Texas A&M Ad: In Good Company

2019 Affordable Elite Rankings

As damaging as our national obsession with prestige in higher education can be, the real scandal of elite academia is the fact that a huge proportion of the most talented, qualified low-income students don’t even apply to selective colleges—often because they don’t think they can afford to go. That’s why we’ve brought back our “affordable elite” ranking. We took the 208 most selective colleges and universities in the country, according to Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges, and ranked them according to a combination of metrics, including net price and students’ future earnings, that track how well they promote income equality and upward social mobility.

Click here for detailed methodology, here for the rest of our rankings, and here for the full data set.

RankNamePell/non-Pell grad rate gapNumber of Pell graduatesFirst-gen studentsMedian earningsPredicted median earningsNet price of attendanceLoan repayment rate
1CUNY Baruch College (NY)*8%47549% $57,188 $61,422 $4,128 71%
2University of California–Davis (CA)*-6%152338% $58,469 $56,945 $11,361 83%
3Stanford University (CA)-4%25025% $91,782 $74,710 $2,800 90%
4University of California–Los Angeles (CA)*-5%158435% $61,385 $62,510 $9,389 81%
5Washington and Lee University (VA)-1%57N/A $76,011 $58,014 $3,841 92%
6University of Florida (FL)*-6%165230% $54,609 $53,973 $7,461 72%
7College of the Holy Cross (MA)2%12916% $68,358 $56,087 $13,546 94%
8Harvard University (MA)-2%30222% $94,579 $72,994 $4,137 69%
9University of California–San Diego (CA)*-3%144337% $60,673 $66,496 $10,226 85%
10Georgetown University (DC)-1%22214% $90,491 $66,807 $10,560 89%
11Brigham Young University (UT)-1%96311% $59,636 $45,165 $10,737 85%
12Texas A&M University–College Station (TX)*-11%134230% $57,067 $54,268 $11,579 85%
13University of CA–Santa Barbara (CA)*-4%122940% $54,415 $57,481 $11,287 76%
14Yale University (CT)0%16222% $80,238 $69,564 $6,576 89%
15MA Institute of Technology (MA)-8%17023% $98,799 $84,659 $7,347 93%
16Vassar College (NY)2%15415% $52,972 $54,415 $9,596 93%
17CA Poly. State University–San Luis Obispo (CA)*-9%47824% $65,631 $60,074 $13,495 88%
18Barnard College (NY)1%11617% $58,527 $55,469 $9,618 94%
19University of Pennsylvania (PA)-4%34618% $84,452 $71,857 $9,110 90%
20Duke University (NC)2%22712% $82,140 $73,774 $5,211 92%
21University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign (IL)*-6%119523% $60,223 $59,133 $11,446 82%
22Princeton University (NJ)-3%14325% $77,915 $71,843 $3,857 87%
23Rutgers University–New Brunswick (NJ)*-5%134532% $57,330 $60,425 $14,515 74%
24University of California–Berkeley (CA)*-3%96533% $64,010 $68,627 $9,804 79%
25Colgate University (NY)0%8217% $63,200 $56,928 $11,136 90%
26University of Richmond (VA)3%10417% $63,442 $57,666 $11,669 79%
27Bentley University (MA)-3%12417% $83,494 $66,691 $22,411 95%
28Wesleyan University (CT)-2%13219% $52,553 $55,435 $9,388 92%
29Trinity College (CT)10%6415% $61,534 $55,651 $11,813 85%
30Purdue University–Main (IN)*-9%92920% $55,825 $55,200 $7,182 83%
31Williams College (MA)-4%9918% $57,723 $57,744 $6,255 89%
32University of Texas–Austin (TX)*-11%146326% $56,698 $61,449 $13,315 82%
