In 2011, 45 percent of recent college grads were living with their parents. So for students hoping to graduate into a real job -- and a real apartment -- the question becomes how to get the biggest return on investment for their a college education while incurring the smallest possible debt.
College costs are rising, student loan debt is nearing $1 trillion, and money is still tight everywhere. So if you're a parents or a soon-to-matriculate student, you'll want to hear what the Princeton Review's Rob Franek has to say about the best value colleges of 2012.
Forbes Magazine's annual ranking of the 650 best undergraduate institutions focuses on the things that matter most to students, ignoring ephemeral measures like reputation. The fundamental question: Is it worth spending as much as a quarter of a million dollars for this degree?