Tuesday, January 03, 2012

UIS named a Best Value Public College by Kiplinger's Personal Finance in nationwide ranking

The University of Illinois Springfield has been named one of the top 100 best values in public colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2012. The ranking is based on high four-year graduation rates, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, low sticker price and great value.

Overall, Illinois Springfield ranked 85th on Kiplinger’s nationwide list of public colleges and universities. This is the first time UIS has appeared on the Kiplinger ranking.

“We are very pleased that the University of Illinois Springfield has been named to the prestigious Kiplinger's ‘best college value’ list,” said Susan J. Koch, University of Illinois Vice President and Springfield Chancellor. “We are proud that our students receive a University of Illinois degree at an affordable cost while at the same time experiencing the intimate learning environment that is the hallmark of the UIS experience. This recognition communicates to prospective students and their families that, thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, UIS students receive a high-quality education at a great value.”

Kiplinger’s assesses quality and affordability according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger’s revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same.

The freshmen retention rate at UIS remains high at 76.1%. Illinois residents, who are full-time students, pay $8,670 on average a year for undergraduate tuition. Nearly 70 percent of UIS students receive some form of financial aid.

“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value’ is more significant than ever,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “This year’s top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices. We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality.”

Illinois Springfield is the only public university in the state ranked by Kiplinger’s, other than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who was ranked 27th overall on the list. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger’s February 2012 issue—on newsstands today—and online at: www.kiplinger.com/links/college.

The University of Illinois has campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield with a total enrollment on-campus and online of approximately 79,000.

For more information on the ranking, contact Derek Schnapp, director of UIS Public Relations at 217/206-6716 or email dschn3@uis.edu.

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