Princeton Review and USA Today name Elon one of nation’s 100 “Best Value Colleges”

A new ranking by The Princeton Review, in partnership with USA Today, names Elon one of the nation’s top values in higher education for 2009. The report, released Jan. 8, is based on 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs and financial aid. Schools chosen “provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price – either by keeping sticker prices in line, or by offsetting high costs with great financial aid packages.”

Fifty private colleges and universities and 50 public schools were selected for the ranking. Elon has consistently been ranked by Princeton Review in its annual “America’s Best Value Colleges” guidebooks, which have been published since 2004.

From the special report:

Elon University is an impressive place and worth following. Located in central North Carolina, Elon combines solid academics with innovative techniques such as study abroad, internships, experiential learning, and research labs to create a unique and involving curriculum for its students. The school offers 50 majors in everything from accounting to theatrical design and production. Its business and communication majors are particularly popular, though for medically-minded students, nothing holds a proverbial candle to Elon’s premed program, which boasts an undergrad cadaver lab (one of only five in the nation).”

Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review VP-Publisher, “We have always believed finding the ‘best fit’ college should be the foremost goal for student applicants and their families.  But the economic crisis and financial downturn have presented sobering challenges both to families struggling to afford college and to higher education institutions struggling to maintain their programs in the face of budget and funding shortfalls. We are pleased to partner with USA TODAY to present these schools for all they are doing to provide outstanding academics at a relatively low cost of attendance and/or generous financial aid.”  

Only three private universities in North Carolina made the Princeton Review/USA list: Elon, Duke University and Davidson College. Among public universities, North Carolina State University, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Wilmington were listed.

This year, Elon’s total tuition, room and board cost is 6.7 percent lower than the national private university average, and 17.4 percent lower than the average for other top Southern private master’s-level universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report.