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A lot of the schools on the least affordable were in the same numbers.

At Harvard, I know, there's a sliding scale. Even people earning over a 100k will still be eligible for some aid. I'm not as sure about some of the other schools. I know that schools like Stanford were grumbling about Harvard's policy because they had to match it or lose good students, and they didn't have an endowment fund the size of Harvard's. (The grants that Harvard gives amount to something like 10% of the interest from the endowment fund).

The Forbes list uses different criteria. Post-graduate success, student satisfaction, debt, graduation rate, and competitive awards (which relates to how many students get Rhodes or Fulbright scholarships).

It's interesting to look at the different methodologies used in rankings. US News bases some of their methodology on how other schools regard a college: what does Yale think of Harvard and vice versa. There can be a lot of mutual backscratching in a system like that.

But it's interesting to read, and I'm glad that college ranking services are including debt as a criteria. Even if you get the degree you want, if you're going to be shackled to a huge debt for the rest of your life you'll have to make decisions based on money rather than personal satisfaction.

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