SUU - An Official Top Ten Best Value in AmericaJune 25, 2004
Author: Dean O'Driscoll
Consumers Digest has distinguished Southern Utah University as one of the ten best places in the United States to get an education. The May/June 2004 issue of Consumers Digest includes its list of Best Values in Colleges and Universities in America and SUU lands in the Top Ten on the national ranking!
The ranking takes into consideration, first, academic excellence and the educational quality offered by each institution, before any costs are considered. This ranking determines which colleges and universities are offering the most academic value per dollar.
Southern Utah University President Steven D. Bennion was thrilled to learn the news, “To make the top ten, which represents both the high quality and cost effective measure of the University, is outstanding.”
Prospective students consider many factors when selecting a University and this special investigative article looks at many of those while building its list. Consumers Digest first narrows the field from the thousands of colleges in the country with an in-depth evaluation of academic excellence.
SUU’s Marketing Director, Dean O’Driscoll, said, “When a national publication known for researching and determining the best values in the country says that you are among the ten best in the nation at anything, it is a highly valuable validation of what you are doing.”
Consumers Digest then applies a formula that balances academic excellence with the education quality offered to compile a “value-index score” for each institution. That score and the estimated cost of attending each college for the 2003-04 academic year were then applied to a formula to determine which schools offered the most academic value per dollar.
Bennion added, “This is splendid news that reflects well on the quality of the people who work at SUU. We’re eager for people to understand both dimensions the quality and the efficiency.”
In the first phase of review, factors like standardized test scores, high-school rank and grade point average of entering freshmen, were used to determine a school’s academic excellence. The educational quality offered by each institution was determined by such factors as student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate, and percentage of faculty holding a PhD or other terminal degrees.
“This is obviously great news for us,” said O’Driscoll, “They consider the quality of our faculty, our students and our meritorious academics before they ever look at our tuition and fees. This recognition tells everyone that SUU is an excellent value, both economically and educationally. It also shows students how valuable their diplomas are.”
The study compared out-of-state tuition, required fees and an average cost of room and board. Only nonresident tuition figures were considered so that a value for all potential students would be the same
“It’s been easy up until now to compare numbers and see that we have been a great value considering tuition costs,” said O’Driscoll, “But to have people whose job is to be analytical say that we have excellent faculty who are helping our students to be high-achieving students is gratifying. This is a great compliment to the faculty, staff and students at Southern Utah University who have made this recognition possible.”