The coronavirus pandemic has turned higher education on its head with things like remote learning and social distancing becoming the norm but people are still looking for the best return on their education dollar. Money Magazine has crunched various numbers to compile its list of the best values in higher education, and New Jersey schools are well represented.

First, the criteria; Money weighed more than 20,000 data points across three broad categories of Quality, Affordability, and Outcomes: including tuition fees, family borrowing, and career earnings. Those three categories contain 27 different criteria encompassing things like graduation rates, faculty ratings, peer ratings, net price paid to attend, average debt, employment, and earnings. To qualify, a school had to have an enrollment of at least 500, have sufficient data, and meet graduation benchmarks; a total of 739 schools made the cut.

Here are the 21 New Jersey schools that qualified, with their national rankings:
Princeton University – 3
The College of New Jersey – 68
Rutgers University-New Brunswick – 78
Montclair State University – 106
New Jersey Institute Of Technology – 127
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus – 134
Ramapo College of New Jersey – 142
Saint Elizabeth University – 198
Stevens Institute of Technology – 230
Stockton University – 311
Georgian Court University – 322
Monmouth University – 331
Rowan University – 338
Kean University – 358
Seton Hall University – 367
Centenary University – 381
Rider University – 413
William Paterson University of New Jersey – 437
Saint Peter's University – 533
Felician University – 561
Caldwell University - 672

The top five nationally are: 1. MIT, 2. Stanford, 3. Princeton, 4. University of Michigan, and 5. Duke

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.