Westminster College has been named in the top ten percent of Best Colleges for the Money across the nation, according to the latest educational rankings of Money magazine.
Other accolades for Westminster from the magazine’s latest research and assessments ranked the College one of the top eleven Most Affordable Private Colleges in the country and one of the top twenty-five Best Colleges That You Can Actually Get Into.
“To offer families more immediate guidance and to help inform and advance the national conversation of finding the best colleges, we have developed a new and unique way of ranking colleges that identifies schools that deliver great value,” Money magazine stated. “This is the first list of colleges that combines the most accurate pricing estimates available with estimates of likely earnings that take into account a student’s economic background, test scores, and major.”
“Today so many students and their parents stress over how to find a college that is affordable but at the same time delivers great value for the investment so graduates can go on to a successful career,” says Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe. “We are pleased that the evidence from Money magazine’s research finds that not only is Westminster College one of the best choices families can make for the money but also ranks us among the top private colleges students can afford and one of the top colleges for students to apply and get accepted.”
Westminster has a 72% acceptance rate and ninety-six percent of Westminster graduates start their first job or enroll in graduate or professional schools within six months of graduation.
College counselors and financial aid experts believe Money’s pricing estimates on costs of college are more realistic and helpful to parents and students than other popular price estimates by educational ranking services because other services only estimate the cost of a single year, not the cost of getting a full degree.
Money magazine’s estimated average net price of a degree takes into account all financial aid (need, merit, athletic), tuition inflation, and how long the typical student takes to graduate.
To arrive at these findings, the list of 1,500 public and private four year colleges originally under consideration by Money magazine for ranking was first reduced by eliminating those schools that did not have an above average graduation rate. Then schools with speculative Moody bond ratings were screened out. Military schools that required a commitment of service in exchange for free tuitions were also removed from the list.
The remaining 665 schools were then ranked according to 17 factors in three different categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes. Quality of education included factors such as instructor quality, graduation rate and student satisfaction. Some of the factors considered in affordability were net price of the degree and amount of student debt and college loans. Evaluation of outcomes was based on factors such as early and mid-career earnings and earnings adjusted by major.
To develop the rankings, Money partnered with Mark Schneider, former Commissioner of the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and one of the top ten most important education influencers according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“Our goal is to give students and parents a much better indication of which colleges will provide real value for their tuition dollars and enhance a student’s learning potential,” says Money.