ANGOLA — New York-based financial technology company, SmartAsset, has released its sixth annual study on the colleges that give students the best return on their educational investment and Trine University in Angola ranked in the top 10 among Indiana institutions for higher learning.

To find the best value colleges in Indiana, SmartAsset measured categories, including scholarships provided, starting salary, tuition, living costs and retention rate.

Trine ranked eighth on the list. Leading the pack was Purdue University — main campus — followed by Notre Dame, Rose-Hulman Insitute of Technology, Indiana University (Bloomington) and DePauw University rounding out the top five.

“Trine University’s track record of preparing its students for successful careers, evidenced by more than 99 percent job placement over the past seven years, as well as our continuing efforts to keep our quality private higher education affordable, make a degree from Trine a proven value,” said Trine President Earl Brooks II. “We are grateful that others recognize this value as well, and will continue to make every effort to provide and increase value to students and parents who choose Trine.”

SmartAsset looked at five factors to determine the best value colleges and universities in the U.S.: tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings, student retention rate and starting salary for new graduates.

Tuition and student living costs like room and board, books, supplies, transportation and other personal expenses were used to capture the costs associated with attending each school.

Factors to illustrate a student’s return on investment were also evaluated. Student retention rate shows the percent of students that are reenrolling at the institution from year-to-year. The average starting salary shows potential earnings of new graduates when they enter the workforce. Additionally, scholarships and grants show the amount of financial backing colleges are endowing to their student body on a per-person basis.

The study gave 25% weighting to starting salary, tuition and living costs. It then gave 12.5% weighting to scholarships and grants, as well as retention rate, to come up with the Best Value Colleges Index. Schools were ranked in accordance with their score on the index, with the top school receiving a score of 100 and each additional school’s index value representing how closely they compare.

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