Centre College was once again named a “Best Value Private College” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Ranked #22 in the nation, this is the eighth year in a row that Centre has made the list that measures academic quality and affordability.
“The Kiplinger’s ranking demonstrates what we mean when we say that Centre is a place of high achievement and high opportunity,” says President John A. Roush, “because we believe strongly that quality and affordability are not mutually exclusive.”
Roush is quick to add that once they complete their education, an average of 97 percent of Centre graduates go on to employment or advanced study within 10 months. “This only strengthens the point that a Centre education enjoys an extremely high return on investment,” he says.
The Kiplinger’s methodology focuses on two areas, with quality accounting for 56.25 percent of the overall score and cost factors the other 43.75 percent.
For the former category, quality includes competitiveness (25 percent), graduation rates (18.75) and academic support (12.5). For the latter, cost and financial aid (31.25 percent) and student indebtedness (12.5) are calculated.
Centre demonstrates its longstanding commitment to affordability with need-based aid packages that average $23,642 per year, part of the College’s overall annual financial aid total of approximately $23 million.
In addition, the average debt at graduation of a Centre student is $21,800 compared to the national average of nearly $27,000, according to the Pew Research Center. At the same time, Centre has kept annual cost increases at or below 3 percent and is committed to doing so for the foreseeable future.
Among the top 25 colleges on Kiplinger’s list, Centre has by far the lowest overall total cost per year. Centre’s cost is not just the lowest, but it is more than $10,000 less than the average cost of $57,938. In fact, four of the top 25 colleges exceed $60,000 a year, and five more are within only $1,000 of this hefty price tag.
While Northeast schools dominate the list, two other colleges in the South are ranked in the top 25. However, in addition to each having a higher overall cost, both Washington and Lee University in Virginia and Davidson College in North Carolina have an average debt at graduation that is near or over $2,000 more than Centre.