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If you want to get the most value out of your college degree, it might help to study one of these subjects. Keri Lumm reports. Buzz60

Graduation rates, cost, academic offerings, sports and the social scene are all factors to weigh when it comes to choosing a college.

Another aspect is also becoming increasingly more important — location.

A recent survey conducted by the University of California-Los Angeles’ Higher Education Research Institute found that more than half of freshmen at four-year colleges go to school within 100 miles of their home.

For price-conscious families looking for the best value in higher education, there are several options in the Lower Hudson Valley, according to Money magazine’s recently released “Best Colleges For Your Money” list.

Here’s how local colleges fared in the national rankings, their estimated cost for the upcoming school year, the average student debt and the average early career salary for their graduates. The overall national ranking combines educational quality, affordability, and alumni success.

Rockland

St. Thomas Aquinas College

  • National ranking: 188
  • Estimated 2018-19 cost: $48,800
  • Graduation rate: 60 percent
  • Average student debt: $22,500
  • Average early career salary: $46,800
  • National ranking: 568
  • Estimated 2018-19 cost: $46,700
  • Graduation rate: 43 percent
  • Average student debt: $26,000
  • Average early career salary: $47,800

Westchester

  • National ranking: 492
  • Estimated 2018-19 cost:  $72,000
  • Graduation rate: 82 percent
  • Average student debt: $13,500
  • Average early career salary: $47,600
  • National ranking: 482
  • Estimated 2018-19 cost: $57,200
  • Graduation rate: 68 percent
  • Average student debt: $26,000
  • Average early career salary: $52,000
  • National ranking: 576
  • Estimated 2018-19 cost: $27,000
  • Graduation rate: 62 percent
  • Average student debt: $22,500
  • Average early career salary: $45,500
  • National ranking: 640
  • Estimated 2018-19 cost: $38,200
  • Graduation rate: 40 percent
  • Average student debt: $23,700
  • Average early career salary: $44,300

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Hudson Valley’s ‘best colleges for your money’ in Money magazine rankings

Six schools in Rockland and Westchester counties included in Money magazine ranking.

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