April 27, 2015
West Chester University has been ranked #21 on a list of top values in public colleges -- the only Pennsylvania public university ranked in the top 25 by Consumer Digest magazine. The rankings are published in the magazine's June 2015 issue, available now.
The magazine used data from College Board and Department of Education's College Navigator to determine the top 227 public institutions. The formula they used to further narrow the field "balanced students' academic excellence (standardized test scores, high-school rank and the GPA of entering freshmen) with the quality of education offered (as indicated by the student-to-faculty ratio, the four-year graduation rate, the six-year graduation rate, student retention rate and percentage of faculty who hold a doctorate or terminal degree) to compile a Value Index score for each institution. Certain categories were weighted more heavily than others. That score and the estimated cost of attending each college for the 2014-2015 academic year (tuition, fees, and room and board) were then applied to a formula to determine which schools deliver the most academic value per dollar."
Consumer Digest also only used out-of-state tuition figures for public universities, "because attending a public school in your state of residence will almost always provide the best value for your education dollar. Military institutions and extremely specialized colleges that don't charge tuition weren't considered for this chart."
The only other Pennsylvania universities listed in the top 50 values for public institutions are University of Pittsburgh (#37) and Penn State University Park (#45).
Consumer Digest has been evaluating consumer goods since publishing its first issue in 1960.