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By Melissa Hoffman '10
Bradley University offers its students a high-quality education at an affordable price, according to the December issue of “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” magazine, which ranked Bradley 42nd on its listing of 50 best values among private universities.
Bradley was one of only three schools ranked in Illinois along with Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. California Institute of Technology was ranked as the best buy, followed by Princeton and Yale.
"This is independent confirmation that Bradley offers a high-quality living and learning experience at an affordable price," President Joanne K. Glasser said. "To be included on this list with the best universities in the nation is testament that Bradley is recognized as a university of national distinction. We are honored that Kiplinger's found Bradley to be a 'best buy' among the nation's elite private universities."
Kiplinger's rankings are based on numeric measurements to determine value based on academic quality. Criteria, such as graduation rate, financial aid, student/faculty ratio and the average debt at graduation are among the criteria considered.
"This year's top private colleges and universities met the challenges of a slumping economy with brio, delivering quality, generous financial aid and, in a few cases, sticker prices that are almost as low as out-of-state tuition at some public institutions," Kiplinger's stated.
Bradley has the lowest total cost of the 50 universities in the ranking of comprehensive private institutions. Students at Bradley can receive an average of $10,890 in need-based aid. And, according to Kiplinger's, this makes the cost of a stellar education at a private university considerably more affordable. Bradley ranked 5th lowest on net cost after non-need-based aid.
In addition, the average debt Bradley graduates face after graduation is significantly lower than other universities. The average amount of debt for the typical Bradley student is $18,859, which is significantly less than other institutions where graduates are more than $37,000 in debt.
Kiplinger's also ranked Bradley according to its acceptance rate (64%) and student-per-faculty ratio. Students interact in a learning environment where they receive individualized assistance from professors because Bradley has a student-per-faculty ratio of 13:1.