Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has named University of Puget Sound in its 2017 list of the country’s Top 300 Best College Values.
The national independent liberal arts college also earned a spot in the magazine’s list of 100 Best Values in Private Liberal Arts Colleges. The annual recognition selects 300 schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost. The list includes public universities, private schools, and private liberal arts colleges.
“There’s no way around it: College is expensive, and it’s going to stay that way for a long time,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “So, with our rankings—which weigh affordability alongside academic quality—our goal is to help students and their parents understand what’s really worth the price. While some may have ranked higher than others, all 300 schools on the list are of extraordinary value, being chosen out of a universe of 1,200.”
Kiplinger assesses value by measurable standards of academic quality and affordability—the same key attributes that most parents and students look for in higher education. Quality measures, which are weighted more heavily than cost, include the admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio, and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include the sticker price, financial aid, and average debt at graduation.
Although private universities and colleges generally have higher tuition than public institutions, Kiplinger notes, they also can offer generous financial aid packages that greatly reduce the cost. At the same time, liberal arts colleges offer the advantage of smaller class sizes and accessible professors.
Puget Sound, for example, offers merit-based and/or need-based financial aid to approximately 90 percent of its students. The college, with 2,600 students from around the country and overseas and a student to faculty ratio of 11:1, offers a high-quality education in an environment where all tenure-line faculty members hold a doctorate or equivalent degree. The school is ranked in the top 5 percent of colleges for students who go on to earn doctoral degrees. Puget Sound has been on Kiplinger’s “best value” list nearly every year since the magazine named the Top 100 liberal arts colleges in 2011.
Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the Washington, D.C.-based personal finance information company developed one of the nation’s first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947 Kiplinger created the nation’s first personal finance magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
– University of Puget Sound