This is a ranking of the top ten best value Roman Catholic universities in the United States. Roman Catholicism has a long history of scholarship, and many of the best universities in the world are run by the Roman Catholic church. Top Roman Catholic universities like Notre Dame are considered to be on the same level as some of the United States’ most illustrious ivy league universities. These ten Roman Catholic schools represent the best value available from over 200 Roman Catholic institutions of higher learning. Schools were evaluated and scored based on tuition, the average student loan debt of graduates, the 20 year net return on investment of graduates, and the graduation rate. More information on methodology and sources can be found at the bottom of the page.

#10. Molloy College

Rockville Centre, New York
Rating: 12

Molloy College-Best Value Roman Catholic Colleges

Molloy College is an NCAA Division II school.

Website

Molloy College has an undergraduate student population of 3,425 and a 10 to 1 student to faculty ratio. U.S. News and World Report ranks Molloy #43 among regional universities north, and #25 among the best colleges for veterans. Molloy accepts 76% of undergraduate applicants and retains 87% of first year students. The school offers 41 undergraduate programs.

Tuition: $29,100
Avg. Loan Debt: $27,000
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $405,000
Graduation Rate: 71%

#9. Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland
Rating: 12

Loyola University-Best Value Roman Catholic Universities

Loyola University Maryland accepts 61% of applicants.

Website

Loyola University Maryland is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #3 among regional universities north, #42 for engineering, and #22 for marketing. Loyola has 4,068 undergraduate students and an 11 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Loyola’s undergraduate majors are contained in three schools which are the college of arts and sciences, the school of education, and the Sellinger school of business.

Tuition: $46,430
Avg. Loan Debt: $35,700
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $438,000
Graduation Rate: 81%

#8. Manhattan College

Riverdale, New York
Rating: 12

Manhattan College-Best Value Roman Catholic Universities

Manhattan College is ranked #55 in engineering by U.S. News and World Report.

Website

Manhattan College is a liberal arts college with 4,071 undergraduate students and a 13 to 1 student to faculty ratio. The acceptance rate at this school is 67% and the school retains 84% of undergraduate freshman. Schools at the college include the school of continuing and professional studies, school of science, school of liberal arts, school of engineering, school of education and health, and school of business.

Tuition: $40,004
Avg. Loan Debt: $28,300
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $558,000
Graduation Rate: 72%

#7. College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, Massachusetts
Rating: 14

College of the Holy Cross-Best Value Roman Catholic Colleges

College of the Holy Cross retains 96% of undergraduate freshman students.

Website

College of the Holy Cross accepts 37% of undergraduate applicants, making it a moderately accessible school with a very high graduation rate. The student body is 2,729 students, and the school maintains a 10 to 1 student to faculty ratio. U.S. News and World Report ranks College of the Holy Cross #32 among national liberal arts colleges, and #37 in high school counselor rankings.

Tuition: $48,940
Avg. Loan Debt: $32,300
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $411,000
Graduation Rate: 92%

#6. Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Columbus, Ohio
Rating: 15

Mount Carmel College of Nursing-Best Value Catholic Colleges

Mount Carmel College of Nursing only offers nursing degree programs.

Website

Mount Carmel College of Nursing retains 85% of first year undergraduate students. Student to faculty ratio is 13 to 1 with an undergraduate student population of 1,063. Nursing programs offered include bachelor of science in nursing, master of science in nursing, online doctor of nursing practice, online RN-BSN completion program, and online MSN in nursing education.

Tuition: $12,673
Avg. Loan Debt: $34,100
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $476,000
Graduation Rate: 72%

#5. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Rating: 15

Boston College-Best Value Catholic Colleges

Boston College graduates have the lowest average student loan debt of any of the schools on this best value ranking of Roman Catholic colleges.

Website

Boston College has schools of arts and sciences, law, advancing studies, social work, nursing, management, education, and theology and ministry. Students will enjoy a 14 to 1 student to faculty ratio. The undergraduate student population is 9,796. U.S. News and World Report ranks Boston College #31 among national universities, #41 among best value schools, and #11 in finance.

Tuition: $51,296
Avg. Loan Debt: $18,000
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $494,000
Graduation Rate: 92%

#4. Villanova University

Villanova, Pennsylvania
Rating: 16

Villanova University-Best Value Catholic Universities

Villanova is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Augustine.

