Virginia Tech earns a spot on The Princeton Review’s 2015 “College that Pay You Back” list.

The ranking, an expanded version of their “Best Value” ranking, highlights 200 universities that The Princeton Review says “stand out for their excellent academics, impressive career preparation services, and affordability to students with need.”

The Princeton Review also recognized Virginia Tech in two additional categories: No. 5 for “Best Alumni Network” and No. 13 for “Colleges that Pay You Back (Even if You’re Not Eligible for Need-Based Financial Aid).”

In order to be included in the guide, schools must be among “the nation’s academically best.”

“Virginia Tech offers diverse programs of study including some of our newest majors like water, public relations, real estate, microbiology, and nanoscience that are in high demand by employers,” said Rachel Holloway, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs. “Our innovative faculty members engage students in a hands-on, minds-on approach to learning through experiences such as applied community-based projects, undergraduate research, and education abroad. Students also have rich opportunities to enhance their education through internships, co-op experiences, and co-curricular activities.”

The revamped ranking methodology combines academic strengths with affordability and success of graduates, including salaries and job satisfaction.

The cost to attend Virginia Tech remains among the lowest for annual tuition and fees in the commonwealth at $12,017 for in-state students and $28,048 for out-of-state students. To offset costs, 78 percent of Virginia Tech students receive some form of financial aid, with the aid award to undergraduates averaging $16,033 in 2013-14.

“We actively look for ways to help offset the costs to attend Virginia Tech, especially considering our land-grant mission to expand access to higher education,” said Wanda Hankins Dean, vice provost for enrollment and degree management. “Our Presidential Scholarship Initiative, Presidential Campus Enrichment Grant, and Funds for the Future are some of our flagship financial aid programs to help high-achieving students meet their educational goals.”

After graduation, most Virginia Tech students progress to either graduate school or a career. In a survey of 2013-14 graduates, Virginia Tech Career Services found 60 percent had jobs or job offers, while 23 percent planned to continue their education. The post-graduation survey also found a salary median of $53,000 for students with a job.

Virginia Tech Career Services has surveyed the university’s graduates for more than 35 years. “Our survey allows our prospective students, current students, and their families to look at comparable data to make informed decisions about Virginia Tech’s return on investment, potential career paths and employers, and methods for finding employment upon graduation,” said Donna Ratcliffe, director of Career Services. The data shows information for the university as a whole, but can also be sorted by college and major.

The Princeton Review used salary and job satisfaction data from as part of their methodology for this ranking.

In the new ranking book, The Princeton Review said, “Virginia Tech’s high-quality education and low tuition make this school an excellent investment.” The full list is available on their website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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