19 Colleges offering up the best value in Massachusetts

With the average student loan debt hovering eerily close to $30,000, incomers want to ensure they’re receiving an education worthy of the rising costs. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine understands the concern, releasing Tuesday a College Finder capable of identifying the ideal match for students searching for schools.

Users can sort through public and private universities, as well as liberal arts colleges, with the interactive tool (photographed above), by region, graduation rate, annual cost, school size, admission rate, average debt and more. After selecting schools, students can compare them side-by-side to see how they stack up on overall quality and cost.

If that’s not enough, Kiplinger also released a new slew of rankings to help users discover where the colleges boasting the most value are hiding. Among the lists are the “25 Best College Values Under $30,000.” An unsurprising, albeit unfortunate, fact is that no Massachusetts school made the list. Several, however, found their way onto the “35 Best College Values in New England” ranking.

Harvard came in at No. 2 on the list of private universities, falling only behind rival Yale β€” undoubtedly a tough pill to swallow. MIT then followed in its Cambridge counterpart’s footsteps, ranking third.

As for public colleges, UMass Amherst came in second, while Williams and Amherst nabbed the top two spots on the list of liberal arts colleges.

β€œIt’s easy to overlook quality options when faced with finding the best fit from more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions,” said Robert Long, managing editor of Kiplinger.com, in a statement.

To help you break through the noise, we rounded up the “Best Value” Massachusetts schools.

– Associate Editor, BostInno

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