By Travis Trombley
Despite what most students consider to be a rather sizable price-tag, the Washington Monthly ranked Albion College 34 out of 70 on their 2013 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings for liberal arts colleges.
According to the Washington Monthly, the list was created to rank the “colleges in America that do the best job of helping nonwealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”
Evaluators employed a series of criteria when establishing their two-part ranking, which they applied to institutions of higher learning in general and then specifically to liberal arts institutions. To even make it on the list of schools to be evaluated, all institutions had to meet four specific criteria: 20 percent of students must receive Pell Grants, 50 percent of students must graduate, the graduate rate must “meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students admitted,” and the student loan default rate can be no higher than 10 percent.
The much simpler second step involves a simple ranking of net prices of attendance, which takes into account tuition after average imbursement of financial aid.
With 25 percent of students receiving Pell Grants, a graduation rate of 68 percent, a default rate of four percent, and a reported net price of $16,089, Albion College barely made it into the upper half of the list, though placement anywhere on such a list is quite the accomplishment.
But just for the sake of friendly competition, it’s worth noting that Albion ranked higher than all other MIAA schools, the closest being Hope College at 39. From the GLCA, only DePauw University, ranked 31, placed higher than Albion.
Photo courtesy of Albion College