Jan. 21, 2009
Kiplinger Ranks Whitworth a Top 50 Private University Value for Third Year in a Row
In an economic recession that makes a college education more important than ever and yet more challenging to afford, Whitworth University was included for the third straight year in Kiplinger's ranking of the top 50 private university values in the United States. Whitworth is No. 39 in the 2009 rankings, which appear on the Kiplinger website and in the February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.
The magazine ranks the top 50 private universities and top 50 liberal arts colleges separately but based on the same criteria of academic quality and affordability, with academic quality accounting for two-thirds of the formula.
The rankings help families "find colleges that deliver the goods during tough times," Kiplinger Senior Associate Editor Jane Bennett Clark writes in the article that accompanies the rankings. "These institutions, led by Pomona College among liberal arts colleges and the California Institute of Technology among universities, provide a top-quality education at an affordable price -- usually with generous financial aid."
West Coast schools joining Whitworth in the top 50 private university rankings are Stanford University (No. 10), University of Southern California (No. 30), Pepperdine University (No. 35), Gonzaga University (No. 37), and Santa Clara University (No. 43). Northwest schools in the ranking of best liberal arts college values include Whitman College (No. 27) and Reed College (No. 44). The complete rankings are available online at www.kiplinger.com/tools/privatecolleges.
"To be ranked three years in a row among some of the best private universities in the country is a great indicator of Whitworth's commitment to academic excellence and financial aid," says Fred Pfursich, vice president for admissions and financial aid at Whitworth. "In the current economic climate, it’s more important than ever for students to know that a Whitworth education is a great value and an outstanding investment in their future."
Starting with data from more than 600 private schools, Kiplinger's separates private universities from liberal arts colleges based on the Carnegie classification system and ranks each group based on a number of measures for academic quality and affordability. Measures of academic quality include the percentage of applicants granted admission; the percentage of 2007-08 freshmen who scored 600 or higher on the verbal and math sections of the SAT or 24 or higher on the ACT; student-faculty ratio; and four- and five-year graduation rates.
Admission to Whitworth has become increasingly selective as the number of freshman applications to the university has grown, from 1,115 in 2000 to 5,471 in 2008. The average SAT score (combined verbal and math) for incoming freshmen also has climbed steadily -- from 1119 in 2000 to 1210 for the fall 2008 class. Whitworth has maintained a 13-to-1 student-faculty ratio even as full-time undergraduate enrollment has grown from 1,583 in 2000 to 1,991 in 2008.
The financial-aid measures factored into Kiplinger's rankings include total costs for the 2008-09 academic year; cost after need-based aid, percentage of the average aid package covered by grants and scholarships; cost for a student with no demonstrated need after subtracting the average non-need grants; percentage of all undergraduates without need who received non-need-based aid; and the average amount of debt owed by a graduate who took out an educational loan.
Whitworth's total costs of $36,057 for tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, and estimated book expenses were third-lowest among the top 50 private universities in Kiplinger's rankings. Whitworth also ranked 5th for cost after non-need-based aid ($26,081) and 11th for average amount of debt owed by graduates who took education loans. Pfursich attributes the university's relative affordability to the fact that Whitworth provides nearly $23 million per year in grants and scholarships to students. Eight-five percent of incoming freshmen receive academic scholarships, which average $8,600 per year.
"Whitworth is committed to a strong financial aid program that ensures a Whitworth education is as affordable as possible to as many students as possible," Pfursich said. "When students invest in a Whitworth education, they can expect personalized attention from faculty, small classes, and abundant opportunities to be involved in athletics, performing arts, clubs and other extracurricular activities."
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Fred Pfursich, dean of enrollment services, (509) 777-4348 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Orwig, director of communications, (509) 777-4580 or email@example.com
Related Links:Whitworth Press Release Index