Illinois Wesleyan University is ranked the 60th best value among the nation's private liberal arts colleges. (B. Corbin/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - For the seventh straight year, Illinois Wesleyan University has made Kiplinger's Personal Finance list of best value among the nation's private liberal arts colleges.
IWU is ranked 60th this year, down from a ranking of 54 last year. Vice President for Communications Matt Kurz said Kiplinger's looks at academic quality, including the admission rate, test scores of the incoming class, the student-teacher ratio and graduation rates. He said the group also looks at affordability.
"Many people look at the sticker price, but they really need to look at the price after financial aid is applied for individual students," Kurz said. "They often find that a college's costs are cut in half from what they think they might be."
Kurz said IWU gives out more than $33 million in financial aid each year.
Illinois Wesleyan was also ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly. Kurz said although the rankings can help prospective students cut down on the college list, he says visiting the school is still the most helpful.
"The real way to evaluate any college or university is not by looking at what magazines and college guides say in rankings, it's by going and visiting those schools, meeting the kinds of faculty that will be teaching you and meeting the kinds of students that will be your classmates," Kurz said."
Other liberal arts colleges in Illinois that have made the list include Wheaton College and Knox College.
Stephanie Pawlowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.