Vanderbilt No. 4 on Kiplinger list of ‘best value’ private universities

(John Russell/Vanderbilt)
(John Russell/Vanderbilt)

Vanderbilt University is ranked No. 4 among private universities on the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of “Best College Values” for 2017, behind only Princeton (No. 1), Duke (No. 2) and Harvard (No. 3). In addition, Vanderbilt is ranked No. 8 overall on Kiplinger’s combined list of the top 300 private universities, private liberal arts colleges and public universities for best value in the country.

Among the factors Kiplinger’s considers in its annual rankings are the competitiveness of a school’s admission rate, the percentage of its students who return for sophomore year, its student-faculty ratio and its four-year graduation rate. On the cost side of the equation, the magazine looks for schools with a reasonable price tag, generous need-based aid for students who qualify, and low student debt.

Of the 32,442 students who applied for one of the 1,601 seats in Vanderbilt’s current first-year class, 10.7 percent were admitted. A record 41.2 percent of students in this highly selective class are minority students, up from 38.8 percent last year. Vanderbilt boasts a 97 percent first-year student retention rate and an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

In addition, the Opportunity Vanderbilt expanded aid program meets 100 percent of a family’s demonstrated financial need. Beginning in the fall of 2009, Vanderbilt eliminated all need-based loans for admitted Vanderbilt undergraduate students who are U.S. residents or eligible non-residents, choosing to substitute scholarships and grants for those with demonstrated need.

The complete “Best College Values” rankings are now available online at and will appear in print in the February 2017 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands Jan. 3.

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