Check Out Edmit Hidden Gem Colleges: A New Way to Evaluate Colleges

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Edmit Hidden Gem colleges highlight affordability, quality of degree programs, and student outcomes.

Top-notch four-year degree programs. Great graduation rates. High job placement rates. Manageable student loan debt.

Nope, we’re not talking about Ivy League or Big 10 colleges (although those are all fine choices, no doubt). No, we’re here to introduce you, students and parents, to Edmit Hidden Gem Colleges—our picks for lesser-known universities and colleges that are top performers when evaluated as investments.

Did you know there are more than 3,000 four-year colleges around the United States? Chances are the Edmit Hidden Gems will include quite a few schools you’ve never heard of beforebut we think are worth a look. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be profiling these schools, speaking to admissions and financial aid counselors, students, and alumni, to give you a better sense of the range of college choices out thereand help you find the right college for your goals, budget, and career plans.

How Does a College or University Get Chosen as an Edmit Hidden Gem?

“We’re developing a new way to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of college,” says Edmit cofounder Nick Ducoff. “We're subtracting the estimated total costs of college over four years from total earnings over 14 years following graduation to determine net earnings after college. For costs, Edmit takes into account net tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses to determine the total cost of college over four years. For earnings, Edmit takes into account average earnings from graduation until mid-career, or 14 years following graduation.”

So in order to be classified as an Edmit Hidden Gem College, a college or university must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a high ROI, based on our Edstimate™  
  • Demonstrate a dedication to sustaining that high ROI for incoming students (e.g., affordability, good graduation and job placement rates)
  • Be less “prestigious” nationally (e.g., not be top-ranked in U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges. We exclude the top 25 national universities and top 25 liberal arts colleges from our Hidden Gems series.)

At heart, Edmit Hidden Gem Colleges give students and parents a new data set to evaluate universities and collegesa market-driven, value-centered approach to choosing a college. An Edmit Hidden Gem College excels at retention over recognition. Starting salaries over selectivity. Affordability over accolades.

Edmit helps you compare the investment value of the colleges on your list. Sign up for a free account:


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In short, Edmit Hidden Gem Colleges are great valuesplaces where education, career preparation, and price work in concert to set students up for real-world success. Check back here over the coming weeks to read the Hidden Gem College profiles, or subscribe and get each post delivered right to your inbox when you sign up for our email list.

Have a recommendation for a Hidden Gem college? We want to hear them! Tweet your suggestions to @EdmitEDU or email us at

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