You may recall that there have been some recent research and concern regarding the mismatching of students with colleges. Here is a link to the August article.
Outstanding students may choose a college that is below their ability for a variety of reasons, one being the sticker price of some of the outstanding colleges.
Kiplinger’s magazine December, 2013 just published the 100 best values in private universities and colleges. I have scanned the lists and attached them. There are many great colleges outside of the list of 100 and the criteria used to select the 100 colleges can be used in any college search.
The quality criteria are:
- Size of undergraduate enrollment (small is good)
- Admissions rate (since many students apply to 10+ the % admitted is probably higher)
- Freshman retention rate (If the college fit is good the % returning for the second year should be high)
- Students per faculty (low is good)
- Graduation rate 4 yr/5yr (Important %)
Cost Measures (This is where we can help students/families cope with the “sticker cost” of COA (Total Cost). Look carefully at the average cost after need-based aid and the COA drops dramatically! Look at the average cost after non-need based aid AND then look at the Percentage of Need Met. The percent of need met is important, state college range around 50-60% and many private colleges range from 80-100%. I also like to look at the average debt at graduation and many of these colleges have lower average debt than state colleges.
It would be great if we could optimally “match” our students with colleges that are a “fit” for them. You can use Oregon CIS to look at colleges using the above criteria. Look at Admissions and Financial Aid.
Another possible “fit” for some of our academically talented students are the Honors Colleges at most of our state colleges.
What are your experiences and thoughts on the colleges in this attachment?
How many college applications do your students submit?
George A. Letchworth, Ph.D.