14:49 PM

College Rankings Roundup

UST is a Top-Tier University Offering Value and Low Student Debt

From a general economic perspective, it is still worth it to earn a college degree from University of St. Thomas. A college degree is an investment in a student’s future offering them better career opportunities at a higher wage than non-degree seekers.

“UST continues to be highly recognized for both academic quality and affordability,” Vice President of Enrollment Management Arthur Oritz said. “Well respected outside sources like Princeton Review, Forbes and MONEY testify that UST students from all income levels can attain a great education from a top-tier academic, private university that values individual students at a bargain tuition.”

Princeton Review Ranks UST in Top 385 Colleges in America

The Princeton Review’s “The Best 385 Colleges: 2020 edition is out and UST made the list again for the 28th year.

Unlike other college rankings, The Princeton Review does not list schools hierarchically from 1 to 385. Princeton bases its list of best colleges on ratings from real students. Princeton Review surveyed 140,000 students from across the U.S. to let potential college students know which college has the best food, best study abroad, best career services, happiest students, and more. The students answer 84 questions about their school’s academics, administration, campus community, and themselves. The answer format uses a five-point Likert scale to convert qualitative student assessments into quantitative data for school-to-school comparisons.

This is what students at UST said about diversity, academics, location, and their overall student experience.

  • “The experience at UST is amazing,” says an undergrad surveyed. “That sums it up.”
  • Another student says, “Diversity is welcomed, embraced and celebrated” at the University of St. Thomas.
  • On the academic front “Professors expect a lot from you, there is no spoon feeding but you actually learn,” attests a junior.
  • For campus life in America’s fourth largest metro area, a student reports, “We are in the middle of the Montrose area, which is filled with great restaurants, coffee shops and thrift stores.”

FORBES: Is College Worth it?

FORBES believes emphatically that college is worth it. In its America’s Top Colleges 2019 rankings, UST is in the middle of the pack ranking #382. According to Caroline Howard, director of Editorial Operations, “FORBES evaluated 650 undergraduate institutions based on the quality of education they provide, the experiences of the students and their post-graduate success and financial well-being.”

FORBES Top Colleges rankings has always placed its focus solely on the direct benefits a college or university provides its students. FORBES favors variables like student debt, alumni salary, and graduation rate and student satisfaction. FORBES reports that the average total cost for college is $45,000 annually.

FORBES reports

  • UST’s average net price at $17,309
  • UST’s average debt of $5,591
  • UST’s average early career salary of $50,800.

UST ranks ahead of St. Edward’s University.

While cost of education is an ongoing topic of conversation in the U.S., University of St. Thomas is aggressively finding ways to make college accessible and affordable. UST also aggressively retains its students between the freshman and sophomore year with an 85 percent retention rate. UST also retains 87-92 percent of its first-generation students who are at greater risk for dropping out of school before graduation. Lastly, 74 percent of students seeking employment found jobs within three months of graduation.

MONEY: The Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value

Going to college should not mean a lifetime of debt. University of St. Thomas offers more than $21 million in total grants and scholarships awarded.

Money ranks University of St. Thomas in the top 500 (#431) Best Colleges for Your Money in America in 2019.

  • More than 97 percent of UST students with need get grants
  • More than 77 percent of students receive grants making the average price for students who receive aid just $20,500 per year and the average price for low-income students is $15,500
  • The average merit grant is $12,308
  • Average student debt is $22,500
  • Average early career salary is $49,500
  • 57 percent graduation rate
  • average graduation rate of five years

Money calculates that 33 percent of low-income students who attend UST become upper middle class.