U.S. News Ranks SUU Among Top 10 for Lowest Student Debt

Published: September 09, 2019 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

bell tower on campusSouthern Utah University is one of the top universities in the country in ensuring its students aren’t loaded down with debt when they graduate. Released Monday, the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings lists SUU as 7th in the nation and 2nd in the west for lowest student debt among regional universities. SUU ranks the best public regional university in Utah. 

“We value affordability. It is thrilling to learn that we are leading the nation in low debt for our graduates,” said SUU President Scott L Wyatt. “This ranking reaffirms the fact that we are being successful with our leading value--to prepare students for great jobs and enriched lives,”  

With tuition costs rising, U.S. News compiled a list of schools that are graduating students with the lightest debt loads. The report looked specifically at students that graduated in 2017 and included loans taken out by students from the federal government. That year, more than half of SUU’s graduating class graduated debt-free and for those that did graduate owing, the median amount owed was $11,000. The average student loan debt nationwide is $37,000 per borrower.

SUU steadily works to make quality higher education financially accessible to everyone. This past year, SUU was the only school in the Utah System for Higher Education that didn’t raise tuition and student fees for the 2019-2020 school year. In August of 2019, the Utah State Board of Regents agreed to lower tuition for online-only undergraduate programs at SUU. And beginning in January 2020, the new 3-Year bachelor degree program will reduce barriers to graduation making it easier for students to save both time and money. 

“We are not resting on our laurels,” said Wyatt. “We continue to work hard to reduce the cost of education at SUU and keep student debt as low as possible. SUU is a great investment.” 

The report evaluates schools in up to 16 areas related to academics including peer assessment, retention, class sizes, student-faculty ratios, ranking of its incoming freshman and graduation rates. The schools are then ranked based on their overall scores in these various areas, and the top schools are recognized in the Best Colleges List. SUU has been consistently recognized as a top-level university and ranks 33 among Top Regional Public Schools in the western United States and is number 1 in Utah. 

U.S. News and World Report is the top source for higher education rankings in the nation. Rankings are organized according to a school’s mission and region in the country. Peer assessment, retention and graduation rates account for more than half of U.S. News and World Report’s evaluation.

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