Puget Sound a “Best Value” Liberal Arts College — Kiplinger’s

The Puget Sound campus has a long legacy of high-achieving alumni. Photo Courtesy of Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound

Submitted by University of Puget Sound

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” has named University of Puget Sound in its 2016 list of the country’s “Top 300 Best College Values.”

Puget Sound specifically earned a spot in the national magazine’s list of “100 best values in private liberal arts colleges.” The annual list ranks 100 public universities, 100 private schools, and 100 liberal arts colleges, choosing those that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.

Puget Sound student works in a science laboratory. Photo by Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound.
Puget Sound student works in a science laboratory. Photo by Ross Mulhausen, University of Puget Sound.

“We start with a universe of 1,200 schools, so each school in our rankings, from number one to number 300, is a best value,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” magazine. “Families can use the list as a starting point and then tailor it to each student’s preference for such things as size, location, campus culture, and major.”

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 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 sticker price, financial aid, and average debt at graduation. For the first time the magazine also presented graduates’ future average earnings data alongside each school.

Private universities and colleges generally carry higher sticker prices for tuition than public institutions, Kiplinger notes, but they also can offer generous financial aid that greatly reduces the published cost. At the same time, liberal arts colleges offer the advantage of smaller class sizes and accessible, teaching-oriented professors.

Photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound.
Photo courtesy of University of Puget Sound.

Puget Sound, for example, offers merit-based or need-based financial aid to more than 90 per cent of its students. The college, with 2,600 undergraduate students 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 and more than half of students do at least one internship.

Many of the schools on the top 200 list, including Puget Sound, have appeared in “Kiplinger’s” rankings in previous years, demonstrating that the schools consistently deliver good value, Kiplinger said.

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