Money Magazine: Niagara University Offers Best Return on Investment in Buffalo-Niagara Region

September 9, 2016  |  by Michael Freedman

Money magazine has ranked Niagara University as the best college or university in the Buffalo-Niagara region when it comes to delivering the most value for a student’s educational dollar.

Niagara was the highest-ranked college or university in the area in the magazine’s “2016 Best Colleges” study, which evaluated roughly 2,000 schools on 24 measures of educational quality, affordability and graduate outcomes. Only 705 schools made the list.

Colleges are judged on how much families really pay after financial aid, how many students go on to graduate and how well those graduates fare in the workplace according to salary data collected by

The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University, has placed an emphasis on affordability for students at NU. Last year alone, Niagara awarded more than $43 million in grants and scholarships.

“Niagara University’s high placement in the Money magazine rankings reflects our institution-wide prioritization on affordability, outstanding education and graduate outcomes,” said Father Maher. “At Niagara, we are committed to being accountable to our students and their families by pairing young people with exceptional faculty members who serve as mentors in an excellent, supportive academic and social environment. The incredible success that our alumni enjoy after graduation is a testament to the power of a Niagara University education.”

Another major component of the rankings was Money magazine’s “comparative value” scores, which assess how well students at each school fare compared with those at other schools where the students who attend come from similar academic and economic backgrounds. By controlling for the types of students that colleges admit and seeing how well they do after graduation, the rankings judge how much of a contribution the college made to their success in the years in between. For similar reasons, the rankings also adjust earnings data to account for the mix of majors at each school.

The College Scorecard, a new federal website with information on alumni earnings and loan repayment rates, also supplied data this year. Money magazine incorporated the Scorecard’s findings on earnings, debt levels and repayment rates into its methodology.

To see the full results, please visit The methodology behind the rankings is available at

  • Dr. Tenpao Lee

    MONEY’s Best Colleges

    Here’s how MONEY determined which of the roughly 2,000 four-year U.S. colleges and universities deliver the most value—that is, a great education, at an affordable price, that prepares students for rewarding careers.

    MONEY screened out schools with graduation rates below the median, financial difficulties, or fewer than 500 undergraduates. The remaining 705 colleges were ranked on 24 factors in three categories: educational quality, affordability, and alumni success.

    Plus, MONEY measured comparative value, by assessing how well students at each school did vs. what’s expected for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds, and the college’s mix of majors.

    Overall MONEY Rank and College Name

    Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

    University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

    Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
    135 Niagara University, Niagara University, NY
    150 University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
    428 Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
    431 St. Bonaventure University, Saint Bonaventure, NY