The College Pick’s Top College Picks

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United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point

College students are driven by many things: academics, career aspirations, advanced degrees and the opportunity to try something new. The challenge of many prospective college students, returning adult college students, and their families this time of year is how to create a college list of five to 15 for an effective round of college applications. 

The challenge of creating a good list for these prospective college choices is how do I maximize my college outcomes but still get a good return on my college choices? Defining a good college or university is more than educational pedigree or the research standings of professors. A better measure of college success is a strong income following graduation, a high graduation rate, and low debt levels.

A value return on higher education investment broadly translates into improved career prospects, a higher post-graduation salary, not spending too much on tuition, and not going broke on student loans following graduation.

The College Pick’s Top Five Colleges & Universities In The State of New York:

1. United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point

2. SUNY at Binghamton in Binghamton, NY

3. Bernard M. Baruch College in NY

4. SUNY College at Geneseo in Geneseo

5. Fashion Institute of Technology in NY

Below is the list of the top 10 colleges and universities in the United States. These 15 colleges and universities offer great value, great opportunities following graduation, and will not commit graduates to a lifelong drain of repaying student debt. Success at college is how your career and finances progress when you graduate, not when you enter college at a geographic place of your choosing.

The College Pick Top 10 Colleges & Universities in the United States:

1. University of Florida in Gainesville, FL

2. Brigham Young University in Provo, UT

3. University of California in Berkeley, CA

4. James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA

5. California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA

6. University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA

7. United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY

8. SUNY at Binghamton in Binghamton, NY

9. University of California in Davis, CA

10. University of California in Irvine, CA

When you look at college success, look at what you want following college graduation. Students want a high rate of graduation, low debt levels, and the opportunity for a good income and the ability to pay off their education debt. When we look at colleges and universities by what college students want following graduation: career success, income, and low debt, we see an entirely different college list. Pick your college based on the potential for a good career, low tuition and low student debt.

Note to methodology: The College Pick uses a proprietary methodology that combines the top eight (8) education outcomes of: (1) undergraduate enrollment, (2) student retention rate, (3) graduation rate, (4) average salary following graduation, (5) student loan repayment rate, (6) average student loan debt, (7) average in-state tuition levels, and (8) number of federal educational complaints. The College Pick finds the best college outcome at the lowest tuition / debt level. This data is determined from educational institution reporting to the U.S. Department of Education in various public databases.

Chad Storlie is the founder of The College Pick.

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Chad Storlie is a marketing lecturer at Creighton University and Bellevue University in Omaha, NE. He is a retired Army Special Forces officer with more than 20 years of active and reserve service in infantry, special forces and joint headquarters units.

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