Continuing to impress with an outstanding, affordable education that helps students launch promising careers, Centre College has once again landed a spot among Money magazine’s list of the nation’s top 50 liberal arts colleges for best educational value.
This ranking echoes the “best value” accolades that the College has received elsewhere. Fiske recently named Centre as a “Best Buy” school, while Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked the College as #32 on its “Best Value Colleges” list. Ranking lists from Princeton Review, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report also include Centre among the best educational values in the nation.
Building on this reputation, Money magazine, in partnership with its parent company, Time magazine, also gives Centre high marks when examining those factors that matter most in determining “the biggest bang for the tuition buck.” The publication’s ranking methodology includes an analysis of educational quality factors such as affordability, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio and post-graduation outcomes.
When considering affordability, only three schools on Money’s list have a net degree price less than Centre, which comes at a cost of $122,428. Further, the College’s comprehensive fee is over $43,060 less than the average cost of $165,488 represented by the magazine’s top 50 listing.
With the College’s overall institutional aid totaling more than $25 million, Centre’s focus on affordability is among the most generous of any top national college—in fact, 90 percent of incoming first-year students receive aid. Merit-based awards such as the Grissom Scholars Program, which awards first-generation students full tuition, and need-based aid allow students to receive an extraordinary education without the fear of crippling debt.
Another factor that works to the College’s favor in value rankings is the Centre Commitment, which guarantees graduation in four years, a study abroad experience and a research or internship opportunity, provided a student meets academic and social expectations.
Recent graduation rates were 82 percent, which far exceeds the national average. In fact, Centre calculates four-year graduation rates, not the six-year rates used in most methodologies such as that of Money magazine.
Return on investment also may best be evidenced by the College’s alumni. Centre produces impressive outcomes and incredibly loyal graduates: 95 percent of students are employed or in advanced study within a year of graduation and are consistently ranked the happiest alumni in the nation.
With a faculty-student ratio of 10:1, students further point to the College’s personal education as a key component of the Centre Experience. Beyond the classroom, more than 85 percent of Centre students travel the world as part of the nation’s top-ranked study abroad program.
“The individual attention you receive as a student is unlike any other college experience and helped me make lifelong friends of both professors and peers,” a student told Money. “The study abroad program is also consistently ranked among the best in the nation. You cannot beat the Centre Experience.”
Learn more about Money’s Best Colleges rankings.
by Amy Clark Wise
August 3, 2015