Four more colleges awarded Best Value School designation
Seventeen institutions honored with this special designation
Continuing their research into reasonably priced colleges that are highly regarded by their students, University Research & Review (UR&R) bestowed its Best Value School designation on four more institutions. “Our rigorous qualification process (http://tinyurl.com/mdhefwy) , which generally takes three to four months, determined that Carl Sandburg College, Eastern Arizona College, College of the Ozarks and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College deserve our coveted Best Value School designation,” said Joseph Schmoke, the research organization’s founder.
“We scour available data, including actual comments by a college’s students, to find schools to present to our nominating committee for consideration as a best value school,” said UR&R vice president Kurt Sagovac. “The nominating committee does its own review, and schools that pass that hurdle are then examined one by one at a staff meeting and, if the majority votes “for” the final steps in the process commence. The first of these steps determines what is special or unique about each school. If nothing can be identified as special or unique the school is eliminated,” Sagovac continued. “Schools that pass that hurdle must then select an executive to be interviewed by our founder, Mr. Schmoke.”
“I must feel that a school’s senior executive is passionate and committed to his or her students and to their other stakeholders, including staff, faculty and community,” stated Schmoke. “If that passion or commitment isn’t there I will not recommend the school to our selection committee. They have the final vote, which must be unanimous.”
Refusing to rank schools, which UR&R’s founder calls a “fools’ game,” the three year old company instead is on a mission to ferret out good, reasonably priced colleges that students love, according to its website www.bestvaluecolleges.org. The company was hatched after discussions by eight very senior higher education experts (http://tinyurl.com/lrylkwo) who bemoaned the outrageous amount of student debt and rapidly rising costs to attend college. With input from the former president of J.D. Power and Associates, Steve Goodall, Schmoke’s group decided to honor reasonably priced, lesser-known colleges with a J.D. Power-type award.
“We hope that the exposure we accord our Best Value School awardees will alert a wider group of cost and quality conscious potential enrollees to these schools’ attributes,” Schmoke commented. “Maybe a wiser first choice by students will help reduce the high percentage – over thirty percent – who switch schools because that first choice proved to be too expensive,” he concluded.
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