From: Mike Counter, St. Norbert College, www.snc.edu, 920-403-3089, [email protected]
DE PERE, WIS.: A new ranking system by Washington Monthly has St. Norbert College at number 32 in “America’s Best Bang for the Buck” rankings of liberal arts colleges. According to the magazine, the schools listed do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. Out of the 1,572 colleges and universities in their rankings, only 349 made the cut as best bang-for-the-buck schools.
To get on the Washington Monthly list, colleges have to meet four criteria. First, to make sure schools aren’t just catering to the affluent, at least 20 percent of their students must be receiving Pell Grants, which go to students of modest means. Second, colleges must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent – lower-income students tend to graduate in lower numbers. Third, each school’s actual graduation rate must meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students admitted (among other things, this calculation assures that schools with more than the minimum 20 percent of Pell students aren’t penalized). Fourth, to demonstrate that graduates are earning enough in the workforce to at least cover their student loans, schools must have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less.
Once Washington Monthly compiled the list, they applied the “buck” part of the measure by ranking the schools based on their net price of attendance. (Net price is the average tuition that first-time, full-time students from families with an annual income of $75,000 or less actually pay after subtracting the need-based financial aid they receive.)
For a list of Washington Monthly’s national liberal arts rankings, go to http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2013/bangforbuck_liberal_arts_rank.php.