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LeTourneau listed among 'best values'

By Special to the News-Journal
Dec. 20, 2016 at 7 p.m.

The Jeanette S. Belcher Memorial Bell Tower, on Friday February 12, 2016, at LeTourneau University. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

LeTourneau University has been named to Kiplinger's Personal Finance's list of the Best College Values nationwide for 2017.

The university earned the No. 78 spot on the magazine's list of 100 best values among private universities for the second consecutive year.

"LETU is among great company on this list," university President Dale Lunsford said.

"This Kiplinger ranking speaks to the incredible value our students receive from a LeTourneau University education. Texas schools that made the top 100 private schools list were, in ranked order, Rice University in Houston, Trinity University in San Antonio, Baylor University in Waco, LeTourneau University in Longview, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas."

Kiplinger's quality measures, which are weighted more heavily than cost, include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Unlike other rankings, which include subjective criteria in their assessments, Kiplinger restricts its analysis to measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Kiplinger's was the first ranking to focus on value, their core mission.

Introduced in 1998, the rankings combine public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges into a single, comprehensive list of 300.

Because private schools generally offer more financial aid and have higher graduation rates than public schools, many private schools listed at the top of the list. Not all schools met Kiplinger's criteria for quality and affordability.

"There's no way around it: College is expensive, and it's going to stay that way for a long time. So, with our rankings — which weigh affordability alongside academic quality—our goal is to help students and their parents understand what's really worth the price," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. "While some may have ranked higher than others, all 300 schools on the list are of extraordinary value, being chosen out of a universe of 1,200."

The complete rankings are now available online at kiplinger.com/links/colleges and will appear in the February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, on newsstands Jan. 3.

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