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August 28, 2017

You've probably noticed a lot more 18- to 20-year olds around as college students head back to campus, but the vast majority of students in this country are actually older adults who have to balance coursework with work and family. That's why Washington Monthly magazine is out with a different kind of college ranking.

Unlike most college rankings, which crunch SAT scores and acceptance rates, Washington Monthly looks at what matters to adult learners.

Seton Hall higher education professor Robert Kelchen compiles the rankings.

"Are they the typical Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 3 pm classes? Or are there classes on evenings and weekends?” Kelchen explained. “We look at earnings for adult students and we look at the percentage of students who can repay their loans."

Kelchen says factors like that make a big difference to this under-appreciated market.

"Adults are a large and growing portion of American higher education, and frankly nobody is paying attention to this group of students," Kelchen said.

Schools in New England that scored well include Granite State College, Southern New Hampshire University and Bunker Hill Community College. UMass Amherst cracked the top 50.

Find the full ranking here.

Earlier: A New Kind Of College Ranking 

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