Kiplinger's ranks WWU among 100 Best Values

Western Washington University ranks among the top 100 public colleges and universities in the nation that deliver an excellent education at a reasonable price, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

In its February 2012 issue, Kiplinger’s magazine ranks Western 81th on its list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2012.

“Western is committed to a teaching and learning environment of active minds changing lives – education that makes a difference in the lives of our students and in the communities we serve,” said WWU President Bruce Shepard. “This is a direct result of the dedication and excellence of faculty and staff to provide a collaborative learning community where our students can develop their intellectual potential and achieve their goals.”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tops the list while the University of Washington is ranked 14th. Western has appeared on the list multiple times, a testament to the consistent value the university offers.

Western also has consistently received strong rankings in U.S. News & World Report surveys of colleges and universities in the nation. Western is the highest ranking public, master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

Western ranked ahead of a number of major universities, including the University of Illinois, Colorado State University, Auburn University, University of Oregon, and the University of Arizona.

Kiplinger’s assesses quality and affordability according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger’s revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for their sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same.

“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value’ is 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.”

The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger’s February 2012 issue and online at: www.kiplinger.com/links/college.

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