Baylor University claims to offer the lowest tuition of any private university in the Southwest, but a recent list by Newsweek and The Daily Beast one-upped that distinction, placing the Christian college at no. 4 among the 25 Most Affordable Schools.
The news magazine considered long-term affordability in the 2012 college rankings, noting that a sometimes a pricey tuition bill is outweighed by potential future earnings and "a proven record of [the education] being a valuable investment relative to other schools."
Equally weighted are figures on the average debt per student (according to College InSight); total cost of education, including tuition and living expenses (according to the National Center for Educational Statistics); the percentage of full-time students receiving financial aid and the average dollar amount of that aid; and starting and mid-career median salaries (according to PayScale).
That translates to an unbelievable 0 percent of Baylor graduates leaving Waco with student debt.
Although total on-campus tuition at Baylor costs each student (or perhaps his or her parents) $45,011 per year, the data shows that 97 percent of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid (and an average of $13,916 in grant aid).
That translates to an unbelievable 0 percent of Baylor graduates leaving Waco with student debt, starting off at a median salary of $43,100 and going on to make a mid-career median earnings of $83,200 per year.
Texas A&M University ranked no. 22 on the list, with 78 percent of undergraduate students receiving financial aid and 47 percent graduating with debt. Aggie grads earn a starting median salary of $50,200 and a mid-career median salary of $92,500.