Money magazine's 2017 Best Colleges for Your Money ranking included nine colleges in Oregon, which are listed below.

1. George Fox UniversityMoney rank: #191
Newberg, Oregon
Early career earnings: $50,900
% with need who get grants: 96%
% who get merit grants: 25%
2. University of PortlandMoney rank: #255
Portland, Oregon
Early career earnings: $52,100
% with need who get grants: 79%
% who get merit grants: 34%
3. Oregon State UniversityMoney rank: #274
Corvallis, Oregon
Early career earnings: $49,900
% with need who get grants: 77%
% who get merit grants: 13%
4. Reed CollegeMoney rank: #365
Portland, Oregon
Early career earnings: $46,600
% with need who get grants: 97%
% who get merit grants: N/A
5. Pacific UniversityMoney rank: #408 (tie)
Forest Grove, Oregon
Early career earnings: $41,800
% with need who get grants: 72%
% who get merit grants: 19%
6. Willamette UniversityMoney rank: #408 (tie)
Salem, Oregon
Early career earnings: $43,200
% with need who get grants: 99%
% who get merit grants: 36%
7. Linfield CollegeMoney rank: #529
McMinnville, Oregon
Early career earnings: $43,400
% with need who get grants: 82%
% who get merit grants: 21%
8. University of OregonMoney rank: #600
Eugene, Oregon
Early career earnings: $44,900
% with need who get grants: 72%
% who get merit grants: 12%
9. Lewis & Clark CollegeMoney rank: #645
Portland, Oregon
Early career earnings: $43,600
% with need who get grants: 99%
% who get merit grants: 30%
Male student seated in a college classroom

Money magazine's 2017 Best Colleges for Your Money ranking included nine colleges in Oregon, which are listed to the left.


Methodology

Rankings were based on 27 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes. Factors pertaining to quality included graduation rates, instructor quality and peer quality; affordability incorporated the net price of the degree, average student debt and affordability for low-income students; and outcomes considered statistics such as graduates’ earnings, the socio-economic mobility index (percentage of students moving from low-income backgrounds to upper-middle-class jobs), and a survey on “job meaning” (“Does your work make the world a better place?”).

In each category, Money used at least one “value-added” measure, which reveals a school’s performance after subtracting the impact of its average student’s test scores and percentage of low-income students. This statistical technique also avoids simply rewarding schools for taking in students who’d likely succeed anywhere.

And, unlike Money rankings from past years, this year’s ranking gave weight to new data developed by a Stanford economist that shows how many low-income students schools propelled into the upper middle class over the past 20 years – pointing to colleges that helped students achieve the “American Dream.”

Initially, more than 2,400 schools were considered. Of those, 711 made the final “Best Colleges” list by meeting each of the following criteria:

  • Have at least 500 students
  • Have sufficient, reliable data to be analyzed
  • Not be in financial distress
  • Have a graduation rate at or above the median for its institutional category (public or private)

According to Money, the “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings are the first to combine the most accurate pricing estimates available with all reliable indicators of alumni financial success, along with a unique analysis of how much “value” a college adds when compared to other schools that take in similar students.

The magazine estimates a college’s “value-add” by calculating its performance on important measures such as graduation rates, student loan repayment and default rates, and post-graduation earnings, after adjusting for the types of students it admits.