Virginia Tech earned several accolades in Money Magazine’s new best college rankings list, being placed No. 18 overall and No. 9 among public institutions.
In addition, the magazine ranked Virginia Tech No. 2 for “Best Colleges You Can Actually Get Into,” and No. 18 for “Best Colleges that Add the Most Value.”
Money evaluated 705 colleges based on 24 factors that looked broadly at educational quality, affordability, and alumni success. The rankings also account for how well students did at each institution versus what’s typical for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds.
“Virginia Tech looks to enrich the whole student so they can be successful here and after they leave. We do this through our diverse and competitive academic programs as well as opportunities to engage in hands-on learning, all through the lens of our university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),” said President Tim Sands.
The magazine noted Virginia Tech as “a leader in using technology to teach – and have fun,” and lauded the university’s “unusually high graduation rate: 83 percent, which is 12 percent higher than the average for its peers.”
“At Virginia Tech, grades are only one part of the predictor of a student’s success. Of course we would like to continue to attract students who excel by traditional academic measures, but we also want the student who may have had some B’s but who was also taking care of siblings, starting a business, excelling at music, or serving in the community," said Provost Thanassis Rikakis. “Virginia Tech benefits from exposing students to multiple types of excellence and having resilient students who are used to balancing a variety of roles and responsibilities because they will be able to tackle the complex problems of the future.”
Beyond outstanding academics, the cost to attend remains low, with annual 2016-17 tuition and fees for undergraduates at $12,852 for in-state students and $29,975 for out-of-state students. To help offset costs and increase affordability, undergraduate students received more than $100 million in grant aid and scholarship support for Fiscal Year 2015. In addition, Virginia Tech offers Funds for the Future, a program that guarantees that tuition and fee rates will not increase for qualifying families for up to four years for entering undergraduates whose families’ adjusted gross incomes are below $50,000, with partial protection for families with adjusted gross incomes below $100,000.
In addition, Virginia Tech is strengthening its commitment to increase access to higher education as part of its land-grant mission, recently forming the College Access Collaborative, which will forge partnerships with schools in underserved areas of Virginia and offer financial support for students from those schools to attend Virginia Tech.
While the Money ranking used salary data from PayScale.com and the College Scorecard, Virginia Tech’s Career and Professional Development tracks students’ employment and pay in the six months following graduation. For students who graduated in 2014-15 and reported employment, they reported a median salary of $58,000.