Elmhurst Jumps to No. 4 in U.S. News Rankings for Midwest’s Best Value Schools

September 16, 2016 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

U.S. News & World Report, which publishes the nation’s most closely followed college rankings, has placed Elmhurst College fourth in the Midwest among colleges and universities that offer the best value for the money.

According to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2017, released on September 13, Elmhurst shot up five spots this year in the Best Value Schools in the Midwest category, from No. 9 last year to No. 4 this year.

For a second year, Elmhurst College kept its No. 10 spot among 115 colleges and universities across the Midwest in the Best Regional Universities category, for institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s degree programs. The rankings in this category are based on several key measures of quality, including student retention rate, assessment by academic leaders at peer institutions, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rates and the average alumni giving rate.

In the Best Value category, U.S. News calculated those rankings by taking into account a school’s academic quality and cost. Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories were included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically: The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.

The rankings showed that 75 percent of Elmhurst students in 2015 received grants based on financial need. The College notes that, when other forms of aid are added to the picture, 99 percent of full-time Elmhurst students received some form of financial assistance. In addition, the average debt load for recent Elmhurst graduates is 13 percent less than the national average for private colleges, making it comparable to what many students borrow to attend a public university.

Elmhurst College also ranked 10th in the Midwest in the category of Best Colleges for Veterans. This category provides military veterans and active-duty service members with data on which top-ranked schools offer benefits that can help make a college education more affordable. To be ranked, a school had to be in the top half of its Best Colleges ranking category and have 20 or more students (enrolled in the Fall of 2015) who were using GI Bill benefits to fund their tuition and fees. The institution also must participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

“We’re very proud to see national rankings like U.S. News continue to affirm Elmhurst College as a higher-education institution of outstanding quality and value, not only for traditional undergraduates but also for graduate students and veterans,” said President Troy VanAken. “Our growing reputation as a ‘Best Value School’ underscores our commitment to providing all of our students with an excellent education for the money.”

The full U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2017 rankings can be viewed online.

Elmhurst College also did extremely well in other national college rankings, especially those that emphasize value and post-graduate success. Elmhurst ranked:

  • Sixth among all colleges and universities in Illinois, according to Money magazine’s Best Colleges 2016
  • Tenth in the Midwest on Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck Colleges 2016
  • A Top 15 college/university in Illinois, according to Forbes magazine
  • Among the top colleges in the Midwest, according to Princeton Review’s 2017 Best Regional Colleges

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