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Special Reports

Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 Best Buys

       FiskeBestBuy 2015

For more than 30 years, the #1 bestselling Fiske Guide to Colleges has chosen a select group of schools, noted for quality academic offerings and affordable cost, for its annual Best Buy list.

The tradition continues with the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015, comprised of 22 public and 22 private colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

Former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske takes several factors into account when determining which institutions are Best Buys, including:

  • four-or five-star academic ratings,
  • inexpensive or moderate price category,
  • and quality of student life on campus.


How Best Buy Schools Are Selected

As Edward Fiske explains in the Fiske Guide 2015:

One of the lesser-known facts of life about higher education in the U.S. is that price and quality do not always go hand in hand. The college or university with the jumbo price tag may or may not offer a better education than the institution across town with much lower tuition. The relationship between the cost paid by the consumer and the quality of the education is affected by factors ranging from the size of an institution’s endowment to calculations by college officials about what the market will bear.

In the face of today’s skyrocketing tuition rates, students and families in all economic circumstances are looking for ways to get the best value for their education dollar. Fortunately, there are some bargains along the way. The Fiske Guide has an “Index by Price” that groups public and private institutions into four price categories, from inexpensive to very expensive. We also go one step further and suggest a number of schools that offer outstanding academics with relatively modest prices. This year we have designated 44 such institutions—22 public and 22 private—as Best Buys.

All of our Best Buys fall into the inexpensive or moderate price category, and most have four- or five-star academic ratings. But there are bargains to be found among all levels and types of institutions. For example, some of the best values in American higher education are public colleges and universities that have remained relatively small and offer the smaller classes and personalized approach to academics that are typically found only in expensive private liberal arts colleges. Several of these are included as Best Buys.

Featured 2015 Best Buys

Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 features this year’s 44 Best Buy institutions:


Arizona State University

University of Edinburgh (UK)

The Evergreen State University

University of Florida

Indiana University

University of Iowa

Iowa State University

University of Mary Washington

University of Maryland Baltimore County

New College of Florida

University of North Carolina Asheville

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

North Carolina State University

Ohio University

Purdue University

University of St. Andrews (UK)

SUNY–University at Buffalo

SUNY–College of Geneseo

University of Texas at Austin

University of Toronto (Can)

Trinity College Dublin (Ire)

University of Wisconsin–Madison


Adelphi University

Alfred University

Austin College

Baylor University

Brigham Young University

California Institute of Technology

Cooper Union

Deep Springs College

Elon University

Goucher College

Morehouse College

Mount Holyoke College

Olin College of Engineering

Rice University

College of St. Benedict and St. John's University

University of the South (Sewanee)

Southwestern University

Spelman College

Syracuse University

Trinity University (TX)

Warren Wilson College

Xavier University of Louisiana


For Fiske’s signature profiles of the 322 best and most interesting colleges and universities, check out the Fiske Guide to Colleges book, interactive online program, and iPad app.



Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 by Edward B. Fiske

The #1 bestselling college guide, from the top name in college admissions!

For more than 30 years, this leading guide to more than 300 colleges and universities has been an indispensable source of information for college-bound students and their parents. Hip, honest and straightforward, Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 delivers an insider's look at the academic climates and the social and extracurricular scenes at the "best and most interesting" schools in the U.S., plus Canada and Great Britain.



The Fiske Guide to Colleges includes:

  • Fiske's exclusive academic, social, and quality-of-life ratings
  • The 40+ schools that deliver the best education at the most reasonable costs
  • Lists of each school's strongest majors and programs
  • Candid tips from each school's current students
  • A self-quiz to help students understand which college is right for them
  • Vital information on how to apply
  • "Overlap" listings to help students expand their options






Fiske Interactive Online and iPad App


Get the Fiske quality you count on in the format you want. Whether you prefer a computer, iPad, Kindle, or Nook, you can still read your Fiske at your desk, on your couch, or on the go. These easy-to-use and easy-to-love digital products make your Fiske searchable and customizable.

  • Featuring full-color campus photos
  • Easy-to-use, customizable, and searchable
  • Personalize, with notes and lists of your own
  • Link directly to school websites


Download on the App Store