Posted on January 4th, 2012 by Dave Guerin
Kiplinger, one of the nation’s most popular and respected personal finance publications, has named Louisiana Tech University one of the Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2011-2012.
This year’s rankings list Louisiana Tech along with LSU as the only public institutions in Louisiana to make the top 100. It is also the third time in the past four years that Tech has made Kiplinger’s Top 100 list.
“I am delighted that Kiplinger has once again recognized Louisiana Tech University as one of the nation’s top institutions for offering students an exceptional educational value,” says Louisiana Tech President Dan Reneau. “This distinction shows that our University has been successful in providing outstanding academic and research opportunities while, at the same time, being sensitive to the financial considerations of our students and their families.”
To calculate the rankings, the editors at Kiplinger start with data from more than 500 public four-year schools, provided by Peterson’s/Nelnet. The list is then narrowed down to about 120 schools based on measures of academic quality, including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates, which most schools reported for the class that entered in 2004.
This year, Kiplinger revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.
“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value’ becomes more significant than ever,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “This year’s top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices. We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality.”
According to the Kiplinger ranking report, the total cost of private colleges in the U.S. has averaged almost $39,000 a year – more than twice the average annual in-state sticker price, or roughly $17,000 for public schools.
“Value is about exceeding our students’ expectations,” says Reneau. “Louisiana Tech has been successful in this area and will continue to look for ways to provide our students with the best possible value and educational experience.”
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill topped the 2011-2012 list followed by the University of Florida, University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and New College of Florida. Kiplinger’s annual public school rankings will appear in their February 2012 issue and is also available online at www.kiplinger.com/links/college.