For the 12th year in a row, Centre College has been rated among the best values in American higher education by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, coming in the top 50 overall at #36 among all the nation’s colleges and universities.
Among liberal arts colleges alone, Centre is ranked #19, in the company of schools like Swarthmore, Pomona, Williams and Vassar. In the South, Centre is ranked #4, just below Davidson College, Washington and Lee University, and the University of Richmond.
As proof of its continuing efforts at strengthening access and opportunity, in one year alone, Centre improved from #62 to #36 overall and from #34 to #19 among its peer liberal arts colleges.
The Kiplinger’s methodology starts with data from nearly 1,200 public and private four-year schools, provided by Peterson’s. Next, the list is narrowed to the top schools based on measures of academic quality, including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios and four-year graduation rates. Top schools are then ranked using cost and financial aid measures, with academic quality carrying more weight than costs.
On the component of quality, in regards to four-year graduation rates, Centre excels in this area with an average rate in the mid-80 percent range. The College’s first-year retention rates in the low-90 percent range and a student-faculty ratio of 10-to-1 also strengthen the quality measures that Kiplinger’s calculates.
Cost factors begin with total price tags, and here Centre remains an outlier, due to its now six-year commitment to keep annual increases at or below three percent. On average, Centre is $12,230 less than the other top 50 colleges and universities. A total of 90 percent of students receive financial aid.
Along with Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review, Forbes, Money magazine and U.S. News have all ranked Centre as “best value,” with high return on investment.
by Kerry Steinhofer
December 22, 2017