Despite statewide talks of rising tuition and cuts to state funding, The Princeton Review has again named University of Wisconsin as one of the best values in higher education in the nation.
According to a UW statement, the university ranked No. 7 in a list of 150 other public colleges and universities.
“UW-Madison is an exceptional institution, which speaks to the quality of the faculty, the quality of the students, the programs we offer and the impact on our community,” UW Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paul DeLuca said.
John Franek, author of the book The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges, said they work with an original list of about 2,000 different schools and use 30 different factors focused in three areas to narrow their list down to 150 schools.
These areas include the school’s academics, the raw cost of attendance and the financial aid the school offers, Franek added.
“Many schools, Madison being one of them, do an exceptional job with the cost of attendance for making it affordable to go to the school for the family,” Franek said.
Franek said the academics the schools offer should provide the students with an exceptional academic experience. He said the financial aid area is based off of how aggressively the school works to make the sticker cost of attendance at the school available through grants and loans.
According to UW Director of Financial Aid Susan Fischer, the major sources of financial aid given to UW students come from federal-based grants, need-based grants and merit-based scholarships.
“The best rating we can get is from the families individually,” Fischer said.
The amount of financial aid given to students has risen and is now up to $20 million, Fischer said.
Franek added the idea for this list originated a couple years ago, but this is the second year the list has been printed as a book.
According to a UW statement, the university was ranked No. 5 in the same category by the Princeton Review list last year.
“UW-Madison is obviously one of the top public institutions in the U.S.,” DeLuca said. “We are doing everything in our power to stay there and to be better.”
Since last year, 47 new schools have made the list for best values in higher education, according to Franek.
The quality of the faculty, combined with the quality of the students, shows the exceptional performance UW has over a broad and vast range of areas that few institutions have the ability to offer, DeLuca said.
Franek added there are three things a school must do to ensure it is the right fit for its students. It must provide an exceptional academic experience, nurture a campus culture in which students want to be and it must have as much information as possible on what the financial aid will actually be, he added.
“By achieving these three things, the school has hit the trifecta,” Franek said.