Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

September 5, 2003

Whitworth College Ranked Highest in Washington in 2004 U.S. News' Best Values List

Whitworth College was ranked higher than any other school in the state of Washington in U.S. News & World Report's 2004 rankings of best values. The magazine ranked Whitworth sixth among master's-level universities in the 15-state Western region, up five spots from last year's best values rankings. Whitworth also ranked sixth among 126 master's-level universities in the West in U.S. News' 2004 best college rankings.

The best values rankings, available on the magazine's web site at www.usnews.com, are based on a formula that relates a school's academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of financial aid.

"This ranking reflects our commitment to keeping Whitworth affordable while also maintaining the excellence of our academic program," says Fred Pfursich, dean of enrollment services at Whitworth. "Much of the credit goes to the many donors who invested in student scholarships as well as in faculty, programs and facilities during our recently completed $60 million Faith in the Future Campaign."

Student financial aid remains a top fundraising priority, Pfursich says. In addition, Whitworth has increased its student-aid budget by 70 percent over the past six years, more than three times the rate of enrollment growth during the period. The college also recently joined the Tuition Plan program, which offers a tuition discount benefit as well as pre-payment options that lock in college tuition costs.

To be included in U.S. News' best values rankings, a university or college had to finish in the top half of its category in the magazine's America's Best Colleges 2004 rankings. The best values rankings were based on three variables: Ratio of quality to price (a school's overall score in the best colleges survey was divided by the cost to a student receiving an average grant meeting financial need), percentage of all undergraduates receiving grants meeting financial need during the 2002-2003 year, and the percentage of a school's 2002-2003 costs (tuition, room and board, fees, books, and other expenses) covered by the average need-based grant to undergraduates.

Overall rank was determined first by standardizing the scores achieved by every school in each of the three variables and weighting those scores. The first variable-the ratio of quality to price-accounted for 60 percent of the overall score, the percentage of all undergraduates receiving grants accounted for 25 percent, and the percentage of the school's costs covered by the average need-based aid grant accounted for 15 percent of the ranking.

Schools are ranked in several categories, including national universities-doctoral, national liberal arts colleges-bachelor's, regional universities-master's and regional comprehensive colleges-bachelor's. Whitworth is in the category of universities-master's, which offer a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Fred Pfursich, dean of enrollment services, (509) 777-4348 or fpfursich@whitworth.edu.

Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

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