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Consumers Digest names Appalachian a “Top Five” value PDF Print
Written by Jane Nicholson, ASU News Bureau   
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 08:37


Consumers Digest has released its 100 colleges and universities ranked as a top value and Appalachian State University is at the head of the list. Appalachian was ranked fourth among the magazine’s “Top Five Values in in Public Colleges and Universities.”

Other public institutions in the top five are Truman State University, University of Minnesota-Morris, SUNY at Geneseo and California Polytechnic State University.



The rankings are based on attributes that validate or define the institutions’ academic prowess factored against annual cost of tuition, fees and room and board. The rankings, published in Consumers Digest’s June 2011 issue, were derived from a formula that blended the academic excellence of first-time freshmen at a school (standardized test scores, high-school rank, grade-point average) with the institution's educational quality (4- and 6-year graduation rate, student-retention rate, percentage of faculty holding a Ph.D.). That “value index” score was factored with the cost of attending each school to determine which schools offered the most academic value per dollar.

“Expert opinions and solid recommendations are two of our strengths,” says Randy Weber, publisher of Consumers Digest. “And we applied well-developed standards and thorough analysis to this examination of our country’s higher-learning institutions to help parents and students find schools that will meet families’ performance and financial requirements.”

Consumers Digest first whittled down the list of schools based on a minimum level of academic performance by students that institutions accepted. For public schools, Consumers Digest considered only nonresident tuition figures. Military institutions and extremely specialized colleges were excluded. Financial aid wasn't factored in because of inconsistencies in the way colleges distribute aid.

The average annual cost of attendance at Consumers Digest’s top schools was $47,156 at private colleges/universities and $26,344 at public colleges/universities.

“Our analysis is designed to help families make an informed decision that puts their hard-earned money to the best use,” Weber says.

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