In this year's rankings, we show which schools get their students over the finish line at a reasonable price.
The SEEK program, offered through the City University of New York, helps underprepared students by offering them academic support and financial assistance. In addition, the college has three honors programs, including the Macaulay Honors College University Scholars Program for incoming freshmen who pursue their degree full time. These scholars receive a full tuition scholarship and participate in research projects. They are also provided an additional $7,500 fund as an incentive to study abroad and do in-depth research.
ELIZABETH CITY STATE UNIV. (NC)
Predicted grad rate:19%
Actual Grad Rate: 42%
Net Price: $1,442
Reason It Made the Cut: While a graduation rate of 42 percent may seem low, Elizabeth City State, a public, historically black university, only has a predicted rate of 19 percent. ECSU is doing much better than predicted, and at a very low net price.
Part of ECSU’s mission is to provide a studentcentered environment, delivered in a manner that enhances student learning. The university has many academic initiatives, including a summer school program
to help underprepared students get on track so they arrive in the fall ready to succeed. ECSU recently expanded this program and saw enrollment increase from 1,358 in 2009 to 3,118 in 2010. In addition to a summer program, the university maintains more than twenty other academic programs, including “Motivation, Opportunities, Determination, Excellence and Leadership (MODEL) Scholars,” GEAR-UP, Mathematics and Science Education Network, Upward Bound, and TRiO Programs.
COLL. OF THE OZARKS (MO)
Predicted grad rate:38%
Actual Grad Rate: 68%
Net Price: $9,854
Reason It Made the Cut: College of the Ozarks has a relatively low net price and one of the largest differences between predicted and actual graduation rates.
The mission of College of the Ozarks is to provide the advantages of a Christian education to youth who are without sufficient means to procure such education. Similar to Berea (see below), instead of paying tuition, all full-time students work approximately fifteen hours per week on campus to subsidize their education, allowing them to graduate debt free. Ozarks students can work an additional forty hours per week during summer breaks to help cover the cost of room and board, potentially bringing their total cost of attendance to zero. Additionally, students are expected to complete their academic program within eight semesters and require special approval from the dean of the college to extend up to a maximum of two semesters. This policy helps to ensure that students graduate on time. But College of the Ozarks has a low acceptance rate (9 percent) and a small enrollment (1,377 students), reaching only a very specific population of students.
Liberal Arts Colleges
BEREA COLL. (KY)
Predicted grad rate:50%
Actual Grad Rate: 64%
Net Price: N/A
Reason It Made the Cut: In addition to an extremely low net price, the gap between the predicted and actual grad rates is 16 points.
Since its founding in 1855, Berea College’s scriptural foundation, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” has shaped the institution’s programs and culture. Part of Berea’s mission today is to provide educational opportunity to students primarily from Appalachia who have great promise and limited economic resources. As a result, more than half of Berea students are first-generation college students, and the average family income for an incoming student is $29,273. All students receive a four-year scholarship worth up to $96,400, and every student works approximately ten to fifteen hours per week to earn money to cover the cost of books and food. It is important to note, however, that admission to Berea is highly selective. Even though this college does a great job considering the students it enrolls, its capacity is small.
GRANITE STATE COLL. (NH)
Predicted grad rate:28%
Actual Grad Rate: 54%
Net Price: $7,485
Reason It Made the Cut: With an average student age of thirty-six, Granite State serves mostly adult, nontraditional students through a variety of flexible degree programs.
Granite State College is one of the four institutions that comprise the University System of New Hampshire. In addition to being New Hampshire’s leader in delivering online higher education, Granite State’s primary mission is to serve as the system’s college for adults. The college’s open admissions policy and multiple academic centers throughout the state ensure that its reach is broad. And by offering flexible degree programs in high-demand fields and credit for prior learning, the college makes it possible for students to balance the responsibilities of school, work, and family. Granite State also offers intensive classes to help accelerate the path to a degree, like a course that spans only four weekends or six Saturdays instead of twelve to fifteen weeks.
Feed the Political AnimalDonate
Washington Monthly depends on donations from readers like you.