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Rankings highlight value of a UW-Eau Claire degree

September 11, 2013

state-high-roiEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recently was recognized by two organizations for providing students with a high-quality education at an affordable cost.

Washington Monthly included UW-Eau Claire in its "Best Bang for the Buck" rankings in the master's universities category. The new rankings set is based on the economic value students receive per dollar, according to the publication.

The goal of the rankings is to help prospective students identify universities that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices, Washington Monthly states in its 2013 College Guide.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org, a resource for college affordability and financial aid information, also recently ranked UW-Eau Claire No. 7 on its list of Wisconsin colleges and universities with the greatest lifetime return on investment. UW-Eau Claire was ranked third among the public universities on the list.

"These rankings are encouraging because I'm passionate about the idea that every student deserves the opportunity to have access to a quality public higher education so they can pursue their dreams," Chancellor James Schmidt said. "Helping UW-Eau Claire find even more creative ways to contain costs while also protecting both access and quality is among my highest priorities as chancellor."

UW-Eau Claire was ranked 13th among all universities (12th among public universities) in its master's category in the Washington Monthly guide. A total of 152 public and private schools from across the country were included on the list.

To get on the list, colleges had to meet four criteria: At least 20 percent of their students must receive Pell Grants; they must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent; graduation rates must meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students; and schools must have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less.

Schools meeting the criteria then were ranked based on the net price of attendance. Net price is the average tuition that first-time, full-time students from families with an annual income of $75,000 or less actually pay after subtracting the need-based financial aid they receive.

Graduates from the schools on the AffordableCollegesOnline.org list enjoy the largest earnings gap between non-degree holders over a 30-year span, the organization stated in its press release. ACO used multiple data sets to create its "High ROI College" list, a list that included 29 Wisconsin colleges and universities, the organization stated.

Earlier this week, U.S. News & World Report again included UW-Eau Claire among the top five public universities in the Midwest. This is the 19th consecutive year that the university has been included among the top five universities in the region.

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