Five N.J. colleges make Kiplinger ‘best value’ list

Kiplinger has named Princeton University the best value in America, thanks to its generous financial aid, nonexistent student loans and low student debt upon graduation.

The New Jersey college beat out North Carolina’s Davidson University for the title. They were followed by Swarthmore College, Harvard University and Duke University.

While the Ivy League member’s annual cost per year is estimated to be $61,140, students’ average debt at graduation is only $8,908. The university makes this possible with 60 percent of students receiving some sort of need-based aid, the only kind Princeton allows. And all aid comes in grants and scholarships — the school has not offered loans since 2001.

All in all, if a would-be student makes it past the 7 percent admission rate, he or she will pay on average $14,000 a year.

While Princeton has been in the Top 10 for the past four years, this is its first year atop the list, up from the No. 3 spot last year. But a university spokesman said the school is not overly concerned with lists and rankings.

“We appreciate the continued recognition for the quality of a Princeton education and its accessibility to all admitted students,” said Michael Hotchkiss, a representative from Princeton’s Office of Communications. “Still, we feel that no ranking can fully capture the distinctiveness of any institution, and we always encourage students to collect as much information as they can about colleges and universities in which they have an interest.”

Four other New Jersey colleges also made the Top 300 list, including:

For the complete list, click here.