According to Forbes.com’s Center for College Affordability and Productivity, the goal of the 2009 ranking was to research where students can get the most quality for each tuition dollar spent, especially for those shopping on a budget. For many students today, the price of a school is as important a factor in deciding where to go as its quality.
The Best Buy Ranking listed the top colleges and universities in the nation from a pool of 600 institutions. Claflin ranked number 31, making it the second-highest ranked school in South Carolina, behind The Citadel (16) and the top-ranked historically black college or university (HBCU). Fisk was the only other HBCU ranked at number 80.
“It is more crucial now than ever to provide students with an affordable education,” Claflin President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said. “At Claflin, we are very cognizant of the hardships students face in tough economic times, and we do as much as we can to ensure that the economic burden doesn’t overshadow educational opportunities. That’s why our board voted not to increase student tuition this year. We want to give our students every opportunity to be successful, and we thank Forbes.com for recognizing our efforts.”
The nation ranking is the second Claflin has received for affordability. Consumers Digest cited Claflin third for best value among top private colleges and universities nationally in 2007.
To produce the ranking, Forbes.com divided each school’s overall quality score by its average net (after allowance for scholarship grants) tuition rate from the 2003-2004 to 2006-2007 academic years.
The quality score is calculated by summing each school’s score with respect to Who’s Who in America citations, salary data from PayScale.com, course evaluations from RateMyProfessor.com, the receipt of student and faculty nationally competitive awards, and the graduation rate variables used in the Best College rankings. All schools with an actual four-year graduation rate lower than 25 percent are excluded from the “Best Buy Ranking.”
“We believe that to be considered a ‘high value’ investment, there must be a reasonable expectation of completing one’s degree within the normal time period,” according to Forbes.com.
Later in August, Claflin earned the number 12 spot among Baccalaureate Colleges in the South and the eighth spot among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the 2010 edition of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group.
“We are proud to be ranked One of America’s Best College by U.S.News and World Report for the 12th consecutive year,” Tisdale said. “The criteria used in calculating these rankings are all components we strive to excel in here at Claflin – graduation and retention rates, student selectivity and financial resources. And, once again, we have been recognized for having one of the highest alumni giving rates among southern baccalaureate colleges and the highest rate among HBCUs. We thank U.S.News and World Report for continuing to recognize our efforts.”