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Aquinas College Ranks among "Top Tier Universities" and rates "Best Values" College For 2005 U.S. News and World Report

August 25, 2004 - According to the survey, Aquinas ranked seventh out of 15 schools on the "Best Values" list for Midwest universities. That's a jump from 12th place last year. The formula used to determine which schools offer the best value relates a school's academic quality, as indicated by the USN&WR ranking, to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of financial aid. A combination of a high quality program with a comparatively lower cost helps determine the better deals and, hence, "Best Value." Only schools ranked in the top half of their categories are included, on the premise that the most significant values are among colleges that are above average academically.

Aquinas is listed among the "Top Tier Universities" in the Midwest offering master's programs. This comprehensive listing ranks universities within four geographic regions, Aquinas placed 48th out of 72 Midwest universities and colleges. The "Top Tier Universities" category was created this year from a combination of what had been USN&WR rankings of both first and second tiers schools in previous surveys.

Each year, USN&WR conducts an exhaustive survey of colleges and universities across the nation. Using a multitude of criteria including student retention rate, graduation rate, student/faculty ratios, and average alumni giving USN&WR publishes detailed rankings of the colleges each fall. The list is designed as a guide to provide parents and students with an objective source of information to help in the college decision-making process.

While the U.S. News Annual College Survey provides a wealth of information about institutions of higher learning, even the magazine's editors urge parent and students to use the list as a starting point. As cited in USA Today, USN&WR Executive Editor Brian Kelly said, "Dig into the data, read the numbers, then use that as a launching point to start to learn about the nature of the school, the personality." Students are encouraged to schedule campus visits and to meet with school counselors or faculty.