Princeton Review rates Centre one of nation’s “Best Value Colleges”
February 9, 2012 By Michael Strysick, Director of Communications
has included Centre on its list of the nation’s top 75 best-buy
Centre is the only private college in Kentucky to make the
Princeton Review's list of “Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition,”
and Kentucky is one of just 37 states represented.
In its just released “Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition,” Princeton Review has included Centre College on its list of the nation’s top 75 best-buy private colleges. Centre is the only private college in Kentucky to make the list, and Kentucky is one of just 37 states represented.
“Centre College remains committed to being a place of high achievement and high opportunity,” said John A. Roush, Centre’s president since 1998, “and this recent ranking affirms our efforts. We seek the best and brightest, irrespective of economic background, and are dedicated to keeping costs down and offering financial aid to make a Centre education affordable to those who meet our academic qualifications.”
News about the 2012 edition first appeared in a Feb. 7 front-page story in USA Today written by reporter Mary Beth Marklein, who interviewed Roush and University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman for her article. Marklein cast her story against the backdrop of President Barack Obama’s recent comments about higher education during his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, where he stressed the need for affordability and accountability. Obama subsequently visited the University of Michigan to expand his ideas.
Marklein cites Roush in her article as saying, “The key issue is whether institutions can keep costs down while raising the quality of their education.” She then goes on to praise Centre for tuition that is below the national average and need-based grants that average $24,000.
The Princeton Review selected its “Best Value Colleges” schools based on institutional data and student opinion surveys collected from 650 colleges and universities that it regards as the nation’s best undergraduate institutions academically. The selection process analyzed more than 30 data points broadly covering academics, cost and financial aid.
According to Bob Nesmith, dean of admission and student financial planning, Centre commits more than $22 million annually to financial assistance, and more than 85 percent of first-year students receive aid or scholarships, representing a broad range of financial backgrounds. Eighteen percent of current Centre students also receive Pell Grants, available expressly to low-income students, and this percentage puts Centre among the nation’s leaders for top-ranked colleges.
In addition, Centre has raised tuition minimally in recent years and is determined to keep increases at a minimum for the foreseeable future. Centre has also worked to improve quality during the same period by making curricular changes to offer new minors in global commerce and Latin American studies, hiring a full-time Chinese professor and creating a recent partnership with the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt partnership enables Centre students to earn both an M.Ed. degree and professional education licensure.
The “Best Value Colleges” guide also includes profiles of its top schools, and in a section titled “Why students love Centre College,” the Princeton Review shares some of the feedback received from the student opinion surveys.
“Students are taught by ‘extremely passionate and dedicated professors,’” the guidebook quotes one student as saying. “Teachers are ‘kind, supportive, caring and are always available for help outside the classroom,’ and they make ‘an effort to work one-on-one with you if necessary,’” say others. Ultimately, the Princeton Review editors conclude, “Students love this combination of global, local and personal learning.”
In addition to the recently published print version of the “Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition,” the top schools list is also available online on the USA Today website.
The Mary Beth Marklein USA Today article is available here.
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.