Princeton Review names Centre national best value
RELEASED: January 8, 2009
Centre President John Roush sees this latest analysis as part of a continuing pattern of positive regard for the College:"Any individual ranking or listing will be subjective in many ways, but our recognition as one of the nation’s 50 best-value private colleges or universities—a group that includes Princeton, Harvard and Stanford—is another illustration that wherever you look Centre is among the leaders in American higher education," he says. "The exceptional value of the learning experience we offer has also been noted by US News and Kiplinger's, among others, and Consumers Digest ranks Centre as the No. 1 value among the nation’s liberal arts colleges.” (Read Roush's college rankings op-ed)
One of America's most widely known education services and test-prep companies, The Princeton Review teamed up with USA TODAY to present The Princeton Review's 100 "Best Value Colleges for 2009."
The "Best Value" colleges list features 50 public and 50 private colleges and universities. Institutions are selected as "best value" choices for 2009 based on surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities. The selection criteria covers more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, cost of attendance, and financial aid, using the most recently reported data from each institution for its 2007-08 academic year.
Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review VP-Publisher, "We have always believed finding the 'best fit' college should be the foremost goal for student applicants and their families. But the economic crisis and financial downturn have presented sobering challenges both to families struggling to afford college and to higher education institutions struggling to maintain their programs in the face of budget and funding shortfalls. We are pleased to partner with USA TODAY to present these schools for all they are doing to provide outstanding academics at a relatively low cost of attendance and/or generous financial aid." (Read article on the economic downturn and students' college decision.)
Visitors to The Princeton Review's and USA TODAY's websites can access the complete lists of the 50 private and 50 public "best value colleges." USA TODAY’s website features an interactive map where visitors can explore criteria including cost of attendance and financial aid data, enrollment size, and The Princeton Review's analysis of why each school was chosen as a "Best Value" college.
The Princeton Review's commentary on Centre made special note of the College's outstanding academic quality:
"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's location in Danville is also cited as a positive influence in the ranking:
"The surrounding town of Danville (population: 18,000) is a nice place to spend four years; it’s been touted as one of the nation’s outstanding small towns by Time magazine. When students feel the occasional urge to get away, they head to Lexington or Louisville, both within easy driving distance.
Generous financial aid, due in large part to the loyalty and support of Centre's alumni, was also a significant factor:
"Centre alumni are extraordinarily loyal (perhaps because they’re also extraordinarily successful). Year after year, the percentage of alumni who find it in their hearts to contribute to the old alma mater is among the highest of all undergraduate institutions in the United States. All of this support from past graduates allows Centre to offer generous scholarships and financial aid, and to keep tuition and other charges reasonably low in the first place. The amount of need-based financial aid and the number of merit scholarships easily make Centre one of the most generous national liberal arts colleges around. Centre provides over $10 million in financial aid. Each year, more than 85 percent of all incoming students receive some form of financial assistance. More than 60 percent of Centre students receive need-based financial aid."
And Centre's dedication to timely, personal education also earned high marks:
"There’s also the Centre Commitment, which guarantees every student a study abroad opportunity, an internship, and graduation in four years, or they get up to an additional year of study tuition-free. A whopping 97 percent of Centre’s graduates complete their degrees in four years. Specific programs include Presidential Scholarships, which cover full tuition for four years. The Centre Fellows Program also provides generous scholarship dollars for four years. (To be eligible, [students] need to graduate in the top 5 percent of [their] high school class, take a strong college prep curriculum, demonstrate extracurricular dedication, and meet a minimum requirement for SAT or ACT scores.) [Students] from South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, or Tennessee listen up: Centre will match 100 percent of your state’s public university scholarship programs. So, essentially, your Bright Futures Scholarships, your HOPE Scholarships, and your TOPS Scholarships are good at Centre College."
In addition, Centre also is ranked by Kiplinger magazine as a top-30 best value among national liberal arts colleges and is the only Kentucky institution to make the list. Centre is ranked among the U.S. News and World Report top 50 national liberal arts colleges, the highest national ranking of any Kentucky institution. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 13th in the nation among all colleges and universities.
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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.
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