If you’re looking for a good return on your investment in higher education, a recent report from Kiplinger’s suggests two Spokane schools are worth your consideration.
According to the Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts, personal finance advice and college rankings, Gonzaga University was ranked 62nd among all public and private universities and 21st among private universities for its ratio of quality to cost, while Whitworth came in 207th overall out of the top 500 and 65th among private institutions.
Pete Tormey, Gonzaga University spokesman, said he was not surprised by the ranking but was “pleased, because the value is affirmed by Kiplinger’s objective measurements of academic excellence.”
In the case of both Gonzaga and Whitworth, value was not calculated purely by tuition cost but by relationship between cost and various measures of quality, including four-year graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios and the test scores of incoming freshman.
“I think students are savvy consumers, and in this day and age they know how to get online and research and look at all of their options,” said Lara Ramsay, Whitworth admissions director. “Our hope is that they look beyond just the sticker price, because often students may see a private school tuition and think it’s out of reach for them.”
Tormey and Ramsay both pointed to students’ success after graduation as evidence of their schools’ excellent value. According to Gonzaga’s first destination report, 94% of 2018 graduates earning a bachelor degree reported employment, continuing education or volunteer positions. The average salary for a graduate is $48,921. Likewise, Ramsay said 95% of the 2017 class were employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation.
“That’s a strong affirmation of the success of our graduates, and that speaks to value,” Tormey said. “If you’re going to make an investment … get as much best bang for your buck as possible.”
Ramsay said a big component of post-graduate success is the interest professors and faculty take in individual students during and after their time at Whitworth.
“We hear that students really feel they are individually known on campus,” Ramsay said. “They get to know professors on a first-name basis. They have access to firsthand research, job shadowing and job mentorship opportunities.”
Two other Washington schools also made the list. Whitman College ranked 64th overall and University of Washington ranked 84th overall.
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