Scranton Among America’s ‘Best Values’

A multifaceted ranking by Money magazine places Scranton among America’s best values in a college education.
Money magazine ranked The University of Scranton No. 191 among the “727 Best Colleges in America” in a 2018 listing published online in August.
Money magazine ranked The University of Scranton No. 191 among the “727 Best Colleges in America” in a 2018 listing published online in August.

The University of Scranton ranked among the nation’s best values for a college education based on educational quality, affordability and alumni success, according to a 2018 ranking by Money magazine published in August. The multifaceted methodology analyzed data on 26 factors in order to rank the 727 “best performing colleges” in America.

Scranton, at No.191 in the nation, had the 7th highest ranking of the 25 Jesuit colleges listed.  Scranton is the highest ranked school in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The factors Money analyzed to determine a colleges’ “academic quality” included the six-year graduation rate, the standardized test scores of incoming freshmen and the student-faculty ratio, among other factors. The analysis also included “value” assessments that looked at a school’s predicted graduation rates based on the academic and economic profile of its student body versus its actual graduation rates.

The criteria used to assess “affordability” included an estimate of the “net price of a degree,” which assessed tuition, the time it takes for students to graduate, and the school’s average need- and merit-based financial aid offered to students. The “affordability” criteria also looked at student debt, student loan default rates, student loan default rates adjusted for the economic and academic profile of a school’s student body and the affordability for low-income students, among other factors.

The factors Money used to assess “outcomes” included the average salaries of alumni reported in PayScale early- and mid-career, their reported earnings at these points adjusted by major, and “job meaning” based on average score of alumni responding to Payscale’s survey question of whether your work “makes the world a better place.” In addition to other factors, the “outcomes” criteria also looked at socio-economic mobility index that uses data from the Equality of Opportunity Project, a study that examines the percentage of students that move from low-income backgrounds to upper-middle-class jobs before the age of 34.

Colleges with graduation rates below the national median, that were in financial difficulty, or that had fewer than 500 undergraduates, were not included in Money’s ranking.

Scranton has been recognized for its value in other national rankings such as U.S. News, which ranked Scranton No. 18 as a “Best Value Regional University in the North” in its 2018 edition. Rankings by Forbes, and The Economist, among others, have also recognized Scranton for its value.

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