(Posted December 20, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College has made the top 100 in the year's final major higher education poll by placing 63rd in Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranking for "Best Values in Private Liberal Arts Colleges," out on newsstands Nov. 9. The 2010-2011 rankings mark the first time Juniata has been included in the annual rankings by the renowned finance publication.

The personal finance magazine poll rates liberal arts colleges and private universities that "deliver a high quality education at an affordable price."

"We're very pleased that Kiplinger's recognized that Juniata has made it our mission to provide a truly affordable education of exceptionally high quality."

Gabriel Welsch, vice president of advancement and marketing

The liberal arts college rankings appear in the December 2010 issue of the magazine.

Juniata is ranked just above Austin College, in Sherman, Texas, at 65th, and Willamette College in Salem, Ore., at 64th. Ranked just above Juniata is St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. at 62nd, and Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. at 61st.

Kiplinger's also allows readers to vote for best values in liberal arts colleges and private universities. Over the past year, Kiplinger's ran a readers' poll asking interested readers to vote for the most affordable institution. Juniata led that poll with more than 9,000 votes and currently leads this year's readers' poll with 22 votes. The next highest number of votes is 3.

"We're very pleased that Kiplinger's recognized that Juniata has made it our mission to provide a truly affordable education of exceptionally high quality," says Gabriel Welsch, vice president of advancement and marketing. "We're also grateful to all our supporters for outvoting our nearest competitor in the readers' poll by almost 3 to 1."

Juniata is one of 12 Pennsylvania colleges to be included on the liberal arts college rankings. Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, Pa., was rated first in the poll. Other college rankings are: Haverford College, in Haverford, Pa., at 12; Lafayette College, in Easton, Pa., at 22; Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pa., at 24; Muhlenburg College, in Allentown, Pa., at 46; Bryn Mawr College, in Bryn Mawr, Pa. at 54; Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., at 55; Gettysburg College, in Gettysburg, Pa., at 57; Ursinus College, in Collegeville, Pa., at 59; Juniata at 63; Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa., at 80; and Susquehanna University, in Selinsgrove, Pa., at 86.

The average cost of a four-year private college or university has averaged about $36,000 per year, according to the College Board. Experts estimate that the average cost increase for the 2010-2011 academic year will be 4.5 percent. According to the magazine, the total net price, the cost after the college offers financial aid, lowers the total out-of-pocket cost to an average of about $22,000 per year.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors rank the institutions by measuring academic quality and affordability. The magazine lists the top 100 universities and liberal arts colleges in separate tables, using the Carnegie classification system, which organizes institutions based on the highest level and number of degrees offered.

Some of the factors measured by the magazine include: admission rate; the percentage of students who scored above 600 on the verbal and math SATs and 24 on the ACT; student-faculty ratio; graduation rate; total cost, cost after need-based aid; aid from grants; cost after non-need-based aid; non-need-based aid; and average debt at graduation

"Some of the colleges on the Kiplinger rankings offer a net price below $20,000, making some of the best institutions in the world a downright bargain," says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's.

Kiplinger's reports that independent colleges raised levels of financial aid by 9 percent while keeping tuition increases to their lowest levels in 40 years -- about 4.5 percent on average.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.