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Kiplinger cites 11 area schools for quality, value

Ever heard of Christendom College? Hood College?

Those schools and nine others in Maryland, Virginia and the District appear on this year's ranking of best values in private higher education from Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Kiplinger attempts to single out schools that offer both quality and affordability. Quality accounts for two-thirds of the total, so the final list still largely resembles the traditional "best college" rankings from U.S. News & World Report and various other players.

The top-ranked university on this year's Kiplinger list is Princeton, followed by Yale and CalTech, a gentle shuffling of the U.S. News pecking order, with Harvard relegated to the sixth spot. Why? Princeton's total cost per year is a bit lower than Harvard's, and students graduate with somewhat less debt.

Local universities fare well on the Kiplinger list. The University of Richmond is ranked 14th, and Johns Hopkins 16th, among private universities; both schools have generous need-based aid programs and surprisingly low debt-at-graduation totals, considering their steep prices.

Georgetown ranks 24th on the list, George Washington 41st, American 52nd. Hood College of Frederick is something of a surprise at 67th, with relatively strong academics and a reasonably low sticker price. Loyola University Maryland ranks 71st.

A separate list of liberal arts schools puts Washington and Lee University in Virginia at No. 4, ahead of Amherst. Christendom College in Virginia, another surprise inclusion, places 70th. Washington College and St. John's College also make the top 100.

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By Daniel de Vise  | October 28, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  Aid, Finance, Liberal Arts, Rankings  | Tags:  Kiplinger rankings, best value colleges, college rankings  
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