It’s common to be wowed by big-name schools or schools that always appear in national higher-ed rankings, but every student has unique needs in a campus and an academic program.
In fact, there are some institutions that aren’t included in most college rankings, but that still have a lot to offer students. Looking primarily at financial outcomes such as starting salary and ROI, CollegeVine compiled a ranking of consistently underrated college and universities.
The following criteria were used to compile the list: cost of attendance and generosity of financial aid and scholarships; one and five-year ROI after graduation; financial performance of specific majors; and qualitative data on career outcomes like job placements and grad school progression.
San Jose State is chronically underrated by most families and guidance counselors. Because of its location in the heart of Silicon Valley, students pursuing STEM have really good outcomes (thanks to the job market in the Bay Area).
This is another school that has strong STEM outcomes, particularly in more “physical-world” subjects like petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, and other hard sciences. In particular, US News ranks Houston as the #171 college in the country, but the strength of the Houston job market and the excellent merit scholarships put its ROI comfortably in the Top 40 for such programs.
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