SmartAsset names best states for higher ed
- A new ranking from SmartAsset, a financial technology company, identifies the best states for higher ed based on graduation rates, net price, graduate return-on-investment over 20 years and student-faculty ratios.
- Virginia comes out on top in the ranking, with a 70% average grad rate and a 20-year average ROI of $442,660, followed by California, Delaware, Iowa, New Jersey and North Carolina in the top five, eCampus News reports.
- Nevada found itself at the bottom with above-average student-faculty ratios and a low average graduation rate.
While rankings can make for a fun read, it's also important to keep them in perspective. The return-on-investment for a degree, for example, can be hard to quantify because not all students are going to measure that strictly in terms of financial gain.
Too much focus on rankings can, of course, also lead to sometimes controversial efforts to "game the system" — especially when individual institutions are involved and high-value prospective students take them into serious consideration. This has been seen on a number of occasions, especially with U.S. News and World Report's annual college rankings. Still, for many institutions, they remain a key tool to sell value to students and recruit aggressively to promote "an image of selectivity."
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