Rice ranks high

Rice University is one of the country’s top five best values among private schools for 2012, according to new rankings published by the Princeton Review this week.

The rankings are based on data about the quality of academics, cost of attendance and financial aid and on student opinion surveys collected from 650 colleges and universities. The Princeton Review also factored in data from surveys of students attending the schools. Over the past decade, Rice has been among the Princeton Review’s top 10 best values almost every year, and three times it has been the No. 1 best value.

"Rice's consistently high ranking on the best-value lists by the Princeton Review, Kiplinger and others reflects its success at keeping its high-quality education affordable and accessible to talented students from all backgrounds,” Rice President David Leebron said.

“The word ‘value’ is important here because it encompasses not only our comparatively low tuition, generous student-aid programs and need-blind admission, but also the dedication of our faculty members and their personal engagement with our students made possible by one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the country," he said.

For the new rankings, cost and financial aid data came from fall 2011 surveys of school administrators. Data on academics came from fall 2010 through fall 2011 surveys of school administrators. Data from students attending the schools over these years included their assessments of their professors and their satisfaction with their financial-aid awards.

Rice admits students regardless of their ability to pay and provides financial-aid packages that meet 100 percent of students' demonstrated need. Since 2009, entering freshmen from families with incomes of up to $80,000 do not have to take out loans, and Rice has limited loans to no more than $10,000 in financial-aid packages for need-eligible incoming freshmen for their four undergraduate years.

The Princeton Review refers to Rice as “one of the top universities of the nation” and notes that Rice “offers students the opportunity to develop a strong rapport with their professors, and the tier-one research institution offers robust and extensive opportunities for research and internships.” The profile notes that Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best qualify of life by the Princeton Review three years in a row and is also currently ranked No. 1 for happiest students.

In addition to Rice, the other private schools on the top five list are Williams College, Swarthmore College, Princeton University and Harvard College.

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