TACOMA Wash. —Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has included Puget Sound in its 2014 list of the country’s best value liberal arts colleges.The national magazine’s annual list ranks 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges.
Puget Sound and the other schools included in the 2014 lists represent the colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost during these continued tough economic times, Kiplinger’s said. The colleges exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate, and a high four-year graduation rate.
Although private universities and colleges generally carry higher sticker prices than the in-state prices at public institutions, private colleges can actually be cheaper because of their generous financial aid, the magazine noted.
Puget Sound, for example, offers merit-based or need-based financial aid to more than 90 percent of its students. The college, with 2,600 undergraduate students and a student to faculty ratio of 12:1, offers a high-quality education in an environment where 99 percent of tenure-line faculty members hold the highest degree in their field and more than half of students do at least one internship.
“With President Obama’s recent emphasis on rating colleges and universities based on their value, our rankings serve as a valuable resource to help students and families make more informed choices,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Combining a high-quality education with an affordable price tag is a challenge, but the colleges on this year’s list offer the best of both worlds.”
Kiplinger’s rankings measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the cost side, Kiplinger’s measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation. Many of the schools on the top 200 list have appeared in Kiplinger’s rankings in previous years, demonstrating that these schools consistently deliver good value.
About Kiplinger : Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the Washington D.C.-based personal finance information company developed one of the nation's first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947 Kiplinger created the nation's first personal finance magazine. Kiplinger.com also offers online personal financial advice and information.
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