Getting an outstanding college education that is worth the cost has never been more of a priority to students and parents. In its most recent Best Colleges rankings, released on September 10, U.S. News & World Report again recognizes Elmhurst College as a Great School at a Great Price.
In fact, Elmhurst moved up two spots this year in the Best Value Schools category, to rank No. 13 among regional universities in the Midwest. It is the fifth year in a row that Elmhurst has made the list of Best Value Schools, a designation given to institutions that offer an excellent education for the money.
Elmhurst also held its No. 11 spot among nearly 150 Midwestern colleges and universities in the Best Regional Universities category, for institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s degree programs.
“I am pleased though not surprised to see that Elmhurst continues to be recognized as one of the best schools in the Midwest,” said Elmhurst College President S. Alan Ray. “College is never inexpensive, but our significant rise as a ‘Best Value’ institution underscores our successful commitment to keep quality high and costs reasonable for our students.”
In the Best Value category, U.S. News calculated the rankings by taking into account a school’s academic quality, based on its U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2012–13 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid. The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Only schools in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically.
The rankings showed that 74 percent of Elmhurst students in 2012 received grants based on financial need. The College notes that, when other forms of aid are included, 97 percent of full-time Elmhurst students received some form of financial assistance, with the average award adding up to $26,780.
Last year, Elmhurst College moved up from No. 12 to No. 11 in the Best Regional Universities category, the first time the College’s rank had risen from No. 12 in the six years the College has been in that category.
Among Chicago-area schools in this category, Elmhurst ranks highest. Schools in the 10 slots above Elmhurst include significantly larger schools such as Creighton, Butler and Truman State universities.
Elmhurst’s rank as a top regional university is based on strong scores in several areas, including average freshman retention rate (80 percent), student-faculty ratio (13 to 1) and small class sizes. Sixty-nine percent of all classes at Elmhurst had fewer than 20 students per faculty member. Incoming Elmhurst students also are well-prepared to do college-level work, with nearly half of the freshmen in 2012 coming from the top 25 percent of their high school class.
In another recent ranking, The Princeton Review, an education services company and publisher of nationally known college guides, named Elmhurst College one of the “Best in the Midwest” for the 10th year in a row.