This group fronts a new site that helps students research affordable, not-for-profit environmental science programs with a track record of student success.
The team (based in Washington, DC) just finished analyzing over 10 million data points related to the 5,000+ colleges and universities in the US, to find the ones that offer both financial accessibility (the lowest costs for low and middle income students, as well as flexibility in learning & credit), and positive outcomes.
The group focused on graduation/transfer rates and loan default rates, with the idea that completing one’s studies, and being able to pay back one’s loans, together form a reasonable baseline for a worthwhile college experience. They used some common data sources (like IPEDS & OPE), and some less common ones (like hand-compiled lists of schools that accept DSST and CLEP credit).
The results are published at their website, www.CollegeAffordabilityGuide.org, as well as a full description of our methodology (http://www.collegeaffordabilityguide.org/methodology/).
Their rankings of environmental science programs are here: http://www.collegeaffordabilityguide.org/subjects/environmental-science/.