33Columbia University in the City of NY (NY)-3%9723% $80,809 $71,615 $7,317 81%
34Stony Brook University (NY)*2%68534% $57,440 $64,054 $10,732 77%
35Amherst College (MA)-4%6319% $61,817 $57,085 $7,485 87%
36Claremont McKenna College (CA)5%38N/A $71,026 $62,471 $12,737 N/A
37Florida State University (FL)*-6%129327% $46,112 $50,713 $12,570 71%
38Bowdoin College (ME)-3%6715% $61,546 $57,558 $8,896 90%
39Bates College (ME)4%6613% $56,469 $55,976 $9,262 95%
40Union College (NY)-1%7912% $66,026 $58,349 $14,225 89%
41Lafayette College (PA)-3%5913% $70,126 $59,579 $14,140 91%
42Hamilton College (NY)-1%6614% $58,636 $55,587 $9,637 94%
43Brescia University (KY)-30%1545% $39,577 $25,352 $10,784 62%
44Dartmouth College (NH)-2%13615% $73,055 $68,581 $8,747 91%
45University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (MI)*-7%83217% $61,590 $64,262 $6,153 80%
46Gustavus Adolphus College (MN)0%11615% $51,314 $50,291 $14,899 88%
47University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (NC)*-5%68319% $54,357 $58,319 $7,286 85%
48Milwaukee School of Engineering (WI)-12%6925% $69,914 $57,800 $16,652 84%
49Fairfield University (CT)-2%14217% $71,720 $56,358 $27,566 88%
50Boston College (MA)-2%29713% $70,982 $66,380 $12,267 93%
51Cornell University (NY)-1%47314% $76,144 $73,509 $13,619 89%
52Harvey Mudd College (CA)-1%23N/A $79,393 $66,123 $16,215 N/A
53Wellesley College (MA)-2%9713% $59,821 $60,007 $11,229 92%
54Franklin and Marshall College (PA)-2%7517% $56,892 $54,044 $13,458 90%
55Pomona College (CA)4%6125% $55,815 $62,295 $6,860 N/A
56Bucknell University (PA)-2%8212% $71,382 $59,570 $23,015 94%
57Lehigh University (PA)-6%15217% $80,890 $69,497 $17,395 92%
58Middlebury College (VT)-3%5518% $57,792 $56,495 $8,971 88%
59University of Georgia (GA)*-6%92219% $49,880 $50,745 $11,352 72%
60SUNY Binghamton (NY)*-3%47325% $60,690 $60,257 $13,575 80%
61Smith College (MA)4%12415% $46,220 $51,417 $12,556 81%
62Haverford College (PA)-2%4516% $59,823 $57,466 $10,327 92%
63Georgia Institute of Technology–Main (GA)*-6%37015% $78,344 $76,515 $9,427 88%
64Gettysburg College (PA)-1%8314% $55,440 $53,293 $15,348 93%
65University of Notre Dame (IN)-4%22510% $75,703 $70,288 $12,203 95%
66University of Maryland–College Park (MD)*-6%48122% $62,954 $63,295 $11,022 83%
67DePauw University (IN)-9%9617% $51,839 $46,139 $16,446 87%
68VA Polytechnic Institute & State University (VA)*-7%60217% $61,973 $58,351 $15,140 84%
69Davidson College (NC)-5%6314% $56,424 $55,367 $9,374 91%
70University of Connecticut (CT)*-8%46926% $57,319 $57,219 $14,180 85%
71Northwestern University (IL)0%28514% $68,035 $68,220 $11,220 90%
72University of Wisconsin–Madison (WI)*-7%72417% $54,969 $57,422 $12,750 88%
73Villanova University (PA)3%21513% $77,432 $67,008 $25,089 92%
74Illinois Institute of Technology (IL)-6%9432% $70,636 $66,484 $17,234 85%
75Dickinson College (PA)3%6512% $56,455 $54,000 $14,635 89%
76Illinois Wesleyan University (IL)-4%9417% $57,878 $52,782 $20,760 90%
77College of New Jersey (NJ)*-8%19722% $58,411 $54,923 $16,694 87%
78Rowan University (NJ)*-12%31535% $50,568 $43,725 $17,389 73%
79University of Virginia (VA)*-3%37816% $61,896 $62,960 $11,809 88%
