MIT was ranked number eight among the nation's top 50 private universities in Kiplinger's Personal Finance's annual assessment of schools that combine outstanding academic excellence and exceptional economic value.
Using data from more than 600 institutions provided by Peterson's and additional reporting, the magazine rated the top 100 private universities and liberal arts colleges for academic quality and affordability.
MIT's inclusion on the list reflects the Institute's longstanding efforts to open its doors to students of every background -- including "need blind" admissions and a commitment to meet the full need of all undergraduates it admits.
For 2008-2009, the California Institute of Technology topped the list of the 50 private universities with the best value, with Yale and Princeton rounding out the top three. MIT was ranked eighth, while the Institute's Cambridge neighbor, Harvard was deemed sixth.
"Families hit by the economic downturn may feel that private institutions are out of their financial reach, but they will be surprised by our findings," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's. "Most of the top-notch schools on the Kiplinger 100 offer generous financial aid packages. And, for those who earn too much to qualify for need-based aid, many of the colleges on our list offer hefty scholarships to a few outstanding students or smaller merit awards to a bigger pool."
Criteria included admission rates, SAT scores, student-faculty ratios and graduation rates; this information is then correlated with tuition, room and board fees, financial aide and average debt a student accumulates before graduation.
The rankings appear in the magazine's February 2009 issue and at www.kiplinger.com/money/collegevalues/