The Princeton Review has included the University of Richmond on its list of 75 best-value private universities for the 10th year in a row.
The publication selected Richmond for having the academic opportunities of larger universities, with the advantages of being a smaller liberal arts college.
“The value proposition and the return on investment is very high here at the university,” said Gil Villanueva, assistant vice president and dean of admission.
Despite the economic downfall since 2008, the university administration continues to add to the campus, particularly to the academic enterprise, he said.
Construction and renovations totaling almost $90 million and a growing faculty size that has reduced the student-teacher ratio to 8-1, are evidence of the university’s effort to enhance the value of students’ educational experience, Villanueva said.
Richmond’s dedication to financial aid support was emphasized as another top factor toward the recognition of the university as a best-value institution.
“Our commitment to financial aid that ensures Richmond’s exceptional experience remains accessible to qualified students, regardless of their financial circumstances,” President Edward Ayers said, in to information provided by the university administrators.
Richmond has a need-blind admission policy and promises to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need.
“This is a very expensive proposition for many institutions,” Villanueva said. “Now, there’s only about 40 schools left in the country that can honestly say they do both.”
Brian Eckert, director for media and public relations, agreed that Richmond was among the dwindling number of universities to uphold such policies.
“That’s getting to be a very exclusive club,” Eckert said.
But, The Princeton Review was not the only source to call Richmond a good investment. U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and The Wall Street Journal’s SmartMoney have also included Richmond among their versions of best value lists.
Successful post-graduation outcomes for students accepting full-time jobs or gaining admission into prestigious graduate programs were also important considerations in assessing the overall value of a Richmond education, Villanueva said.
Eckert said: “I think that most parents, and certainly many students, are looking at what kind of employment outcome they’re going have after gradation.
“That’s a consumer point – of -view at making a college choice. Outcomes are a very big part of that decision.”
Contact reporter Mara LugoRudner at email@example.com