||Centre widely recognized for providing value
RELEASED: November 19, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY—2009 is not a year to be frivolous about spending.
And as high school seniors begin compiling their admissions essays, financial aid applications and letters of recommendation, they cannot ignore the reality that a college education sometimes doesn't come cheap.
Yet, as Centre director of admission Bob Nesmith says, paying for college "is not simply a purchase, like a car. It's an investment in your own potential. The return on that investment will come over a much longer period of time than just during your undergraduate years."
Centre alumni and current students alike know that an investment in a Centre College education is a wise one. And countless publications agree; Centre is consistently rated one of the best values in liberal arts colleges in America.
In fact, Consumers Digest lists Centre as the No. 1 value in the nation among private liberal arts colleges.
In order to determine the educational value of colleges and universities, Consumers Digest compares academic excellence (including standardized test scores, high school rank and grade point average of entering first-year students, as well as the school's acceptance rate) with the quality of education offered (student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate and percentage of faculty holding a Ph.D. or other terminal degree).
In addition to being ranked No. 1 in the magazine's "Top-25 Best Liberal Arts Values" list, Centre is the only Kentucky institution to appear in that list.
In August 2009, Forbes magazine—which ranked Centre 14th among all U.S. colleges and universities— also ranked the College No. 14 on its list of 200 schools called "America's Best College Buys."
That same month, U.S. News & World Report included Centre on its 2010 "Great Colleges, Great Prices" list, in the No. 25 spot.
Centre also maintained its place among U.S. News's top-50 national liberal arts colleges in the nation. Centre is No. 46 among liberal arts colleges (in a three-way tie with Skidmore College and Dickinson College) and remains the highest nationally ranked Kentucky college or university by a wide margin.
Centre was also named to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's February and December 2009 lists of best value colleges. In both issues of the magazine, Centre is ranked 29th among all U.S. private liberal arts colleges.
Among these rankings, which were divided into two lists (top-50 best values in private universities and top-50 best values in private liberal arts colleges), Centre was the only Kentucky institution listed.
Other publications lauding Centre's value are The Princeton Review and USA Today, who collaborated to present the 100 "Best Value Colleges for 2009." Centre is the only Kentucky institution to make the list.
In the college guidebook's commentary, the writer said that "an intense academic atmosphere and personal interaction between students and their impressively dedicated professors are highlights at Centre College. Centre's rigorous core curriculum ensures that [students] don't leave without the ability to think critically, speak publicly, and write thoughtfully."
Centre is able to offer its students plenty of financial aid because the College's alumni remain remarkably dedicated to giving back to their alma mater.
In fact, Centre's programs of need-based financial aid and merit scholarships are among the most generous of any top national college. Each year, the College commits more than $12 million to financial assistance, and approximately 85 percent of this year's first-year class is receiving some form of financial aid.
"It's important to make sure and understand the difference between the comprehensive fee of a college and the net price that a student is responsible for after scholarships, grants and loans are applied," says J. Carey Thompson, vice president for enrollment and student planning services. "It's the net price that's actually important."
Thompson adds that "it's also important for a family to have a sense of the student’s potential to graduate in four years. It's not a bargain for a student to attend a less expensive college if it takes five or six years to graduate, especially when one considers lost income in the equation. The trouble is that most students and parents don’t think that they are the ones who will have trouble graduating on time. The problem comes when a college doesn’t offer the needed courses in a timely way or doesn’t offer enough sections of a needed course. The student, regardless of how talented he or she is, can't graduate on time through no fault of their own."
This problem does not occur at Centre. In fact, the Centre Commitment guarantees all students who meet the College’s academic and social expectations an internship, study abroad and graduation in four years--or the College will provide up to an additional year of study tuition-free. (The Centre Commitment also provides a passport to entering students who don't have one—free of charge.)
"Centre is a great value," Thompson says, "because we offer a very personal education with attentive faculty and advisors, a student-oriented administration and staff, one of the country’s most attractive campuses with great facilities, the Centre Commitment, and a comprehensive fee and net price to students that is thousands less than most other similar schools."
Click here to find out more about the College's generous program of financial aid and scholarships.
To read what others—including a former U.S. president and a Supreme Count justice—have said about Centre, click here.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422