About the CollegeValue® Rating


The CollegeValue® rating is designed to help students and their families make more informed decisions about their college options AND increase transparency to protect students and taxpayers.

It considers information on: the average annual cost or net price of attending a specific college; and the graduation rate as a key, measurable indicator of how successful a college is in helping students complete their degree. While most colleges will rate Very Good or Good, students and families should be very cautious when a rating is Fair or Poor!


CollegeValue® Scale

Very Good

CollegeValue® does not rank colleges. It provides a rating of Excellent to Poor as an indicator of the value and risk of attending a specific college. While the CollegeValue® rating is helpful when using the average annual cost or net price available on various websites, it’s even more helpful to students and their families when using a student’s actual net price taken from a student’s financial aid award letter.


  College A College B College C
Average Annual Cost or Net Price $18,000 $26,000 $32,000
Graduation Rate 88% 65% 38%
CollegeValue® Rating Excellent Good Poor

When to use the CollegeValue® calculator

It’s never too early! Families of middle school students, especially those who are low-income and first generation college bound, might use it to learn early that just because a school’s sticker price is ‘shocking,’ the average annual cost or  net price could be a great value AND affordable. Families that recognize early that college IS attainable, regardless of income, are better prepared to help students achieve their college goals.

By 9th or 10th grade, students and families might find it helpful to use a college’s Net Price Calculator to get a more accurate CollegeValue® rating. Note: The Net Price Calculator only provides an estimate of financial aid packaging and does not represent a final determination or actual award of financial assistance. Your individual aid package could be significantly different from that indicated from the calculator depending on the information you report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Those students with a financial aid award letter in hand will find using their actual net price will give them the most accurate CollegeValue® rating.

Note: Given their unique mission and constituents, the CollegeValue® rating is not designed for use with community colleges.

Select a college for its fit AND CollegeValue®!

While the CollegeValue® rating helps to determine the overall value of a student’s cost to attend a certain college, the rating should not be the sole factor considered by the student and/or the student’s representatives in the college decision-making process.  Although the rating may determine, for example, that a particular college is an “Excellent” value for the student, the final cost to the student and family may still be cost prohibitive.  The results generated by the CollegeValue® calculator are based upon the application of a proprietary formula to information obtained from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard website, colleges, and the end user.  CollegeValue®, LLC does not make any representations and warranties regarding the accuracy of the information entered into the calculator or the ratings generated by the calculator.  To the fullest extent permissible by law, CollegeValue®, LLC disclaims all liability arising from any reliance placed upon the CollegeValue® rating by student and/or student’s representatives.