The list is posted to the Kiplinger website and will appear in the December issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, due on newsstands Nov. 5. The magazine ranks the 100 best values among private liberal arts colleges and the 100 best values among private universities separately, though both lists are based on the same criteria of academic quality and affordability. Whitworth placed in the top 100 because of a high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, good student-to-faculty ratio, excellent on-campus resources and overall great value.
“Kiplinger’s list of the best private colleges has become a recognized and respected resource for families researching the best values in college education,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “The schools on this year’s list offer students both academic excellence and affordability, which is increasingly important in this challenging economic landscape.”
Yale University tops Kiplinger’s list of best values for private universities, followed by Princeton, Rice and Harvard. West Coast schools joining Whitworth (No. 44) in the rankings are Stanford University (No. 7), Gonzaga University (No. 34), Pepperdine University (No. 43), and the University of Portland (No. 63). The complete rankings can be accessed online at www.kiplinger.com/links/college.
The academic quality measures in Kiplinger's rankings include the percentage of applicants granted admission; freshman scores on the verbal and math sections of the SAT and ACT; student-faculty ratio; and four- and six-year graduation rates. Kiplinger also gives more weight than it did previously to four-year graduation rates and to colleges that keep student debt down.
The academic profile of Whitworth’s student body is consistently among the strongest in the region. This fall’s incoming freshman class of 593 students is Whitworth’s second most academically successful freshman class ever – with an average high-school GPA of 3.73 and average SAT of 1802, down slightly from 3.75 and 1807 the previous year. Whitworth’s most recently recorded freshman-sophomore retention rate is 89 percent. The university has a six-year graduation rate of 77 percent, and the percentage of graduates who finish in four years is 85 percent. All of these measures are well above national averages. In addition, the university has lowered its student-faculty ratio to 11-to-1 even as undergraduate enrollment has risen. Meanwhile, 45 percent of 2012 Whitworth grads studied abroad, and more than 50 percent of students have completed an internship or practicum by the time they graduate.
"It’s an honor to be ranked by Kiplinger’s for the seventh straight year as one of the best private university values in the U.S.,” says Greg Orwig, Whitworth's vice president for admissions and financial aid. “The best-values rankings in Kiplinger’s, U.S. News and other outside ranking organizations recognize Whitworth’s unwavering commitment to provide both the highest quality academic experience, robust financial aid for our students and a strong track record for on-time graduation. We hope it also underscores the fact that a Whitworth education of mind and heart is an outstanding investment toward achieving long-term life and career success.”
The financial aid measures factored into Kiplinger's rankings include total costs for the 2
013-14 academic year; cost minus the average need-based aid amount (excluding loans); the average percentage of a student's financial need met by the school's aid package; the percentage of the average aid package that comes from grants or scholarships; the cost for a student with no demonstrated need after subtracting the average non-need aid amount (excluding loans); the percentage of all undergraduates without need who received non-need-based aid; and the average amount of debt owed by a graduate who took out an educational loan.
Whitworth will provide more than $45.7 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students in 2013-14, and the average financial aid award for Whitworth 2013 freshmen receiving aid is more than $22,340. Ninety-nine percent of freshmen received some form of financial aid from the university this year.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Greg Orwig, vice president for admissions and financial aid, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or email@example.com.