The 15 best colleges for your money

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It's hard to estimate the impact your chosen college — or your children's — will have on your life.

However, that doesn't mean we can't try.

To come up with the "best colleges for your money "— defined as schools that offer "a great education, at an affordable price, that prepares students for rewarding careers" — MONEY ranked 705 four-year colleges in the US with over 500 students and a median-or-above graduation rate on 24 factors within three broad categories:

  • educational quality
  • affordability
  • alumni success

See the full methodology at MONEY.

Below, we've included MONEY's estimated price of the 2016-2017 school year without aid, the estimated price of the same year with the average amount of aid, and the "early career earnings" (a weighted calculation taken from various reports of graduate earnings five and ten years after graduation) for each of the top 15 schools.

See the full ranking of 705 schools at MONEY.

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The 15 best colleges for your money
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The 15 best colleges for your money

15. University of Florida

Gainesville, Illinois

Annual price without aid: $21,400

Annual price with average aid: $15,500

Early career earnings: $49,700

Photo credit: Facebook.com

14. UC San Diego

La Jolla, California

Annual price without aid: $32,500

Annual price with average aid: $24,700

Early career earnings: $53,700 

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

13. Texas A&M University — College Station

College Station, Texas

Annual price without aid: $23,900

Annual price with average aid: $15,900

Early career earnings: $55,100

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

12. Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Annual price without aid: $66,600

Annual price with average aid: $22,000

Early career earnings: $58,800

Photo credit: Getty

11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Annual price without aid: $63,500

Annual price with average aid: $26,300

Early career earnings: $74,800

Photo credit: Getty

10. Stanford University

Stanford, California

Annual price without aid: $65,300

Annual price with average aid: $22,000

Early career earnings: $68,600

Photo credit: AP

9. University of Virginia — Main Campus

Charlottesville, Virginia

Annual price without aid: $28,100

Annual price with average aid: $12,000

Early career earnings: $55,400

Photo credit: Getty

8. Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

New York, New York

Annual price without aid: $62,800

Annual price with average aid: $22,200

Early career earnings: $63,200

Photo credit: Getty

7. Amherst College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Annual price without aid: $66,600

Annual price with average aid: $18,000

Early career earnings: $53,400

Photo credit: Getty

5. Brigham Young University — Provo (TIE)

Provo, Utah

Annual price without aid: $18,500

Annual price with average aid: $14,700

Early career earnings: $51,800

Photo credit: Getty

5. UC Berkeley (TIE)

Berkeley, California

Annual price without aid: $35,700

Annual price with average aid: $25,300

Early career earnings: $60,300 

Photo credit: AP

4. Rice University

Houston, Texas

Annual price without aid: $58,600

Annual price with average aid: $24,300

Early career earnings: $63,700

Photo credit: Facebook.com 

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Annual price without aid: $64,800

Annual price with average aid: $18,900

Early career earnings: $62,900

Photo credit: Getty

2. University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Annual price without aid: $28,100

Annual price with average aid: $14,300

Early career earnings: $59,000

Photo credit: Getty

1. Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey

Annual price without aid: $61,300

Annual price with average aid: $20,100

Early career earnings: $62,800

Photo credit: Getty

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