Centre College a top “College That Pays You Back” according to Princeton Review

Posted by Centre News in News, Rankings 06 Feb 2015

Centre College Campus Fall 2014Princeton Review has once again added Centre College to its list of “Colleges That Pay You Back,” an exclusive ranking that includes only 200 colleges and universities nationwide.

The accolade complements similar “best value” rankings Centre receives continuously from sources such as U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

According to Princeton Review, colleges that “pay you back” share three characteristics: stellar academics, affordable cost (via low sticker price or generous financial aid) and strong career prospects for graduates.

For its newly redesigned annual ranking, Princeton Review has created a unique “Return-on-Education” (ROE) rating that evaluates 40 data points, measuring factors such as academics, cost, financial aid, student debt and alumni salaries. Centre scored an 88 ROE rating.

This achievement comes as no surprise to President John A. Roush, who has been insistent throughout his 16 years as president that Centre be a place of high achievement and high opportunity.

“The American dream is alive and well at Centre College,” Roush said, “and we remain committed to making an exceptional, high-touch and highly residential education available to those who come to our campus.”

During Roush’s tenure, the College’s reputation and academic profile have increased at the same time that affordability has strengthened.

More than 90 percent of students receive some form of aid, for instance, and approximately 65 percent receive need-based aid.

In addition, annual cost increases have been held at or below 3 percent for the past several years and will continue this low into the foreseeable future. Over the last decade-and-a-half, student institutional aid has increased dramatically as well, from approximately $6.5 million to $25 million. The endowment has also grown during this period, from about $150 to $275 million.

College affordability is a key component of Centre’s recently announced $200 million Third Century Campaign, whose overall goal includes $130 million in support of student scholarships and financial aid.

As part of the campaign, Centre has announced several major gifts that will fund two new premier scholarships.

The Grissom Scholars Program, for first-generation college students, offers full tuition and $5,000 in educational enrichment funds for study abroad, internships and research. The Lincoln Scholars Program, a full-ride-plus scholarship for students who want to change the world, covers full tuition, room and board, books, fees and $10,000 in educational enrichment funds.

By 2019, a total of 160 students, some 11 percent of Centre’s overall student body, will be on full-tuition scholarships or better. Besides the Grissom and Lincoln programs at 40 students each per year, 80 students per year are already receiving similarly generous scholarships through Centre’s Brown Fellows and Posse Scholars programs.

Complete information about Princeton Review’s 2015 “Colleges That Pay You Back” ranking is available here.

by Michael Strysick

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