For the fourth year in a row, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has topped the list of one study’s list of best value colleges in Arizona.
The university, based in Prescott, beat out Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff for the honor, bestowed upon it by SmartAsset. The study has been conducted for the past seven years.
The study’s "Best Value Colleges" is determined by five factors: tuition, student living costs, scholarship and grant offerings, student retention rate and starting salaries for recent graduates. All five factors are weighed against one another to create the College Education Value Index that determined the ranking.
Embry-Riddle came out with an index of 57.03, far surpassing ASU’s 49.84. UArizona and NAU earned 49.34 and 40.38 points, respectively.
While the aeronautical university costs $35,654 per year in tuition for in-state students, Embry-Riddle exceeded Arizona’s other higher education institutions in the average scholarships or grants given, and the average starting salary for new graduates.
The school gives out an average of over $20,000 per year to students who go on to earn an average of $69,200 directly out of college.
While student living costs in Prescott are high at $17,392, the student retention rate is solid at 83%. But Embry-Riddle was bested in that category by ASU, which has a retention rate of 88%.
NAU also boasted the lowest student living costs out of the Arizona colleges included in the study, with a total of $15,702 to go to school in Flagstaff. However, it also had the lowest salary for graduating students with an average of $50,900 per year.
Embry-Riddle operates one other campus in the U.S. in Daytona Beach, Fla.