Whitman College honored by Kiplinger's Personal Finance

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Whitman College has made the 2014 list of best private colleges in the country by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Walla Walla’s liberal arts college was ranked as one of the best value private colleges in the U.S. The ranking represents the best of the best among colleges based on a combination of academic quality and affordability. Kiplinger compiles annual lists of 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges. The top 50 in each will be in December’s issue.

Small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate are among the reasons Whitman had made the cut multiple times, the announcement said.

Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted out of those who apply), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. Kiplinger’s also measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

Whitman ranked 34th. It has nine students per faculty, an 80 percent four-year graduation rate and a cost of about $55,800 per year.

“Whitman College is proud to provide an excellent liberal arts education for students from a broad range of socioeconomic groups, and at an affordable cost,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Tony Cabasco in the announcement.”

More than 80 percent of students benefit from financial aid, which include scholarships or grants, student loans, and student employment, he said. “The result is that Whitman’s graduates leave college with less debt that graduates from many public universities.”

To see the complete list visit kiplinger.com/links/college.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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