The top three “Best Bang for the Buck” colleges in the nation are colleges of The City University of New York, according to the Washington Monthly magazine.
The magazine’s 2014 survey ranked Brooklyn College number one in the nation. Queens College and Baruch College placed second and third place nationally, matching their performance in the 2013 survey.
“The CUNY schools are legendary for having educated wave after wave of first-generation students, many from immigrant backgrounds, from Jonas Salk to Jennifer Lopez. “These three colleges continue that tradition,” Washington Monthly reported wrote in its September issue. “They are a great value for students who can gain admission.”
CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken said, “ It comes as no surprise that CUNY colleges are nationally recognized as offering tremendous value. With a world-class faculty, low tuition, new facilities, and a well-earned reputation with employers, graduate and professional schools, CUNY students and their families are well-aware of the extraordinary opportunity they enjoy.”
Nearly six out of 10 full-time undergraduate students attend tuition-free, thanks to federal and state aid that fully cover CUNY’s exceptionally low tuition. And, while students and their families nationally are struggling with more than $1 trillion in student loans, 80 percent of CUNY’s graduates who move into the workforce leave debt-free.
Washington Monthly analyzed 1,540 U.S. colleges and universities and culled 386 that delivered the “Best Bang for the Buck.” These colleges do “the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.” To make the cut, colleges met four criteria:
· Actual graduation rates that met or exceeded the rate that would be predicted given the number of lower-income students admitted.
· A student loan-default rate at or under 10 percent, to ensure that graduates earn enough in the workforce to cover their student loans.
· At least 20 percent of students received federal Pell Grants, which go to students of modest means, typically with household incomes below $50,000.
· At least a 50 percent graduation rate, “hardly an exacting standard, but a fair one considering that we’re requiring that a fifth of their student body have lower incomes.”
The study’s lead author, Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education in the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University, writes in the magazine’s commentary that public colleges dominate the rankings. “They take eighteen of the top twenty spots, and include such well-known names as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Texas A&M, and the University of Washington, alongside lesser-known schools like Murray State University in Kentucky and Wayne State University in Nebraska. These institutions tend to be in states that have historically been unusually committed to building affordable higher education systems.”
Rounding out the top 10 after the CUNY colleges are:
4–California State University-Fullerton
5 Amherst College
6–University of Washington-Bothell
7–University of Florida
8–Georgia Institute of Technology-Main
9–University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
10–California State University-Long Beach
For the complete list with details, see http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings-2014/best-bang-for-buck-all-schools-rank.php. For more information, visit ww.cuny.edu/value
About The City University of New York: The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 270,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via www.cuny.edu, the University’s website.