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
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.
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|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||5||11||$63,500||56%||$24,200|
|University of California-Berkeley*||10||6||$35,700||53%||$18,200|
|University of Chicago||10||83||$70,300||62%||$37,400|
|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.