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UW–Madison ranked high in affordability by Money Magazine

August 13, 2018 By Käri Knutson

Money Magazine ranked UW–Madison 48th overall in its annual listing of Best Colleges for Your Money, and 30th among public universities.

Money reviewed 727 schools based on 26 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes.

For quality of education, the six-year graduation rate and value-added graduation rate account for most of this measure. This year, adjusted graduation rate calculations were used to specifically include the transfer student population at each college. Also included is the number of Pell Grant recipients a school graduates, as a way to analyze how well schools support their low-income students.

For affordability, both short- and long-term affordability were reviewed. Short-term measures include the net costs students actually pay, after receiving aid, the period of time it takes to earn a degree, and the amount of money that students and their parents typically borrow through federal programs. Long-term measures center on student loan default and repayment rates. Those factors were combined with Money Magazine’s value- added analysis to reward colleges that aid students with lower test scores and family incomes.

Outcomes are primarily based on alumni salary data as reported on and the federal College Scorecard. Money also includes a value-added analysis of the PayScale earnings reports, accounting for the socioeconomic background of the student body and the mix of majors. Also considered is the share of students earning more than $25,000 — the income level of the average high school graduate — six years after they enrolled in college.

Last year, UW–Madison ranked 45th overall and 27th among public universities.

View the full rankings and methodology

Tags: rankings