Q:

My daughter is involved in applying to colleges. Like all parents, we are seeking the best value for our money. What colleges are most likely to meet our needs? -- Value Conscious

A:

The Princeton Review and USA TODAY compile a list of the "Best Value Colleges" every year. You can find a list of these schools in the book "The Best Value Colleges: The 150 Best-Buy Schools and What It Takes to Get In." Or you can see the list online at www.

bestvaluecolleges.usatoday.com. Here the list is broken down into the following categories for each school: undergraduate enrollment, in-state and out-of-state tuition, average freshman grant and average graduate debt.

At almost 100 of the 150 colleges on the 2013 list, the average freshman grant -- for applicants who qualify for aid -- is $10,000 or more. At the 75 private colleges, it's more than $32,000. You need to understand that these are grants -- not loans. A grant is money that does not need to be paid back.

You can find other lists online by searching for "best buy colleges." Plus, the 2014 edition of "The Best Value Colleges" will be available in February 2014.