Top colleges: Which school is the best bang for your buck?

Top colleges lists are usually long on the typical Ivy League suspects. But a new ranking that takes into account price over prestige has identified a new top college located in the Boston suburbs. 

By , CNBC

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    A person walks at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., Dec. 9, 2013. Research shows that between 10 and 20 percent of high school graduates who have been accepted into a college don't make it there in the fall.
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Typically, the list of best places to get a college degree is long on the usual Ivy League suspects.

But in a new ranking that takes into account price over prestige, the editors of Money magazine have identified a new top schoolBabson College, in the Boston suburbs.

"We wanted to look at your return on investment, so we looked at three things—educational quality, affordability and career outcomes," saidMoney senior writer Donna Rosato.

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"The strength of Babson is it's very focused," she said. "The freshman class starts a business and they all work together, so it's hands-on experience."

Money's editors found that Babson alumni earn an average annual salary of $59,700 within five years of graduation, an outcome critical to the school's top ranking.

Babson administrators and professors "have very close relationships with corporations, paid internships and a high success rate of getting their students jobs after college," said Rosato, who advises families to add the career services office to their campus tour.

With just more than 2,000 students, Babson specializes in business and entrepreneurship. There is one major offered—a bachelor of science in business—but course work covers a range of liberal arts subjects. The net price of a four-year degree costs Babson students $198,917.

The average four-year price tag of in-state public colleges ranges from $70,000 to $130,000, according to Money analysis. For private institutions, that average rises to $120,000 to $250,000.

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