Virginia tops the 2018 list of best states for a higher education, according to a new ranking from SmartAsset, which analyzes U.S. public institutions to determine which offer the best value based on a variety of metrics.

The analysis compares states using five factors:

Undergraduate graduation rate: Data comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Data is for the 2015-2016 school year.

Average net price: This metric considers the average yearly price for first-time, full-time undergraduate students. Data comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and is for the 2015-2016 school year.

Student-faculty ratio: This metric also comes from the IPEDS data center. It’s from the 2016-2017 school year.

Twenty-year return on investment: This is the difference between 20 years of median pay for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree minus the costs for attending the higher education institution for four years and 24 years of median pay for a high school graduate. Data comes from Payscale.

In-state attendance rate: This is the percentage of students who graduated from high school in 2015 who went on to attend an in-state college. Data comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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