Correction: Consumers Digest Names 75 Colleges/Universities Top Values

Jun 01, 2004, 01:00 ET from Consumers Digest

    SKOKIE, Ill., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 30, 2004, Consumers Digest
 issued a press release announcing publication of a list of the 75 top values
 in public and private colleges and universities. An erroneous list of the Top
 5 public schools, including Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia,
 University of Michigan-Dearborn, Louisiana State University and University of
 Hawaii-Manoa, was provided. The release should have named Florida
 International University, Eastern Oregon University, California Polytechnic
 State University, North Dakota State University, and North Georgia College and
 State University as those Top 5 Best Values in public colleges and
 universities. Note: The list of Top 5 private schools was accurate. A
 corrected version of the release follows.
     APRIL 30, 2004-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,
 Florida International University ranked No. 1. Among 25 private institutions,
 Brigham Young-Hawaii took top honors.
     The rankings (the full list can be found at ) were derived from a formula that blended
 academic excellence of first-time freshmen 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 meet families' performance and financial requirements."
     Joining Florida International University in the top-five Best Values for
 Public Colleges and Universities were Eastern Oregon University at No. 2
 followed by California State Polytechnic University, North Dakota State
 University, and North Georgia College and State University.
     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.
     "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
 complex marketplace.

SOURCE Consumers Digest