80Tufts University (MA)-2%12614% $71,747 $70,249 $12,205 93%
81Vanderbilt University (TN)-4%19512% $66,108 $66,108 $6,907 89%
82College of Mount Saint Vincent (NY)-7%12236% $53,549 $50,554 $15,146 66%
83Bryn Mawr College (PA)2%5414% $55,211 $50,972 $15,692 86%
84Willamette University (OR)2%9318% $51,222 $47,555 $23,580 88%
85Brown University (RI)-2%22317% $64,837 $68,597 $8,798 91%
86Cooper Union Advance. of Science & Art (NY)5%2824% $60,465 $62,395 $9,776 76%
87Connecticut College (CT)5%6514% $54,372 $53,370 $17,296 92%
88Mount Holyoke College (MA)-1%9418% $47,264 $48,602 $14,533 82%
89George Washington University (DC)2%25315% $68,856 $62,818 $21,543 86%
90University of Evansville (IN)-10%12225% $42,041 $44,044 $16,983 83%
91Thomas Aquinas College (CA)7%26N/A $36,776 $30,440 $17,700 90%
92Truman State University (MO)*-10%19420% $44,641 $45,256 $9,860 84%
93University of Delaware (DE)*-9%31418% $57,088 $53,411 $12,360 83%
94St. Olaf College (MN)1%10312% $48,633 $54,367 $13,093 91%
95University of Rochester (NY)10%23918% $59,969 $64,977 $16,809 84%
96University of MA–Amherst (MA)*-8%78221% $51,372 $56,531 $12,893 79%
97Skidmore College (NY)-1%9815% $47,241 $54,368 $11,499 91%
98MO University of Science & Technology (MO)*-15%16322% $68,979 $62,879 $12,078 87%
99University of Chicago (IL)-4%16714% $67,376 $72,359 $4,788 90%
100University of Southern California (CA)-5%9323% $72,253 $67,210 $17,650 85%
101NM Inst. of Mining and Tech (NM)*-10%3829% $53,275 $53,649 $10,834 83%
102Denison University (OH)-6%9819% $50,176 $51,157 $15,620 83%
103North Carolina State University (NC)*-8%76719% $51,037 $59,263 $9,693 81%
104Beloit College (WI)-2%6015% $40,936 $44,695 $8,423 84%
105Wake Forest University (NC)-5%11813% $63,039 $60,010 $13,592 91%
106Muhlenberg College (PA)0%3916% $59,017 $53,147 $18,785 87%
107Occidental College (CA)1%10417% $50,555 $57,222 $16,402 91%
108Kettering University (MI)-17%4118% $80,554 $59,386 $32,015 89%
109Michigan Technological University (MI)*-13%17618% $65,173 $61,269 $10,394 84%
110University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (MN)*-12%85918% $51,101 $57,644 $9,805 78%
111Ohio State UniversityMain (OH)*-9%107426% $45,389 $56,429 $12,303 69%
112Colorado School of Mines (CO)*-8%10817% $81,869 $75,665 $18,593 89%
113Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)-5%10319% $88,185 $77,927 $26,861 91%
114Wheaton College (IL)0%109N/A $46,331 $52,803 $17,302 95%
115New York University (NY)-4%80721% $61,569 $61,789 $27,003 82%
116SUNY Geneseo (NY)*-8%15020% $48,458 $49,340 $14,152 86%
117Swarthmore College (PA)-3%5319% $53,605 $61,160 $9,241 90%
118Colby College (ME)-5%449% $56,284 $57,099 $9,782 92%
119Trinity University (TX)-7%8018% $55,569 $56,505 $14,062 92%
120Grinnell College (IA)-7%8715% $46,993 $51,338 $13,673 91%
121Boston University (MA)-2%54517% $63,633 $64,792 $24,521 87%
122Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY)-5%15713% $82,450 $75,342 $24,809 94%
123Kalamazoo College (MI)-3%5713% $51,272 $51,162 $14,718 84%
124Carnegie Mellon University (PA)-6%1739% $81,479 $75,630 $20,185 93%
125University of Missouri–Columbia (MO)*-17%74020% $48,103 $48,141 $13,833 75%
