, a consumer-oriented online financial advisory system, recently audited Pennsylvania's colleges and universities and ranked them using five indicators: tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings, student retention rate, and starting salary for new graduates.
What to know about the schools and universities that made the top ten.
Haverford College, Lehigh University, Villanova University make top ten
Lehigh University, located in Bethlehem in Northampton County, is the highest-ranked regional school, ranking third on SmartAsset's list.
SmartAsset notes that Lehigh University's $61,180 tuition is offset by $28,703 in available grants and loans. And according to Smartasset's tabulation, graduates of Lehigh University have a median starting salary of $74,600.
Villanova University, the private co-educational Roman Catholic university on the Main Line, ranks sixth on SmartAsset's list.
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Villanova University has an average undergraduate tuition of $63,806, and offers an average of $38,028 is scholarships and grants.
According to SmartAsset, Villanova University graduates earn an annual median salary of $70,700.
Haverford College, the private liberal arts college, ranks tenth on SmartAsset's list.
Tuition at Haverford College is $67,522, not including rooming, boarding and a student activity fee, which brings attending Haverford College to $86,540, offset by a $56,604 total available grant package.
University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College round out top ten value schools list
Other well-known colleges and universities have made SmartAsset's list. Here is the full top-ten:
1. Carnegie Mellon University.
2. University of Pennsylvania.
3. Lehigh University.
4. University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh campus.
5. Grove City College.
6. Villanova University.
7. Swarthmore College.
8. Lafayette College.
9. Bucknell University.
10. Haverford College.
Stafford, PLUS loans options for paying for school
Paying for college, even with the available grants and scholarships, can be daunting. There are several options to consider when plotting the fiscal road ahead, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are federal student loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education to help eligible students pay for higher education.
A Master Promissory Note is binding document signed by the borrower with the promise to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees to the U.S. Department of Education.
And PLUS Loans are federal loans for eligible parents and graduate or professional students.
This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Haverford, Lehigh and Villanova rank high on best value list