13/09/2016 9:10 AM IST | Updated 13/09/2016 10:15 AM IST

The Best US Colleges To Apply To For Most Value For Money

Two Ivy League colleges have topped the list.

Altaf Qadri/AP
File photo of Indian students listen to a representative of an American college.

Studying in a college in the United States is an expensive proposition. Student loans can haunt you for years after graduating, and the average student debt has steadily increased with time. So, which are the colleges that make it easiest for their students to attend a good school without crippling financial obligations?

A recent survey by U.S. News & World Report has found Harvard University to give the "best value" among the national colleges in North America, with grants given to over half of the undergraduate students based on need. This means, last year, these students were given an average of 75% discount of the total college costs.

Princeton and Yale are ranked close behind, with an average discount of 72% offered to students who were awarded scholarships. Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Columbia, and Dartmouth are also among the top-ranked colleges that give an average discount of 66-69% towards college costs for students with need.

Among liberal arts colleges, Amherst and Virginia Military Institute give the best financial aid on average.

Most International Students

The Florida Institute of Technology has the highest proportion of foreign students in national universities in the US, with a third of its entire student population in the 2015-2016 academic year reported to be of international origin. New School in New York City is close behind with 32% international students. More than a fourth of the students at Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Tulsa were international students.

Among liberal art colleges in the US, the Soka University in California boasts the biggest chunk of international students with 39% of students coming from abroad. Pine Manor in Massachusetts also has a large number of international students--about 35% of the total.

Best National Universities

Princeton is the top ranked university among all North American Universities, according to the U.S. News & World Report. It is closely followed by Harvard, University of Chicago, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, MIT, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, and John Hopkins.

Among the national public universities in the US, University of California-Berkeley tops the charts, followed by University of California-Los Angeles, University of Virginia, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, College of William and Mary, and Georgia Institute of Technology. Six of the top 10 national public universities in the US are in California.

The top three liberal arts colleges in the US are from Massachusetts, according to the survey. While Williams college leads the pack for the 14th straight year, it is followed by Amherst and Wellesley. Middlebury in Vermont, Swarthmore in Pennysylvania, and Bowdoin in Maine are next in rank.

Best Engineering Programs

Among universities that offer up to a doctoral program, MIT is best peer-reviewed for engineering programs. It is also ranked best for a number of specialities including aeronautical, computer, electrical, mechanical, chemical, and materials engineering. Other top engineering schools in the survey are Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology (or CalTech), and Georgia Institute of Technology.

In colleges where the highest degree is a masters or bachelor's degree, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana is ranked the top engineering program in US, according to peer assessment. California's Harvey Mudd college and Massachusetts' Franklin W. Olin college of engineering are second, and third in rank, and the United States Military Academy is the best public school in the list.

The United States Air Force Academy is ranked the best for aeronautical engineering. Rose-Hulman is best known for a number of engineering specialties, including computer, mechanical, electrical, civil, and chemical engineering.