The reason is easy to discern: Cadets get free books and tuition.
The annual rankings, available in book form for $21.99, rate 150 colleges nationwide based on value. Military academies fared well, with the Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy also making the list.
While tuition at the Air Force Academy may be free, it’s not without cost. Cadets agree to serve in the military for five years or more after graduation and can go from their graduation ceremony to Afghanistan in a matter of months.
The academy is a perennial favorite in college rankings.
U.S. News listed the academy as the No. 3 Public School in America and No. 4 for undergraduate engineering programs.