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Towson makes Money magazine’s new Best Colleges list

Stephens HallTowson University is ranked on Money magazine’s list of the best U.S. public and private colleges, outperforming 65 percent of the competition.

Money describes the just-released rankings as “a new approach that uses unique measures of educational quality, affordability, and career outcomes to help families find the right school at the right price.”

TU was ranked 235 of the 665 four-year colleges on the list.

To find out which of the nation’s roughly 1,500 four-year institutions offer the most bang for the tuition buck, Money eliminated those with a below-average graduation rate, then ranked the 665 that remained on 17 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability and alumni earnings provided by PayScale.com.

Researchers included a “value added” grade that rated each college in light of the economic and academic profile of its student body and the mix of majors at that school. They then used a statistical technique to turn all the data points into a single score on a five-point scale and rated them accordingly.

Money says its findings are “based on the most recent research about what really matters in higher education.” The list provides a more realistic way to price colleges, taking into account the complete cost of a degree rather than a single year.

It is also the only ranking to evaluate which schools add the most value given the academic and economic background of the students who attend, and to level the playing field on majors, to show whether graduates of a particular college earn more (or less) than average, whether they got degrees in engineering or English. According to Money, the resulting list identifies colleges that, according to the best data available, provide real value.

Visit Money magazine online to see the full list of ranked colleges.