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Purdue in Princeton Review’s top 100 ‘best value’ colleges

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is ranked in the Princeton Review’s list of 100 “best value” colleges for 2009, released Thursday (Jan. 8).

The education services and test-prep company says the rankings, which appeared in USA Today, are an attempt to highlight “schools that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price – either by keeping sticker prices in line, or by offsetting high costs with great financial packages.”

The survey is based on an analysis using the most recently reported data from each institution for its 2008-09 academic year. The top 10 public and private “best values” are ranked; the rest are listed alphabetically.

Purdue University has been named one of Princeton Review's top 100 best value colleges.

Purdue University has been named one of Princeton Review's top 100 best value colleges.

It is the second time in less than a month that Purdue has been recognized for being a good value. In December, SmartMoney magazine ranked Purdue ninth nationally in its college “payback” survey, which quantified the long-term value of a college degree.

“This latest survey is more evidence that Purdue is a terrific value,” said Purdue Provost Randy Woodson. “Our students can obtain a quality education at a reasonable price. That’s why we are attracting top students.”

Schools on the “best value” list were selected based on surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities. Selection criteria included more than 30 factors in academics, costs and financial aid.

Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s vice president for publishing, told USA Today that value is about more than just cost. Schools that only had lower prices were not included in the survey because that doesn’t necessarily mean value.

Tuition at Purdue is $7,750 for in-state students and $23,224 for out-of-state students. The average critical reading SAT score is 554 for current Purdue freshmen. The average SAT math score is 598 and average writing SAT score is 545.

The Princeton Review said, in part, of Purdue: “Looking for a relatively inexpensive state school with a reputation rivaling the world’s best institutions of higher learning? Want to attend the same school as 22 astronauts including Neil Armstrong? Does the school you’re looking for have big-time athletics and a ton of school spirit? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then Purdue University is for you.

“Founded in 1869 in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue quickly became known as one of the country’s premier engineering schools. Now boasting an undergraduate population of 31,186, Purdue has maintained a 14:1 ratio of students to faculty. The school’s admission process has also remained strong, with incoming students averaging a 3.5 high school GPA.”

Indiana University is the only other university within the state included the “best value” survey. The University of Michigan joins Purdue and IU as the only Big Ten universities ranked.

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