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The Best Value Colleges, 2012 Edition: The 150 Best-Buy Schools and What It Takes to Get In Paperback – Feb 7 2012

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Paperback, Feb 7 2012
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Review; Original edition (Feb. 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375427600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375427602
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 2.9 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,751,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa56c62c4) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4f98a68) out of 5 stars Nice addition to/complementary with the Princeton Review's "Best 379 Colleges" book March 4 2015
By Paul Allaer - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Colleges That Pay You Back - 2015 Edition" (2015 publication; 463 pages) is from the same publisher (The Princeton Review) which brings a number of other college-search books, including the excellent "The Best 379 Colleges" (beware, that number changes yearly). So why the need for this new book? Two things that I can surmise: (1) the "Best Colleges" book, which originally started out at 250, is creeping towards 400 now, and in need of a trim, frankly; and (2) given the cost of attending college, it has become more paramount than ever for colleges to demonstrate that going there is a good "bang-for-the-buck" or "return on investment".

The book opens with a number of handy lists bringing us "Great Schools for the Highest Paying Majors" (looks like any kind of engineering major is the way to go, but in particular Petroleum Engineering, with its eye-popping median starting salary of $103,000). Other fun lists include the Top 50 Colleges That Pay back, Best Schools for Internships, etc. After that we get the School Profiles, and if you are familiar with the "Best Colleges" book, it will immediately look very familiar. Each school gets 2 pages, divided into several charts, data and subject matters. I carefully looked at the entries of a couple of schools that appear in both the "Best Colleges" and this new book, and what I found was that the popular "Survey Says" segment from the "Best Colleges" book is no longer, but instead we get the all-important "Career Information from", where the editors post the ROE ("Return on Investment"), based on such factors as median starting salary, median mid-career salary, % alumni who recommend school, % alumni with high job meaning and satisfaction, etc. I cannot independently verify to what degree these ratings are real or bogus, but based on the high reputation of The Princeton Review, I'll go with it unless someone demonstrates these ratings are bogus. I am most familiar with colleges in Ohio (where I live and my oldest went to college) and DC (where I and my youngest went), and it's hard to argue with the colleges that made the cut (such as Miami University, with an ROE of 89, and GW, with an ROE of 85, just to name those). I am impressed with the fact that the tuition and the room & board numbers have been updated again from the most recent "Best Colleges", which came out just last July. I look at those numbers, and just shake my head in disbelief (GW, which I attended in the mid-80s, now costs $64,745/yr... say what?!?).

Bottom line: I am finding this to be a nice addition in the Princeton Review catalog of college-search books, and it works in particularly well in combination with the "Best Colleges" book. This is not the first book that anyone new to the college-search process will want to consult, but once you have narrowed your list of top target colleges, and assuming they make the cut of these 200 best value colleges as profiled here, this will be essential reading. "Colleges That Pay You Back" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4f7ae4c) out of 5 stars Useful in Defining Value and Identifying Appropriate Colleges March 27 2013
By John - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
College costs are extremely important. However, we often look at tuition and assume that a college with a lower cost will be more economical than a college with a much higher tuition. This book shows that this is not necessarily true and identifies colleges that are good values. Because of this unique approach and other information in the book such as the difference in acceptance rates between Early Admission and regular candidates, I found this book very useful.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5234048) out of 5 stars Important Information Feb. 22 2014
By Mother of Two - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Used as a starting point for every college search to help you sort through the Best Values. Ten are listed as best values because they are free. Others because of the bang for your buck like Harvard and Princeton. The two that my boys are interested in were there as was the information I was looking for.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5269660) out of 5 stars index section does not reference the correct pages Feb. 2 2014
By Tim Leahey - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My primary complaint is the index section does not reference the correct pages making it necessary for me to hunt through the book. A college of interest to me is referenced in the state index but when I go to the reference page, it has information about another college. I tried using the index to find other colleges with similar results.

I am sure this must be a great book but I plan to return it. Perhaps mine has known printing errors?

Very frustrating.
HASH(0xa4e96e4c) out of 5 stars Very informative April 2 2015
By T. Jones - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very informative. I was surprised by the variety and volume of information. The only thing that was disappointing is that it doesn't include overseas universities.