126College of William and Mary (VA)*-5%11812% $57,890 $63,402 $7,280 89%
127Hobart William Smith Colleges (NY)-1%849% $52,057 $50,916 $20,275 87%
128University of Tennessee (TN)*-14%75125% $44,577 $48,213 $15,206 74%
129Carleton College (MN)-4%6014% $52,876 $56,836 $14,195 93%
130Kenyon College (OH)4%33N/A $47,626 $50,926 $12,115 90%
131Rice University (TX)-5%14013% $66,287 $74,277 $7,624 91%
132Emory University (GA)-5%22417% $63,931 $67,000 $14,798 85%
133Pepperdine University (CA)0%15519% $63,577 $57,853 $26,795 80%
134Scripps College (CA)9%31N/A $51,941 $56,297 $16,545 91%
135Christian Brothers University (TN)-18%6035% $46,001 $46,056 $8,262 59%
136Drake University (IA)-5%10415% $58,154 $52,595 $23,277 86%
137Northeastern University (MA)-2%32518% $65,829 $73,536 $15,320 83%
138Santa Clara University (CA)-4%15418% $71,501 $71,992 $21,361 89%
139California Institute of Technology (CA)-8%19N/A $83,463 $93,475 $7,288 N/A
140Colorado College (CO)3%4813% $43,373 $55,785 $7,831 89%
141Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)-9%48020% $62,079 $59,801 $23,870 79%
142Westmont College (CA)-1%6318% $50,070 $49,890 $24,348 89%
143University of Colorado–Boulder (CO)*-8%56620% $50,239 $55,693 $16,517 77%
144Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)-7%12014% $84,264 $74,978 $29,567 93%
145Macalester College (MN)-4%7511% $48,014 $52,908 $16,130 91%
146University of Vermont (VT)*-7%36613% $46,510 $53,308 $13,330 88%
147University of Texas–Dallas (TX)*-6%30331% $52,430 $64,517 $10,721 71%
148Johns Hopkins University (MD)1%15612% $70,916 $77,412 $13,228 83%
149Brandeis University (MA)0%14915% $58,527 $65,219 $16,920 86%
150Marquette University (WI)-15%25518% $60,461 $54,716 $22,376 85%
151Loyola University–Chicago (IL)-6%43826% $53,451 $54,856 $28,342 81%
152New College of Florida (FL)*-7%3513%N/A $32,000 $7,784 72%
153Endicott College (MA)-2%11319% $49,972 $50,258 $27,958 90%
154Rollins College (FL)9%10923% $45,085 $45,266 $26,511 62%
155Pitzer College (CA)4%3019% $47,835 $55,230 $13,888 77%
156Sarah Lawrence College (NY)-2%49N/A $40,767 $35,396 $24,682 84%
157Lawrence University (WI)-8%6317% $43,452 $45,702 $18,691 84%
158Case Western Reserve University (OH)-3%15012% $73,022 $73,286 $22,810 88%
159University of South Carolina–Columbia (SC)*-12%60020% $44,425 $51,316 $15,534 73%
160Taylor University (IN)-11%7814% $38,007 $39,658 $20,371 87%
161Transylvania University (KY)-10%5518% $42,723 $44,150 $18,837 82%
162Centre College (KY)-3%5116% $45,297 $51,360 $17,518 86%
163Clemson University (SC)*-13%35017% $52,653 $58,595 $14,292 83%
164University of Denver (CO)-1%14919% $55,172 $59,431 $21,788 79%
165Furman University (SC)-9%7512% $49,918 $51,752 $20,795 88%
166University of San Diego (CA)0%14423% $59,629 $64,725 $26,181 82%
167St. John's College (NM)-8%14N/A $31,122 $26,975 $18,198 78%
168Southern Methodist University (TX)-5%16318% $58,782 $60,263 $22,079 80%
169Sewanee: The University of the South (TN)-8%5315% $43,891 $48,244 $16,475 85%
170American University (DC)-6%21915% $59,609 $58,102 $25,351 83%
171Clark University (MA)-2%8719% $46,837 $55,677 $19,817 88%
172Auburn University (AL)*-13%37018% $48,197 $49,675 $19,871 78%
173Rhodes College (TN)-11%6711% $53,774 $56,074 $18,970 89%
