(NEXSTAR) – As the cost of higher education rises, it may be even more important to you to know you’re getting your money’s worth.

After updating its methodology, Niche released a new ranking Monday of the “best value” colleges in the country, including one from southwest Virginia.

This year, Niche says it dropped outdated data sets and adopted new ways to evaluate whether a school is considered a good value, such as earnings one year after graduation, percent of graduates employed two years post-graduation, and how quickly alumni’s wages are growing.

Niche’s new calculations land elite colleges at the top of its “best value” list, including several Ivy League schools and prestigious technology institutes.

While these schools may be a “good value” for graduates who land high-paying jobs, none of the top schools are considered cheap. The California Institute of Technology in Southern California, which ranks No. 1 on Niche’s list, has a stunningly high estimated cost of attending per year: $83,598 when you factor in tuition, room and board, and books. (The school reports about half of undergraduate attendees are receiving some amount of need-based financial aid.)

Few public colleges rank among the list of best value schools despite their typically lower prices. Georgia Institute of Technology is the highest ranking public school in the country on the list at No. 15. In-state tuition at the school is $10,258, but jumps up to $31,370 for non-Georgians.

Below are the top 25 schools on Niche’s list of “Best Value Colleges in America.”

RankSchoolState
1California Institute of TechnologyCA
2Harvey Mudd CollegeCA
3Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMA
4Stanford UniversityCA
5Princeton UniversityNJ
6Harvard UniversityMA
7Rice UniversityTX
8Yale UniversityCT
9Claremont McKenna CollegeCA
10University of PennsylvaniaPA
11Pomona CollegeCA
12Duke UniversityNC
13Carnegie Mellon UniversityPA
14Amherst CollegeMA
15Georgia Institute of TechnologyGA
16Dartmouth CollegeNH
17Georgetown UniversityDC
18Williams CollegeMA
19University of Notre DameIN
20Colorado School of MinesCO
21Washington and Lee UniversityVA
22Northwestern UniversityIL
23Lehigh UniversityPA
24Vanderbilt UniversityTN
25Washington University in St. LouisMO

Find Niche’s full ranking of schools on their site.

With the cost of attending school so high, it’s easy to see why so many end up with hefty student loans. Tens of millions of Americans are about to see their bills drop by $10,000 or $20,000 after President Joe Biden announced his long-awaited student loan forgiveness plan last week.

When exactly the loan forgiveness will be issued is still a work in progress, but the Biden administration says it will be made available before the payment pause ends at the end of the year.