Eight colleges and universities in the Greater Lehigh Valley made Money magazine's list of “best colleges for your money.”
Lafayette College ranked the highest of the area schools, coming in at No. 81 out of 711 that made the list.
The other regional school rankings are:
Lehigh University: 114.
Muhlenberg College: 255.
Moravian College: 280.
Cedar Crest College: 402.
DeSales University: 481.
East Stroudsburg University: 632.
Kutztown University: 640.
The magazine said the findings show “more than 700 colleges offer at least a basic level of educational quality. And dozens of affordable schools have excellent track records of helping students attain opportunity and financial stability.”
Colleges were ranked based on 27 measures of educational quality, affordability and alumni success. Other factors included graduation rate, peer and instructor quality, net price of a degree, student debt and loan risk, graduates’ earnings and average job skills.
This list this year gave weight to new data that show how many low-income students the school propelled into the upper middle class over the past 20 years.
The article said bragging rights these days go to schools it called the “Paycheck League,” schools that provide a boost in the job market.
While all Ivy League colleges are in the so-called Paycheck League, the article stressed not to confused exclusivity with success. Some high-priced private schools rank lower than public schools because their alumni graduate with higher debt or aren’t earning higher salaries compared to the cost of the tuition.