Centre College again lauded by Princeton Review as one of nation’s “best values”

Posted by Centre News in News, Rankings 04 Feb 2016

old centre fallPrinceton Review has once again ranked Centre College one of the nation’s “best value” colleges in its annual publication, “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.”

Forty data points were used to calculate return on investment (ROI), focusing not just on academic quality and cost but also outcomes data for graduation rates, salaries and job satisfaction.

Centre is among a strong cohort of institutions that represents a veritable who’s who of the nation’s top colleges and universities, including places like Cal Tech, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Duke, Amherst and the Ivy Leagues.

The ranking echoes “best value” honors from other leading publications and guidebooks such as Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Money magazines, as well as U.S. News & World Report.

Princeton Review also used data from PayScale.com, which recently began its own ranking based on early- and mid-career median salaries. On that list, Centre came in at #1 in Kentucky among all colleges and universities, public or private, and #50 in the nation among best liberal arts colleges.

“Making a high quality and affordable education available to talented young men and women is not a fad at Centre College,” President John A. Roush said. “It has been our commitment for nearly 200 years and remains something of a compass or guiding star for all that we do.”

With a current $200 million capital campaign devoted primarily to endowment gifts in support of student scholarships and financial aid, Centre is well positioned, Roush said, “to remain a place of excellence and opportunity.” In all, the Third Century Campaign targets $130 million just for this purpose.

Roush added, “Private higher education should not be a privilege for the privileged.”

The College’s current endowment combined with generous donations continue to help make a Centre education affordable, providing annual institutional aid in excess of $25 million for the student body of 1,400. That amount grows each year, and Centre’s Board of Trustees recently approved an institutional aid budget of $27,648,000 for the 2016-2017 academic year.

New full-tuition-plus and full-cost-plus scholarship programs for first-generation (Grissom Scholars) and highly exceptional students (Lincoln Scholars) complement the existing full-cost-plus Brown Fellows Program along with Posse and Bonner scholars programs.

With a current comprehensive fee (including tuition, room and board) currently under $50,000, Centre remains an outlier among its top-50 peers across the nation that are well beyond $60,000 and quickly approaching $70,000 in annual costs.

In all, approximately 85 percent of the current Centre first-year class receives financial aid or a scholarship, and 50 percent of the incoming class earned a competitive merit scholarship.

Complete information about the 2016 Princeton Review “Colleges That Pay You Back” ranking is available here.

by Michael Strysick
February 4, 2016