Dr. Hill and students

Wofford named among best value by Kiplinger's Personal Finance

College ranked 32nd on 2014 listing of 100 private colleges

Main Building

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has included Wofford College on its list of the country’s best values in private colleges for 2014.

Wofford ranked number 32 among 100 liberal arts colleges, nationwide. The full listing is now available online at www.kiplinger.com/links/college. Furman is the only other liberal arts college in South Carolina to win recognition from Kiplinger’s this year, ranking number 79.

Wofford and the other colleges included in the 2014 list represent campuses that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost during these continued tough economic times. The colleges exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate. Many institutions, including Wofford, have appeared on the list multiple times over the years.

“It is gratifying to receive yet another recognition as one of the nation’s high value liberal arts colleges,” said President Nayef Samhat. “In September, U.S. News & World Report cited Wofford as being among ‘40 Great Schools at Great Prices” as well as one of America’s ‘Up and Comers’ for 2014. Such recognitions reflect our long-term commitment to balancing two important priorities: offering an outstanding residential educational program, and focusing on affordability for a wide range of students and families.”

Kiplinger’s rankings are designed to measure academic quality and affordability. 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. On the cost side, Kiplinger’s measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation. Many of the schools on the top 200 list have appeared in Kiplinger’s rankings in previous years, demonstrating that these schools consistently deliver good value.

Although independent schools such as Wofford generally carry higher sticker prices than in-state prices at public campuses, private institutions typically offer more generous financial aid. For example, Wofford distributed almost $45 million in aid from all sources to its 1600 students in 2012-2013. About 90 percent of the students received some type of support.

“With President Obama’s recent emphasis on rating colleges and universities based on their value, our rankings serve as a valuable resource to help students and families make more informed choices,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Combining a high-quality education with an affordable price tag is a challenge, but the colleges on this year’s list offer the best of both worlds.”

For nine decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the company developed one of the nation's first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947, Kiplinger created the nation's first personal finance magazine. Kiplinger.com is the fastest growing Web site in the personal finance space. Located in the heart of our nation's capital, the Kiplinger editors remain dedicated to delivering sound, unbiased advice for your family and your business in clear, concise language.