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, plus starting and mid-career median salaries (according to PayScale).
That translates to an unbelievable zero 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 zero percent of Baylor graduates leaving Waco with student debt, starting off to 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.