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August 21, 2009 - Grand Rapids, Mich. (August 21, 2009) - U.S.News & World Report (USN&WR) again lists Aquinas College as a "Best Values" institution among its top universities in the Midwest offering master degree programs. According to the 2010 edition of USN&WR's America's Best College rankings, officially released August 20. Aquinas was listed 10th among the top 15 in "Best Values" in its category and ranked 57 of 71 on the list of "Best Universities-Master's" in the Midwest.

Highlights of the college rankings will appear in the September 2009 edition of USN&WR's, available on newsstands Monday, August 24, 2009.

Placement on the "Best Values" list relates a school's academic quality to the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid, according to USN&WR. Aquinas figures show that 77 percent of its students receive need-based grants, reducing their net cost of attending to $14,482, resulting in a lower amount of educational debt at graduation compared to some peer institutions.

Aquinas also is listed 57 among 71 institutions ranked among the "Best Universities-Masters" in the Midwest. USN&WR measured 572 higher education institutions across the United States using more than a dozen key measurements in identifying its list of top schools for each region of the country in this category.

"As students consider their college options, it is important to keep rankings in perspective," said Paula Meehan, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Aquinas. "Evaluating a college should include a variety of variables that all contribute to a student determining a best fit for themselves. Rankings may be used as part of the student's assessment of a particular institution, but should not be weighed independent of other highly important factors."

USN&WR's rankings are compiled from 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 to provide parents and students with a starting point in the college decision-making process. It believes the information contained in the report offers the opportunity to judge the relative quality of institutions based on widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Further, Aquinas College and USN&WR encourage families to combine the information contained in the rankings with college visits and interviews in identifying the right school for college-bound students.