-- New Rankings from Forbes and Money Magazines Also Emphasize QC’s Outstanding Value. Says Forbes: “A Great Education Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank”--
FLUSHING, NY, September 15, 2014 – For the second consecutive year, Queens College has been recognized by Washington Monthly as the #2 college in America for doing “the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.” The magazine analyzed 1,540 U.S. colleges and selected 386 that delivered the “Best Bang for the Buck.”
“I couldn’t be more pleased and proud that Queens College CUNY is being recognized nationally for the exceptional results of this longstanding commitment,” says President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, who assumed the QC presidency on August 28, the first day of fall classes.
“Since its founding, Queens College has been dedicated to providing a high-quality education to deserving students regardless of their finances.”
The Best-Bang-for-the-Buck colleges met such criteria as:
● Actual graduation rates that met or exceeded the rate predicted, given the number of lower-income students admitted.
● A student loan-default rate at or under 10 percent (QC’s is 5 percent)
● At least 20 percent of students qualify for federal Pell Grants based on their incomes.
A college’s “value” is now receiving extra scrutiny. In August 2013, the Obama administration declared that the federal government would begin to rate colleges to determine “who’s offering the best value, so students and taxpayers get a bigger bang for their buck,” in the president’s words. Because student debt is so high nationwide, colleges are increasingly being ranked for their affordability and students’ earning power after graduation.
The highly respected business magazine Forbes has also published a list of the “Top Best Value Colleges 2014,” and Queens College makes the grade, ranking #16. These are “top colleges and universities that deliver the goods without picking your pocket,” advise the editors, who also state, “While college is always going to be a significant financial undertaking, a great education doesn’t have to break the bank.”
Along the same lines, Money magazine recently released its own new best colleges list, focusing its attention on quality; affordability (the cost of earning a diploma in tuition and loans); and outcomes (how much the diploma will be worth in salary after graduation). Queens College was evaluated among 665 higher education institutions, ranking in Money’s top 30 percent.
With annual tuition and fees under $7,000 for New York State residents, and almost half of all undergraduates receiving financial aid, Queens College is known as one of the nation’s most affordable colleges. At the same time, it consistently maintains its educational quality based on all the basic criteria—SAT scores, faculty-student ratio, freshmen retention, graduation rates, etc.
These criteria were used by editors of the just-released 2015 U.S. News America’s Best Colleges, where Queens College ranked #8 among “Top Public Schools” in its category, Regional Universities-North. Colleges in this category are defined as offering a broad range of undergraduate degrees and some master’s programs but few, if any, doctoral programs. QC also ranked in the top quarter of Regional Universities-North.
This August, the Princeton Review released the latest edition of its annual “Best Colleges” guide. Only 15 percent of America’s four-year colleges are profiled in The Best 379 Colleges 2015 Edition. “Queens College offers outstanding academics, which is the chief reason we selected it for the book,” says Rob Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior VP/Publisher and guidebook author. One QC student succinctly described his degree as “affordable without sacrificing proper education.” The college also received 93 for Financial Aid, a rating that measures on a scale of 60–99 how much financial aid a school awards and how satisfied students are with that aid.
This guidebook is also famous for its unique annual rankings, including the much-publicized “Best Party Schools.” In contrast Queens College continues to appear on the following lists: “Got Milk?” (#11) (campuses where beer is scarce); “Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch,” (#8) (no hard liquor); and in the category, “Stone-Cold Sober Schools” (#15), which is based on a combination of survey questions concerning the use of alcohol and drugs, hours of study each day, and the popularity of the Greek system. QC also ranked #10 for “lots of race/class interaction,” reflecting how frequently and easily students from diverse backgrounds interact with one another.
Not surprisingly, Queens College consistently appears in the Princeton Review’s annual Best Value Colleges guide. Last spring, QC’s commitment to the environment and sustainability earned its inclusion in the 2014 Princeton Review Guide to 332 Green Colleges.