Princeton Review names Elon one of nation’s top “best value” colleges

Elon University has been named one of the nation's top 47 "best value" private colleges and universities by The Princeton Review, a leading publisher of college guides and educational services. Details...

The 2007 edition of the annual guidebook, titled “America’s Best Value Colleges,” went on sale in bookstores March 28.

Princeton Review profiled 47 private universities and 103 public schools, recommending these schools for offering excellent academics, generous financial aid packages and relatively low costs. This is the fourth edition of the guidebook and Elon’s first inclusion in the list of top schools. The selection was based on data The Princeton Review obtained from administrators at 646 colleges and surveys it conducted of students attending those schools.

“We use over 30 factors to rate the colleges in four categories: academics, tuition GPA (sticker price minus average amount students receive in gift aid scholarships and grants), financial aid (how well colleges meet students’ financial need), and student borrowing,” says Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president for publishing. “The 150 schools that met our criteria range from large state universities to small, liberal arts colleges, and include little-known gems, specialty schools, and some colleges that are tuition-free.”

According to the College Board, the average cost to attend a private college or university in the United States this year is just over $29,000, more than $3,600 higher than Elon’s 2005-06 cost of $25,371 (tuition, fees, room and board).

“Elon uses wise financial management practices to keep tuition affordable and well below costs at peer institutions,” says Susan Klopman, dean of admissions and financial planning. “Considering Elon’s independent rankings as one of the nation’s top universities, most students and parents consider it one of the best values in private higher education. Elon’s tuition and fees are nearly $4,900 below the average for other top-ranked private colleges in the South. By keeping costs low, Elon reduces the demand for financial aid, allowing it to use a higher percentage of each tuition dollar for academic and student life programs, faculty and facilities.”

The three-page college profiles in the book cover:

  • “About (the College)” – an overview on the school’s distinctive characteristics, location, campus scene, and student body & faculty demographics
  • “Getting In” – details about admission requirements, plus The Princeton Review’s inside word on what its admission officers look for
  • “Bang for Your Buck” – information on the school’s financial aid and scholarship awarding programs, policies, and record
  • “What do Graduates Do?” – a review of career and employment patterns among the school’s graduates, information about its Career Center, and (when provided) companies that recruit on campus
  • “The Bottom Line” – a report on the average out-of-pocket costs students (or their parents) pay for the degree, plus stats on the average debt load of graduating seniors
  • “Students Say” – first-hand comments from students The Princeton Review surveyed at the school
  • “Fun Facts” – interesting extras: the school’s motto, most popular majors, unique traditions, student events, or on-campus attractions, such as a museum

“America’s Best Value Colleges” is one of over 200 books developed by The Princeton Review and published by Random House. The line also includes “Paying for College Without Going Broke,” “The Best 361 Colleges,” and several additional college guides, plus guides to college admission and placement exams, grad schools and grad school admission tests, and books on careers.