Website

Villanova University admits 48% of undergraduate applicants, making its 90% graduation rate quite impressive. The student population at this best value Roman Catholic university is 10,711, and the school boasts a 12 to 1 student to faculty ratio. U.S. News and World Report ranks Villanova #50 among national universities, #29 in best colleges for veterans, and #91 for best undergraduate engineering programs.

Tuition: $49,280
Avg. Loan Debt: $32,400
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $554,000
Graduation Rate: 90%

#3. Georgetown University

Washington D.C.
Rating: 16

Georgetown University-Best Value Catholic Universities

Georgetown is the oldest Roman Catholic and Jesuit university in the United States, established in 1789.

Website

Georgetown boasts a 96% retention rate for first-year undergraduate students. The undergraduate student population is 7,562, with a student to faculty ratio of just 11 to 1. Georgetown is one of the most exclusive schools ranked among our best value Roman Catholic colleges, accepting only 17% of undergraduate applicants. U.S. News and World Report ranks Georgetown #20 among national universities, #15 in business programs, and #6 in international business.

Tuition: $50,547
Avg. Loan Debt: $25,100
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $564,000
Graduation Rate: 94%

#2. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California
Rating: 16

Santa Clara University-Best Value Catholic Universities

Santa Clara University is a Jesuit university located in Silicon Valley.

Website

Santa Clara University has an undergraduate student population of 5,385 and a 12 to 1 student to faculty ratio. 49% of applicants are admitted, which makes the school’s graduation rate even more impressive. Santa Clara University is ranked #2 among regional universities in the west, #2 among best colleges for veterans in the west, and #63 among top business programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Tuition: $27,594
Avg. Loan Debt: $29,400
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $589,000
Graduation Rate: 84%

#1. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana
Rating: 17

University of Notre Dame-Best Value Catholic Universities

Retention for first year students at Notre Dame is 98%.

Website

Notre Dame University accepts 20% of undergraduate applicants. Notre Dame is ranked #15 among top national universities, #6 among best colleges for veterans, and #7 for best undergraduate teaching by U.S. News and World Report. Notre Dame offers 65 undergraduate majors. Colleges at the university consist of engineering, arts and letters, science, architecture, and business.

Tuition: $49,685
Avg. Loan Debt: $25,300
20 Year Net Return on Investment: $546,000
Graduation Rate: 97%

Methodology

Each of the four categories awarded points on a scale based on the school’s stats in that category. Explanations of each category and how points are allocated follow.

20 Year Net Return on Investment

Return on investment is weighted the highest out of all factors. When one looks at education as an investment, the return on that investment becomes one of the most important factors.

$200,000=2 Points
$300,000=4 Points
$400,000=6 Points
$500,000=8 Points
$600,000=10 Points
$700,000=12 Points
$800,000=14 Points

Graduation Rate

Return on investment doesn’t become a factor until the degree is complete. That’s why graduation rate of universities is key. Now this can be affected by numerous factors. More selective schools that accept only top students will have higher graduation rates than schools with open admittance or lower requirements. However, there are schools with high acceptance rates that manage to have high graduation rates, so the ability of the school to help struggling students succeed is a factor. We subtract one point from schools with below 50% graduation rate unless the school has open admittance or a high enough transfer-out rate to bring the number above 50%. However transfer out rate does not factor into the overall graduation rate because the students don’t graduate from that university.

Below 50%=-1 Point

70%=1 Point
75%=2 Points
80%=3 Points
85%=4 Points
90%=5 Points
95%=6 Points

Tuition

It doesn’t matter how great the return on investment is if you can’t afford the school. So tuition is important. It also contributes to which end of the average you are on for return on investment. The more you pay through loans, the lower your return will be because of interest and other factors. So while tuition may not be the most important factor when considering the value of a university, it is still important.

<$10,000=6 Points
<$15,000=5 Points
<$20,000=4 Points
<$25,000=3 Points
<$30,000=2 Points
<$35,000=1 Point

Below Average ($37,172) Student Loan Debt=3 Points

Students should always attempt to graduate with as little debt as possible. A school having lower than average student debt shows they are willing to help students find funding alternatives to loans, and keep the student debt low. Not all financial aid departments are created equal.

Sources

Information comes from either the website of each individual school or from the following sources.

College Navigator

Payscale

U.S. News and World Report

CVO Staff
May 2017

This has been a ranking of the best value Roman Catholic universities for 2017-2018.