Kiplinger's names Elon a 2014 "Best Value" university

Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranks Elon the #22 private university in the nation, based on academic quality and affordability.

In its annual ranking of the 200 top values in private colleges and universities, Kiplinger’s ranks Elon #13 on its total cost list, and #22 in overall best value. The ranking is the eighth consecutive top-50 recognition of Elon by Kiplinger’s.

Kiplinger’s says Elon and the other top-value schools “provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost during these continued tough economic times.” Kiplinger’s says the best-value schools “exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate.”

Elon’s total cost is $15,000-$20,000 lower than the other top-25 private universities ranked by Kiplinger’s. Among the best-value universities, Elon is one of just 13 schools with a total annual cost of less than $41,000.

In its report, Kiplinger’s singles Elon out for its success in “keeping costs down.”

From the Kiplinger’s magazine story:

“Run your finger down the total cost column of our private university rankings and you’ll see price tags ranging from nearly $50,000 to more than $60,000. That is, until you reach Elon University, at number 22. The total cost is $40,946. Unlike many of the schools on our list, this private university in North Carolina uses a “low tuition, low discount” cost model. That means what you see in terms of sticker price is more or less what you get.”

Kiplinger’s notes that Elon “gives priority to funding academics, study-abroad scholarships and need-based aid. It eliminates overlaps in staffing and takes a preventive approach to campus maintenance work.”

Elon, Duke University (#5) and Wake Forest University (#24) are the only schools in North Carolina or South Carolina on the private universities ranking. Davidson College is the only North Carolina school on the private liberal arts colleges ranking.

Kiplinger’s rankings measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the cost side, Kiplinger’s measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

“With President Obama’s recent emphasis on rating colleges and universities based on their value, our rankings serve as a valuable resource to help students and families make more informed choices,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Combining a high-quality education with an affordable price tag is a challenge, but the colleges on this year’s list offer the best of both worlds.”

The top 25 schools in this year’s Kiplinger’s ranking of best-value private universities are as follows:

  1. Yale University
  2. Princeton University
  3. Rice University
  4. Harvard University
  5. Duke University
  6. Columbia University
  7. Stanford University
  8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  9. California Institute of Technology
  10. University of Pennsylvania
  11. Vanderbilt University
  12. Brown University
  13. Dartmouth College
  14. Emory University
  15. Cornell University
  16. Johns Hopkins University
  17. Georgetown University
  18. University of Chicago
  19. Washington University in St. Louis
  20. Tufts University
  21. Northwestern University
  22. Elon University
  23. Boston College
  24. Wake Forest University
  25. University of Notre Dame