Author: Amy Tetta
Date: October 17, 2013

Houghton College has ranked number 76 on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the country’s best values in Liberal Arts colleges. Kiplinger’s annual list ranks 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges.

Houghton College and the other schools included in the 2014 lists represent the colleges 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 schools, including Houghton, have appeared on the list multiple times.

“Although the sticker price at private schools is usually much higher than the in-state price at public schools, private schools have the flexibility to offer more forms of financial aid. Hence, the final cost comparison is often close to equal if not less expensive at a private school,” states Ryan Spear, associate director of admission at Houghton. 

Spear continues, “For example, the average Houghton College financial aid package (including academic scholarships, institutional grants and optional federal loans) is almost $26,000. This means that the average student would be looking at an out-of-pocket cost of roughly $9,000 a year. A Houghton education is worth every penny when it comes to tuition – especially considering the high quality academic offerings. And when considering the financial aid options available for students, this quality education comes at a bargain.”

“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.”

The full 2014 list is available online now at  Kiplinger’s rankings 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.

Houghton was also recently ranked as a top national liberal arts college by US News & World Report magazine, as well as the #4 college within the CCCU by the 2014 Princeton Review and received four out of four stars for quality of life by the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014.