SUU — An Official Top Ten Best Value in AmericaJuly 12, 2004
Author: Dean O'Driscoll
Southern Utah University has been recognized by a leading publication as one of the 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.
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 publication looks at many of those while building its list. Consumers Digest first narrows the field from the thousands of colleges in the country with a preliminary evaluation of academic excellence. The publication uses CollegeBoard.com to help determine the top 125 public and 132 private colleges.
The publication staff 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 great news and we’re eager for people to understand both dimensions.”
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 terminal degrees.
“This is obviously great news for us,” said Dean O’Driscoll, Marketing and Public Relations Director. “They consider the quality of our faculty, our students and our product before they ever look at our tuition and fees. This says we are not only a bargain for the bank account, we are providing students with an education that means something when they receive their diplomas.”
O’Driscoll continued, “When a national publication known for researching and determining the best values in all kinds of products says that you are among the ten best in the nation at anything, it is a highly valuable validation of what you are doing.”
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 in America would be the same. Besides, it would almost always be cheaper for students to pay in-state tuition than out-of-state costs.
“It’s been easy up until now to compare numbers and see that we have been a great value considering financial costs,” said O’Driscoll, “but to have people whose job it is to be critical and skeptical, say that we have excellent faculty and high-achieving students, is wonderful. This is a great compliment to the faculty, staff and students who have made this recognition possible.”