As student debt levels continue to rise, reevaluates issues of affordability in college rankings, highlighting return on investment, instead of cost.

August 30, 2017 (Seattle, WA) -, a leading provider of independent higher education rankings and college planning guides, announced today the launch of their annual college affordability rankings for online education. The rankings collection, spanning 20 different degree levels and subject specializations, is the latest effort from to address the nation's growing student debt problem. It will be joined next week by a series of essays covering the complex issues surrounding college loans.

"At we hear first-hand about the financial and personal toll higher education costs have on young people, families, faculty, and administrators, and we want to do something to change that," said Stephanie Snider, General Manager of the site. "Our affordability rankings are intended to give students a launching point for finding an online degree program that will give them a quality education, without burdening them with debt for years to come."

To better evaluate a school's affordability, complimented the IPEDS data traditionally used to calculate their rankings with select data from College Scorecard. Both data sets are maintained by the National Center for Educational Statistics. The new data points — average loan payment and average salary after graduation — build on the previous methodology that ranked based on net price, loan default rates, percentage of students taking unsubsidized loans, and graduation rate.

"Affordability is a much more nuanced issue than cost alone. If you don't have to take out student loans to go to college, but can't get a job after you graduate, that's a similar problem to having a job after graduation with loans to repay. The College Scorecard data really allows us to evaluate the full return on investment for a student, not just the initial cost or loan amounts, but how students are doing after getting their online degree from a university. Can they find jobs? Can they afford to pay their loans back?" added Snider.

To view the complete collection of affordability rankings, please visit:

Samples of the affordability rankings:

Top five schools from each list of twenty-five shown

Most Affordable Online Colleges

  1. Brigham Young University-Idaho
  2. University of Florida
  3. Thomas Edison State University
  4. University of Central Florida
  5. Utah State University

To view the rest of the ranking visit:

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's of Education

  1. Western Governors University
  2. Bellevue University
  3. Brandman University
  4. Park University
  5. University of North Carolina Wilmington

To view the rest of the ranking visit:

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's of Health Science

  1. Arizona State University
  2. Bellevue University
  3. Azusa Pacific University College
  4. Texas Woman's University
  5. Rutgers University-New Brunswick

To view the rest of the ranking visit:

Most Affordable Online Master's Degree Programs

  1. Texas A & M University-College Station
  2. Purdue University
  3. University of Florida
  4. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
  5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

To view the rest of the ranking visit:

Most Affordable Online Community Colleges

  1. Wayne Community College
  2. McHenry County College
  3. Cochise County Community College District
  4. Prince George's Community College
  5. Norwalk Community College

To view the rest of the ranking visit:

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