U.S. News Ranks Elmhurst a Top 10 ‘Best Value’ School

September 11, 2014 | by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs

U.S. News & World Report, which compiles the best known and most closely followed college rankings in the country, has ranked Elmhurst College one of the Top 10 Best Value Schools in the Midwest.

In the 2015 edition of the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, released on September 9, Elmhurst College shot up three places on the Best Value list to rank No. 10 among regional universities in the Midwest. Although this year marks the first time Elmhurst has cracked the top 10, it is the sixth year in a row that the school has made the Best Value or “Great Schools, Great Prices” list.

Elmhurst also kept its No. 11 spot among more than 100 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. Among Chicago-area schools in this category, Elmhurst ranks highest.

The U.S. News rankings, taken with other recent “Best Colleges” rankings by Money magazine, Forbes and the Princeton Review, firmly establish Elmhurst College as among the leading schools in the country that offer an excellent education for the money.

“Our singular focus is to prepare our students to become, in the words of our sixth president, H. Richard Niebuhr, ‘effective individuals’ in a complex world. Our consistently high U.S. Newsranking attests to our success in this regard,” said Elmhurst College President S. Alan Ray. “That we should also be recognized in a special way this year by U.S. NewsMoney magazine and Forbes magazine for offering outstanding value for the tuition dollar is a tribute to our hundreds of talented, caring faculty and staff. Put simply, our graduates are ‘effective’ because we treat our students as ‘individuals.’ That’s the Elmhurst difference.”

Today’s students and parents place top priority on finding a college or university that will be worth the investment. In recent years, various organizations have responded by evaluating and ranking schools according to a variety of criteria.

U.S. News calculates its Best Value School rankings by taking into account a school’s academic quality, based on its U.S. News Best Colleges ranking, and the 2013-14 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. Newsconsiders the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically.

The rankings showed that 73 percent of Elmhurst students in 2013 received grants based on financial need. The College notes that, when other forms of aid are included, about 98 percent of full-time Elmhurst students received some form of financial assistance, with the average award adding up to $26,500.

Money magazine’s Best Colleges list focuses on the financial considerations that weigh heavily in the college selection process—what it will cost to earn the diploma, and the value of that diploma later when it comes to landing a job. One distinctive factor Money considers is alumni career earnings. Using the website Payscale.com, Money evaluates each college based on graduates’ earnings both early in their careers and at mid-career. On that list, Elmhurst ranked among the top 7 percent of the more than 2,500 four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

For Forbes magazine’s annual America’s Top Colleges guide, Forbes partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) to create a list of 650 top colleges and universities. The list emphasizes what students get out of college by analyzing and evaluating data in several “outcome-related” categories, including student satisfaction with their classes, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rates and academic success. Elmhurst College ranks among the top 15 colleges in Illinois on the Forbeslist.

Princeton Review’s 2015 Best Colleges: Region by Region selected 648 colleges and universities in four regions of the country—Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and West—that the Review considers academically outstanding. To make the list, schools are evaluated through surveys of college administrators, staff and counselor advisors; and also through independent surveys of students who attend the schools. The student surveys report that Elmhurst offers “great financial aid” and “endless opportunities for scholarships, mentorships, internships, research, and so much more.” For the 11th year in a row, the Princeton Review, an education-services company, has named Elmhurst College one of the Best in the Midwest.

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