For those paying full-freight at Vandy, you may not want to hear this. After all, your $52,000 annual tuition--that includes books, room, board, etc.--sounds less like a school bill than the GNP of Latvia. But you may be surprised to know that your classmates are getting one of the best deals in the country.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance has released its "best value" college rankings
, and Vandy comes in an impressive 15th for private schools. The rankings aren't simply based on who offers the lightest bill, but a combination of price and quality (read
: SAT and ACT scores, class size, etc.)
Like most private schools, not everyone at Vandy pays the full tab. For those receiving financial aide, the bill drops dramatically. "The average undergraduate financial aide package is $37,553," says spokesman James Patterson. "That would mean a sticker price of $14,850." Which isn't that much beyond state school.
The California Institute of Technology, Yale and Princeton were the top 3 private schools. North Carolina, Florida and Virginia were the top public schools. Not a single Tennessee school besides Vandy made either list. And since our public schools still offer relatively cheap tuition, we're guessing this has something to do with quality issues.