College tuition is a concern for many Americans, but here in San Antonio, there are options that make it a little easier on the wallet. On August 12, Money magazine unveiled its Best Colleges for Your Money for 2019-20, and three local universities made the cut.
Money's annual report is an analysis of the country's institutions of higher education, "ranging from elite colleges and public universities to smaller specialized colleges."
In order to determine the best colleges, Money compared each school based on three points, all weighted equally to find the final score:
- Quality of education: Graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio, Pell Grant recipients, etc.
- Affordability: Net costs, time it takes to earn a degree, amount of money borrowed, and student-loan default and repayment rates after graduation.
- Outcomes: Post-graduation salaries, socioeconomic background of the student body, and mix of majors.
San Antonio schools
Topping the local list is Trinity University at No. 154 out of 744 schools. On average, tuition at Trinity will cost $59,400 for the 2019-20 school year, but Tigers will only pay an average of $30,500 after grants.
The Olmos Park school also had a solid ratio of debt ($26,000) to early career earnings ($53,400).
In the 220th spot is St. Mary's University. St. Mary's tuition is estimated to be $46,500 for the upcoming year, but students pay an average of $19,000 after financial aid.
Like Trinity, St. Mary's students have a reasonable ratio of debt to early career earnings: $27,000 to $50,500, respectively.
University of the Incarnate Word was the only other school to appear on the list (University of Texas at San Antonio was noticeably absent). At No. 671, UIW has an estimated tuition of $48,800 for the upcoming year, but with students paying an average of $23,400.
The school's ratio of debt to early career earnings was similar to the other schools in San Antonio: $27,250 to $45,700, respectively.
Texas and beyond
Texas A&M ranked best in Texas at No. 18. On average, tuition will cost $29,700 for the 2019-20 school year, but Aggies will only pay an average of $20,900 after grants.
The College Station school also had a solid ratio of debt ($18,520) to early career earnings ($59,000).
In total, Texas has 21 institutions on the list, including Rice University (No. 24), The University of Texas at Austin (No. 28), The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (No. 193), University of Houston (No. 236), and The University of Texas at Dallas (No. 271).
Meanwhile, the top five best colleges for your money are: University of California - Irvine, City University of New York - Baruch College, Princeton University, University of California - Los Angeles, and University of California - Davis.