By Josh Svetz
On Sept. 9, U.S. News and World report listed St. Bonaventure University as the No. 5 “best value in the North.”
The U.S. News published the “Great Schools, Great Prices” list of Best Regional Universities in the North which includes colleges that offer a full range of master’s degree programs.
Last year, the university was ranked third in this category and the first in-state value.
This year, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) passed St. Bonaventure, in terms of in-state, as the No. 1 value.
Despite the minor fall in the ranking, Emily Morris, vice president for university relations, believes that the school is in a good position.
“The schools [Gallaudet University and RIT] that jumped in front of us are certainly schools that are good company to keep,” said Morris. “We are still up in that top five, and we are the only school in our competitor set that’s ranked in the top five.”
Other schools that St. Bonaventure is ranked with are Villanova University and Bentley University.
Morris also gave her thoughts on what contributed to the decrease in ranking.
“It’s probably a factor of what happened at the other institutions; maybe they changed their financial aid policies a little bit—though I’m not certain,” said Morris.
In addition, Morris sees St. Bonaventure’s freshman to sophomore retention rate as a major factor that should help Bonaventure stay in the top five and ascend in rank.
“Next year, I think we’ll either maintain our strong position or improve it because certainly retention has improved,” she said referring to St. Bonaventure’s recent two percent increase.
Going forward, Morris believes that St. Bonaventure’s combination of strong academics and sense of community will help the school stay high in rankings.
“We ultimately exist to serve students that we are equipped to serve, in terms of their academic abilities, to create a life changing experience while they’re here,” she confirmed. “We are very concerned…what happens when they leave here and all those things will continue to help us do well in these kinds of evaluation systems.”
“We celebrate this ‘Best College Value’ ranking because it speaks to what happens to students after they enroll at SBU, instead of just ranking the university based on the academic characteristics of the students we admit,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president.
“This ranking says that students here outperform their predicted success, that the St. Bonaventure experience adds value, and that it does so at a cost that is affordable.”
The magazine determined the value ranking using three figures from 2014-15: ratio of academic quality to price, need-based aid and average discount