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A chemistry class at California Institute of Technology, rated No. 2 in the new rankings. (Oxford was No. 1.)
Lance Hayashida—Caltech Marcomm

Universities do, well, a universe of different things: They give professors a chance to do groundbreaking research. They train graduate students. And, oh yes, they educate undergraduates.

Just because a college is great at one or two of these tasks, doesn't mean it's great at all three. And it certainly doesn't mean that attending the school will be affordable.

But it turns out that many of the U.S. schools that produce the most important research and have the best international reputations also provide high-quality and comparatively affordable educations to undergraduates

That's what you discover when you compare the Times Higher Education World University Rankings released today with Money's best value college analyses.

The THE judges schools on things like the impact of their professors' research and their international reputation. Money, on the other hand, rates colleges on the quality, affordability, and return on investment of undergraduate education.

Related: The World's Best University Isn't in the U.S., According to a New Ranking

Here are the 10 American universities that score the highest on the new Times Higher Education's research and prestige rankings, compared with the schools' rankings on Money's value and payoff analysis, along with their estimated sticker prices and net prices, as calculated by Money.

(To find a college that exactly fits your needs and wallet, try Money's new "build-your-own rankings" tool.)

College T.H.E. World University ranking Money Best Value Ranking Estimated sticker price* % who receive aid Est. avg. net price for those who receive aid*
California Institute of Technology 2 24 $63,500 55% $29,300
Stanford University 3 10 $65,300 51% $19,600
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 5 11 $63,500 56% $24,200
Harvard University 6 3 $64,800 56% $16,500
Princeton University 7 1 $61,300 62% $20,600
University of California-Berkeley* 10 6 $35,700 53% $18,200
University of Chicago 10 83 $70,300 62% $37,400
Yale University 12 12 $66,600 50% $21,100
University of Pennsylvania 13 26 $66,800 50% $24,700
University of California-Los Angeles* 14 20 $34,300 53% $13,600

*Prices for public universities are for in-state students.