SUU Again Ranked in Consumers Digest Top Ten

Published: June 22, 2007 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University is ranked on the top ten list in Consumers Digest’s “Top 50 Best Values for Public Colleges and Universities”. This is the second time SUU has made the top ten in the past four years, beating out all other Utah schools—and all other schools in the West—for balancing rising education costs with academic opportunity and excellence.

While SUU administrators are obviously proud of the recognition, this ranking comes as no surprise to faculty and staff who work hard to ensure SUU exceeds both parents’ and students’ expectations. According to SUU Enrollment Director Stephen Allen, such recognition has increased diversity within SUU’s student base as “more and more students from across the country and world are learning about SUU because of the many accolades we have received. Most people who are familiar with the University already know about our combination of personalized attention and academic quality. Outside recognition simply reinforces the work we do every day.”

SUU President Michael Benson believes this recognition is a sign of things to come. “SUU has been acknowledged by both the Princeton Review and the US News for what we do, and now comes this recognition from Consumers Digest. The University’s quality is being recognized by these publications who consider a myriad of factors. We’re very pleased the reputation of SUU and its graduates continues to rise.”

And rise they do, SUU’s enrollment has now grown by nearly 1,000 students in the past three years and has led the state system in growth each of those years. Dean O’Driscoll, director of SUU’s marketing department, credits this growth to the accomplishments and esteem of everyone on campus. O’Driscoll states, “We were elated the first time SUU was ranked in the top ten. To receive such an honor again is a dream. This proves such acclaim is not merely luck, but rather, a culmination of dedicated work from SUU’s faculty and staff, as well as from our students.”

To complete its rankings, Consumers Digest first completed a preliminary evaluation of academic excellence to determine the top 194 public colleges and universities. They then compare each school against a formula that balances students’ academic excellence (standardized test scores, high-school rank and the grade point average of entering freshman, as well as the university’s acceptance rate) with the quality of education offered (indicated by the student-to-faculty ratio, the 4-year graduation rate, the 6-year graduation rate, and the percentage of faculty holding a PhD or terminal degree). The school’s academic value is weighted against the cost of attending each school for one academic full year, that formula produces a value-per-dollar index score used to rank each college or university. SUU took ninth place of those top 194 schools measured.

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