Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oregon State University rises in 'best buy' college guide

Statesman Journal
EUGENE — Oregon State University is the lone Oregon institution to make the annual Fiske Guide to the best buys of U.S. colleges and universities this year.
OSU keeps climbing up in the guide, while former regular, the University of Oregon, has been left off again, The Eugene Register-Guard reported Sunday.
Until 2005, the UO made the 40-school best-buy list annually for eight years in a row — perpetually honored as a high value university among the 2,200 four-year institutions in the nation.
The best-buy calculation is based on the quality of academics in relation to the cost of attendance. Edward Fiske, a former education editor at The New York Times, is the guide’s author.
“It’s not a question of what’s cheapest,” he said. “It’s what’s offering the best quality in relation to the cost.”
This year, the UO tuition probably ticked up just enough that it was bested by other schools in the calculation, Fiske said.
From 2001 to fall 2012, UO tuition and fees increased 129 percent — landing at $9,309 per year, according to Oregon University System figures.
“Affordability for students is very important to us,” Jim Brooks, UO financial aid director, said in an email, “and the university aims to keep tuition increases as low as possible despite the reductions in state support over the past several years. We also work very diligently to find opportunities to provide financial aid and scholarships to assist students and their families with affordability.”
Rapidly increasing tuition costs are a common story throughout the country, even at public universities, to the extent that the trend is pricing out the populace, Fiske said.
“That’s a huge issue,” he said. “The flagship publics, in a lot of states, are the equivalent of the privates.”
The UO still is listed on the top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. It’s 97 on the list, down from 89 the previous year.
OSU, meanwhile, is on the ascent. It gets an “inexpensive” price rating and a “solid” academic rating from Fiske.

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