174Gonzaga University (WA)-4%16014% $55,648 $55,686 $27,755 89%
175Loyola Marymount University (CA)-5%18520% $58,821 $58,967 $29,467 84%
176Miami University–Oxford (OH)*-12%40126% $47,243 $51,385 $16,868 63%
177Fordham University (NY)-6%26119% $58,865 $60,151 $26,093 81%
178Saint Louis University–Main (MO)-10%24123% $56,265 $58,644 $23,413 78%
179Oberlin College (OH)1%647% $41,385 $50,474 $17,307 89%
180Bard College (NY)-7%6111% $40,002 $43,238 $20,096 85%
181Yeshiva University (NY)-8%9210% $58,411 $55,894 $24,571 86%
182William Jewell College (MO)-11%4621% $44,877 $50,214 $18,606 81%
183University of Puget Sound (WA)-5%9812% $52,074 $51,584 $32,414 88%
184Mount St. Mary's University (MD)-11%7423% $52,284 $52,907 $25,780 83%
185University of Miami (FL)-6%30218% $58,430 $64,517 $23,250 80%
186Texas Christian University (TX)-12%16119% $52,436 $53,119 $24,397 84%
187University of Pittsburgh–Pittsburgh (PA)*-11%42722% $52,361 $59,053 $23,752 80%
188Reed College (OR)-3%4912% $39,430 $50,625 $15,308 88%
189Loyola University–New Orleans (LA)-13%12420% $46,097 $47,887 $19,149 74%
190Lewis & Clark College (OR)-1%11315% $44,502 $55,272 $22,041 89%
191Tulane University (LA)-9%14520% $58,396 $63,466 $20,003 75%
192Bennington College (VT)12%32N/A $27,560 $36,281 $24,611 85%
193Elon University (NC)-9%1087% $50,164 $50,080 $24,637 91%
194Earlham College (IN)-13%4619% $34,892 $43,632 $16,300 84%
195Belmont University (TN)-9%11517% $43,816 $46,136 $27,420 82%
196Hampshire College (MA)-3%4611% $34,903 $39,508 $22,277 76%
197Seattle University (WA)-10%14320% $57,307 $59,149 $29,203 80%
198Emerson College (MA)-3%10813% $46,681 $47,171 $35,249 86%
199College of the Atlantic (ME)-31%15N/A $26,047 $24,052 $16,614 83%
200Hofstra University (NY)-15%19724% $54,201 $54,138 $30,010 74%
201Baylor University (TX)-13%46719% $50,899 $57,228 $28,484 78%
202Hendrix College (AR)-13%5716% $40,939 $49,510 $19,386 79%
203St. John's College (MD)-19%16N/A $36,780 $34,818 $19,625 83%
204Whitman College (WA)-12%3511% $48,458 $53,842 $22,509 93%
205University of Alabama–Huntsville (AL)*-14%7931% $47,043 $55,689 $17,632 60%
206University of Dallas (TX)-20%57.515% $47,029 $49,813 $20,192 80%
207Chapman University (CA)-3%17616% $53,338 $57,575 $31,685 70%
208University of Tulsa (OK)-15%7621% $46,954 $61,319 $20,787 77%
Definitions:
Median earnings: median annual earnings 10 years after entering college.
Pell/non-Pell graduation gap: graduation rate for Pell students minus the graduation rate for non-Pell students; a positive number indicates that students who receive Pell grants graduate at a higher rate than those who don’t, and vice versa.
First-gen students: percent of students who are the first in their family to go to college.
Predicted median earnings: expected median annual earnings based on student demographic data, adjusted for institutions’ location and academic mission.
Net price: actual cost of attendance for first-time, full-time, in-state students with family incomes below $75,000 per year over the last three years.
Loan repayment rate: percent of students who pay back at least $1 in loan principal within 5 years of leaving college.
* = public
° = for-profit