Magazine ranks College a top value

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February 3, 2007

5:48 PM

The College is ranked third in the nation on Kiplinger’s 2007 Best Value rankings for public universities, up one slot from the previous year’s list.

p. Falling behind the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Florida, the College is just above the University of Virginia — a reversal from last year.

p. The entire list was compiled by collecting data concerning academics and finances from over 500 of the nation’s public schools.

p. “One of the comparisons families must make between a student’s available options for college is their expense. We know that [the College] provides an extraordinary value, and to the extent that the Kiplinger’s methodology bears that out, we obviously concur,” Dean of Admissions Henry Broaddus said.

p. The rankings, which seek to reward universities that are “academically strong as well as affordable,” are based on a two-part analysis. First, standards of academic quality, such as SAT/ACT scores, admission rates, freshman retention rates, student-faculty ratios and graduation rates, are used to eliminate the majority of the schools. The remaining schools are analyzed based on their cost and financial aid offerings.

p. Academic measures are given more weight than cost measures.
Broaddus cautioned that the list was not a comprehensive indicator of quality or value.

p. “Any effort to provide a formulaic measure for the relative cost and quality of an undergraduate education is flawed by definition. Quite simply, education is not merely a consumer commodity. More profoundly, academic standing can’t be measured as easily as cost,” Broaddus said.

p. Some of the College’s strongest assets included academic measures like SAT scores, acceptance rate, student to faculty ratio and graduation rate, despite the fact that the College’s costs, at $16,406 for in-state students and $32,964 for out-of-state students, were higher than those of other schools. After four years, the average graduate has incurred approximately $14,524 in debt, the magazine reported.

p. “Any time a third party offers an endorsement of [the College’s] excellence, that endorsement lends additional credibility to our communication with prospective students and their families about the opportunities William and Mary provides,” Broaddus said.
Other Virginia schools on the list include Virginia Tech, which ranked 18, University of Mary Washington, which ranked 20, and James Madison University, which ranked 21. George Mason University ranked 78th on the list of 100.

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