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    Top Colleges for Students in 2024

    Welcome to Scholarships360’s comprehensive list of the top colleges in America! With over 2,500 four-year colleges in the United States, finding the perfect fit can be a daunting task. That’s where Scholarships360 comes in.

    Our editorial team took a long look at the data to select the top colleges and universities across all fifty states. Our methodology focuses on student outcomes, which means that graduate income, student debt, and completion rates are all very important data points. While other rankings may emphasize reputation, selectivity, and other vanity metrics, we’re focused on the data that’s most aligned with student success and affordability. 

    We’ve gone through all fifty states to find our picks for the top colleges in the country. Find them down below.

    New Hampshire
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina
    West Virginia
    How We Chose

    To put together our list of the best colleges, we created the Scholarships360 College Index using reliable data sourced from the College Scorecard. This index weighs graduate income, net price, student debt, and completion rates to produce a figure that indicates how well the school performs for its students. Here are some reasons why we think these numbers are so important:

    • Graduate income: College is a huge investment for students and their families. Before taking out loans and paying hefty tuition bills, a student should feel confident that their degree will pay itself back financially. Graduate income is one of the best ways to gauge whether a school gives its students a financial leg-up. With this said, one of the flaws with graduate income is that it measures overall income as opposed to income by major. Generally, choice of major is more predictive of future income than the college you choose.
    • Completion rates: One of the best ways to gauge student satisfaction at a school is to consider what percentage of students actually finish their degree. A higher completion rate indicates that the school fulfills its students’ needs and provides them with the resources for a successful academic career.
    • Student debt: Looking at student debt is a great way to get an idea of a school’s financial aid. For most students, finances are a huge constraint in their college decision, and this figure can help give them an idea of whether they will be able to afford a school or not.
    • Net Price: Net price shows the average amount that students pay per year after financial aid and loans are factored in. We look at net price rather than tuition cost because it’s the most relevant to how much a student will actually have to pay in order to attend.

    Our list consists of the four-year, in-person institutions that ranked highest on our index. These schools were selected from all across the country and perform well in all four of the categories listed above.

    Note: We assessed each college based on data available in the College Scorecard. However, the Scorecard was missing data from some schools. We were unable to consider schools with missing data which may have otherwise qualified. U.S. Military Academies were among the schools we were unable to consider due to lack of data.

    The Data


    What is the ranking methodology?

    Our college rankings are focused on specific data points that are linked to student success and affordability including graduate income, completion rates, student debt, and net price. All of the data sourced for this project is verified through the College Scorecard via the Department of Education. 

    Are the rankings updated every year?

    Yes, each year the rankings will be updated to ensure that the data is current for students. In the future, we hope to offer major-specific rankings as research shows that choice of major can be even more determinative of outcomes than simply the choice of college.

    What makes our rankings different?

    When we took a look at popular college rankings, we realized that most sites are more concerned with prestige than they are with student outcomes. That’s why we decided to create our own ranking system that only considers factors that are directly related to how the school serves its students. 

    By simplifying the rankings process, we are able to deliver a list of schools who have demonstrated a commitment to their students. These schools offer affordable education and increase the earning potential of their graduates significantly. While other rankings look into alumni donations and peer reviews, we go straight to the facts to see whether a school is delivering.

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