Five Virginia colleges make national best value list

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Five Virginia colleges and universities made this year's list of best college values by the Princeton Review.

University of Richmond was one of the schools that made the cut. University of Virginia, James Madison, Virginia Tech and William and Mary were the other Virginia schools on the list this year.

Students at U of R say they may not pay close attention to lists like this, but it makes them feel more confident in their choice of school.

NBC12 education expert Dr. Bill Bosher says best value doesn't necessarily mean cheapest tuition.

"If you give me a great deal on a Maserati, I still can't afford it," he said.

However, he says that doesn't mean lists like this aren't important.

"These schools are very difficult on the admissions side," Bosher said. "They've kept the cost down and they have a high number when it comes to student aid."

The University of Richmond says the national exposure from these lists helps with admissions, so we asked some students whether these lists made a difference in where they chose to go to school.

Brandon Hauser and is from Virginia and decided to stay in state. He says the fact that five in-state schools are on the list reinforces why he didn't leave.

"UVA, William and Mary, U of R, all top schools, close by, I mean within an hour radius of me," he said. "You have such great options so close to here, it's hard to pass up."

Others like Darien Brothers say current students don't pay attention to lists, but prospective students do.

"It is (important) for incoming freshmen, parents," he said. "They might say 'oh, this is one of the best schools, I wouldn't mind going here.'"

Last year, there were seven Virginia schools that made the best value list.

University of Mary Washington and Sweet Briar College both fell off the list this year.

Over 600 schools were analyzed for the lists. Only four-year, selective schools were considered.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.