Newsweek and The Daily Beast published their 2012 rankings for Most Affordable Colleges, and MIT is ranked #1. So how does a school that costs $55,720 a year get ranked the most affordable? The rankings take into account not only the average annual costs, but also the average amount of debt at graduation, the average starting salaries, and the average mid-career salaries for graduates of each university. I wish they had gone one step further and collected data on what percent of their graduates had a job offer at graduation.

The results show schools “where¬† students are most able to shoulder the costs of their degree”, and “where the education has a proven record of being a valuable investment relative to other schools”. Besides MIT, other schools ranked in the top 10 included Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford, and the only large state school included in the top 10 was Georgia Tech. Baylor came in at #4 in the poll, in large part due to indicating that 0% of their graduates had any school debt at graduation. Florida, Louisiana Tech, Cal – Berkeley, and Texas A&M were the other state schools to crack to top 25.

As a parent of a recent college grad, I’m sure glad he chose a school that made the Top 25 list (A&M).¬† I’m more proud of the fact that his degree led to a job offer!