Kiplinger's Personal Finance has included Saint Michael's College on its list of the country's best values in private colleges. Saint Michael's is ranked 68th in the listing. Kiplinger's annual list ranks 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges. The top 50 colleges and top 50 universities appear in Kiplinger's December issue, on newsstands November 5.
Saint Michael's and Middlebury College are the only two Vermont schools that appear on the list.
According to Kiplinger's: "Saint Michael's and the other schools included in the 2014 lists represent the colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost during these continued tough economic times. The colleges exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate."
"Although private schools generally carry higher sticker prices than in-state prices at public schools, private schools can actually be cheaper than public schools because of their generous financial aid," Kiplinger's wrote.
"Saint Michael's is pleased to be included on this list, based on quantifiable measures," said Saint Michael's President John Neuhauser. "The residential and community experience in addition to small classes in the liberal arts and sciences at Saint Michael's have proven to change the lives of our students and graduates. We are glad to be recognized by this outside evaluation as a best-value institution."
"With President Obama's recent emphasis on rating colleges and universities based on their value, our rankings serve as a valuable resource to help students and families make more informed choices," says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. "Combining a high-quality education with an affordable price tag is a challenge, but the colleges on this year’s list offer the best of both worlds."
Kiplinger's rankings measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four and five-year graduation rates. On the cost side, Kiplinger's measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation. Many of the schools on the top 200 list have appeared in Kiplinger's rankings in previous years, demonstrating that these schools consistently deliver good value.