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Four NEPA Universities and One College Make Money Magazine’s National List of Best Colleges

08.21.2018

Northeastern PA - Money Magazine ranked the University of Scranton 191st and Misericordia University 268th on its annual list of the best colleges for your money.

 

King’s College was ranked 542nd; Wilkes University, 555th; and Marywood University, 710th.

 

The four universities and one four-year college in Northeast Pennsylvania are recognized on Money Magazine’s 2018 list of the 727 “best colleges in America,” placing them in the top tier of nearly 4,400 colleges and universities nationwide.

 

The list ranked four-year colleges and universities by analyzing graduation rates, tuition charges, family borrowing, alumni earnings and other data points to find the country’s best values.

 

The magazine also estimated the full price to attend colleges and universities, including the tuition expenses as well as the costs for room and board, books, living and travel expenses.

 

University of Scranton: Scranton, PA

The estimated full price to attend the University of Scranton from 2018-2019 is $62,600.

 

The estimated price for students who receive aid is $36,200 and the average price for low-income students is $23,200. Eighty-eight percent of students get grants, according to the magazine.

 

Gerry Zaboski, vice provost for enrollment management and external affairs for the University of Scranton, said 97 percent of students who applied for aid received funding from scholarships or need-based grants.

 

He said the university is sensitive to family needs and provides merit scholarships and financial aid based on need.

 

“We want to remain an affordable institution for a whole range of needs,” Zaboski said. “We like to try to be as affordable as possible for families. That’s why we provide need-based aid for families in addition to scholarships.”

 

According to Money Magazine, the average University of Scranton student debt is $27,000 and the average salary within three years is $52,000. Forty-eight percent of low-income students become upper middle class.

 

The University of Scranton offers 68 bachelor’s degree programs and 30 master’s degrees. For undergraduates, the most popular majors are biology, exercise science and accounting, according to the magazine.

 

Many students are pre-med majors and the university has earned a reputation for offering an “affordable yet high quality” higher education option, Zaboski said.

 

“If you look at the students’ success six months after graduation, our students have done extremely well,” Zaboski said. “To be in the top 200 colleges in the U.S. is a big deal and gratifying to us.”

 

In all, 99.9 percent of members of the class of 2017 were employed, continuing their education or engaging in service within a year of graduating, according to the university.

 

The University of Scranton also has ranked high in other lists. An October 2015 report by The Economist, for example, ranked the University of Scranton number 22 in the nation (the top 2 percent of four-year colleges) for the impact it has on the earnings of its graduates.

 

Misericordia University: Dallas, PA

Misericordia University has climbed 215 places on Money Magazine’s list since 2015.

 

According to the magazine, the estimated full price to attend Misericordia University for 2018-2019 is $48,600. The estimated price for students who receive aid is $26,500 and the average price for low-income students is $18,000. Eighty-four percent of students get grants.

 

The average Misericordia student debt is $27,000 and average salary within three years is $45,000. Twenty-seven percent of low-income students become upper middle class, according to the magazine.

 

Ninety-nine percent of Misericordia’s full-time undergraduates in 2017-2018 received some form of financial aid, said Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D.

 

Botzman said Misericordia remains committed to its mission of providing “affordable opportunities for every student who dreams of earning a college education.”

 

Forty-one percent of all undergraduate students during the 2017-18 academic year were first-generation college students at Misericordia, he said.

 

“Misericordia strives to offer high-demand academic programs, while continuously working to expand scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students of all means,” Botzman said.

 

Botzman said low-income students pay less for college because “it has long been recognized that it is for the private and public good to have broad access to higher education.”

 

“The federal and state governments, and our generous alumni and friends all recognize that students with less resources need to have an opportunity to participate fully in quality higher education,” he said.

 

Botzman said Money Magazine’s ranking and rankings by other publications “illustrate why Misericordia continues to be considered a prestigious institution to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree.”

 

King’s College: Wilkes-Barre, PA

The estimated full price to attend King’s College in 2018-2019 is $53,300.

 

The estimated price for students who receive aid is $27,800. The average price for low-income students is $20,700. Ninety-one percent of students get grants.

 

The average student debt is $27,000 and the average salary within three years is $44,100. Thirty-eight percent of low-income students become upper middle class, according to Money Magazine.

 

Corry Unis, vice president for enrollment management at King’s College, said families at the lowest end of the income scale qualify for Pell grants but middle class families could qualify as well.

 

Most students will not pay $53,300, but will qualify for a merit-based scholarship or financial aid or both, he said. Many students qualify for needs-based grants funded by private donations, he said.

 

Different methodologies are used for lists ranking colleges and King’s College has ranked on other prominent lists as well.

 

For 10 consecutive years, King’s College was placed on an Forbes magazine’s exclusive list of “Best American Colleges,” for example.

 

Unis said he is glad King’s College as well as universities in Northeastern Pennsylvania are recognized on Money Magazine’s list of the 727 best colleges of nearly 4,400 colleges and universities nationwide.

 

“What this shows you, with all these different methodologies, is there are some amazing schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Unis said.

 

Wilkes University: Wilkes-Barre, PA

The estimated full price to attend Wilkes University is $55,300. The estimated price for students who receive aid is $26,900 and the average price for low-income students is $20,300. Eighty-four percent of students get grants.

 

The average Wilkes University student debt is $26,000 and the average salary students will earn within three years of graduation is $48,200.

 

Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy said the findings “reiterate that Wilkes offers an excellent return on investment.”

 

“We are pleased not only to be included among Money magazine’s best colleges for the money, but also to have improved in nearly every category considered for the list: academic excellence, affordability and outcomes,” Leahy said.

 

Leahy said although Wilkes “performs well on rankings that assess value and student earnings, we remain wary of those that oversimplify the complexities of educating students, especially students who face economic or academic challenges.”

 

“Our access mission means providing educational opportunities to all who show potential,” Leahy said. “And we will continue to do so.”

 

Marywood University: Scranton, PA

The estimated full price to attend Marywood University is $51,500.

 

The estimated price for students who receive aid is $25,300 and the average price for low-income students is $18,300. Ninety-two percent of students get grants, according to Money Magazine.

 

According to the magazine, the average Marywood University student debt is $27,000 and the average salary a student will earn within three years of graduation is $41,000.

 

Marywood University’s acceptance rate is 68 percent. According to the magazine, 13 percent of low-income students will become upper middle class.

 

JuneAnn Greco, director of public relations for Marywood University, said rankings could serve as a reference for parents and students when they are searching for a college or university but they are “just one small part of the greater search that all students and parents should undergo in the process of finding the right college or university for them.”

 

She said there are many rankings out there and some solicit participation and are more comprehensive, but she added it was good to be included as one of the two Lackawanna universities in Money Magazine’s list.

 


Contact the writer: dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2115, @CVAllabaugh on Twitter

https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/four-nepa-universities-and-one-college-make-money-magazine-s-national-list-of-best-colleges-1.2375331



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