SKOKIE, Ill., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventy-five colleges and universities
out of some 3,500 schools have been ranked as the top values across the United
States by Consumers Digest Magazine. The rankings are based on several
attributes that validate or define the institutions' academic prowess factored
against the annual cost of tuition and room-and-board. Among 50 public
institutions cited, Oklahoma State University ranked No. 1. Among 25 private
institutions, Brigham Young-Hawaii took top honors.
The rankings, published in CD's June issue, were derived from a formula
that blended academic excellence of first-time freshman at a school
(standardized test scores, high-school rank, grade-point average) with the
institution's educational quality (student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate,
percentage of faculty holding a PhD or terminal degree). That "value-index"
score was factored with the estimated cost of attending each school to
determine which schools offered the most academic value per dollar.
"Consumers Digest's mandate has always been to provide expert opinions and
recommendations in regard to products and services important to American
consumers," says Randy Weber, publisher, Consumers Digest. "Our examination of
this country's higher-learning institutions should help parents and students
find schools that will meet families' performance and financial requirements."
Joining Oklahoma State University in the top-five Best Values for Public
Colleges and Universities were University of Georgia at No. 2 followed by
University of Michigan-Dearborn, Louisiana State University and University of
Following behind Brigham Young University-Hawaii among the top-five Best
Values for Private Colleges and Universities were Brigham Young University,
Lane College (Jackson, Tenn.), Grove City College (Grove City, Pa.) and
MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe, Kan.).
Consumers Digest first whittled down the list of colleges and universities
based on a minimum level of academic performance by students these
institutions accepted. This produced a list of 125 public and 132 private
For public schools, Consumers Digest only considered nonresident tuition
figures, since attending a public school as a resident almost always offers
the best value.
Military institutions and extremely specialized colleges that do not
charge tuition were not included. Since financial aid varies dramatically, it
was not factored into tuition/room-and-board costs.
"Today, the price of attending a university or college often exceeds
$20,000 per year," says Weber. "Our analysis was done to help families make an
informed decision that puts their hard-earned money to the best use."
The list of CD's Top 75 College Values accompanied an article called
"Making College More Affordable," which likewise educates families on ways to
lower the financial outlay necessary for a college education.
Consumers Digest, launched in 1959, is designed to inform and educate
readers so they can buy with confidence, no matter the product or service. The
magazine is committed to providing practical advice, factual evaluations and
specific recommendations that lead consumers to exceptional values in today's
SOURCE Consumers Digest