According to a report (source: on January 8, 2009, The Princeton Review, one of America’s most widely-known education services and test-prep companies, had teamed up with USA TODAY to present The Princeton’s Review’s 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2009.”

The Princeton Review listing features 50 public and 50 private colleges and universities as its “best value” choices for 2009 based on its surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities. The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance, and financial aid.

The listing provides rankings naming ten schools in each category as the top ranking “Best Value” colleges. It named  University of Virginia (Charlottesville) as #1 “Best Value Public College” and Swarthmore as #1 “Best Value Private College.

The report quoted Robert Franek, Princeton Review VP-Publisher as having said that “finding the ‘best fit’ college should be the foremost goal for student applicants and their families” and that the schools were chosen “for all they are doing to provide outstanding academics at a relatively low cost of attendance and/or generous financial aid.”

Find the “Best Value” colleges listing at and


The Princeton Review “Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges for 2009” in running order are: Swarthmore College (Swarthmore PA) /  Harvard College (Cambridge MA) / Princeton University (Princeton NJ) /Rice University (Houston TX) / Yale University (New Haven CT) / Williams College (Williamstown MA) / Amherst College (Amherst, MA) / California Institute of Technology (Pasadena CA) / Pomona College (Claremont CA) 10. Stanford University (Stanford CA)

The “Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges for 2009” in ranking order are: University of Virginia (Charlottesville VA) / New College of Florida (Sarasota FL) / College of William & Mary (Williamsburg VA) / State University of New York at Binghamton (Binghamton NY) / Florida State University (Tallahassee FL) / North Carolina State University (Raleigh NC) / Univ. of California – San Diego / City University of New York – Hunter College (New York NY) / Univ. of Georgia (Athens GA) / The College of New Jersey (Ewing NJ)


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Visitors to The Princeton Review’s and USA TODAY’s websites can access the complete lists of the 50 private and 50 public “best value colleges.” Only the top 10 schools on each list are ranked: the remaining 40 are alphabetically listed. The Princeton Review is a New York City-based education services company known for its test-prep courses, college and graduate school admission services, books, and education programs. The company is also known for its annual college, business and law school rankings reported on its website and in its books in several categories based on surveys it conducts of higher education institutions and of students attending the schools.  

USA TODAY’s website: features a database that allows users to view in-depth details about the schools. By clicking on an interactive map, visitors can explore criteria including cost of attendance and financial aid data, enrollment size, and The Princeton Review’s analysis of why each school was chosen as a “Best Value” college. The Princeton Review previously reported annual “best value” public and private colleges lists (and top 10 ranking schools in each category) on its website and in its book, America’s Best Value Colleges, which was published from 2004 to 2007.



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