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The Princeton Review again names UW-Eau Claire among top best value colleges

January 29, 2014

BVC_PublicSchools_Seal-webEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has been named one of The Princeton Review's 150 "Best Value Colleges for 2014" in the United States.

The Princeton Review's list includes 75 public and 75 private institutions. UW-Eau Claire and UW-Madison are the only colleges or universities from Wisconsin on the list. The best-value-colleges list appears in The Princeton Review's new book, "The Best Value Colleges: 2014 Edition," as well as on dedicated areas of the company's free website and on today's USA Today newspaper website.

When creating its "Best Value" list, The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company, looked at academics, costs and financial aid — using the most recently reported data from each institution for its 2012-13 academic year — for 2,000 undergraduate institutions in the United States. Student surveys also provided input for the academic ratings.

"One of the more impressive aspects of the university is its inexpensiveness in relation to the quality of education being offered," the USA Today website about the "Best Values" list says of UW-Eau Claire. "The school is very committed to making quality education available to most every student; 89 percent of the total average need is met, with more than 54 percent of undergraduates receiving at least some manner of need-based financial aid. The average financial support package is $9,000."

UW-Eau Claire has long been a leader in finding innovative ways to provide students with high-quality learning experiences while also being mindful of costs, Chancellor James C. Schmidt said.

"Thanks to the ideas, creativity and passion of our faculty and staff we have successfully developed new high-impact programs and other opportunities that enhance student learning," Schmidt said. "Credit also goes to our students, who have been our partners in designing and funding many of these initiatives, which are allowing so many students to engage in challenging undergraduate research, study internationally or participate in service projects in communities close to home and around the world."

For example, the International Fellows Program supports students and their faculty mentors as they pursue research, creative or service projects in regions not typically served by traditional study abroad programs, Schmidt said. These intense international learning experiences, which range from three weeks to several months in duration, allow students to grow academically and personally, he said, noting that the program has attracted students from a variety of majors, most of whom have not had previous international learning experiences.

The International Fellows Program — now in its fourth year — is funded by the Blugold Commitment. Approved in 2010 by UW-Eau Claire students and the UW System Board of Regents, the Blugold Commitment is a differential tuition increase that helps to preserve and enhance the distinctive UW-Eau Claire educational experience. Providing high-impact learning experiences for all UW-Eau Claire students is one of the goals of the Blugold Commitment.

"It's impressive that our students so value these kinds of experiences that they agreed to pay additional tuition dollars to fund them," Schmidt said. "And it's equally impressive that our faculty and staff find so many innovative ways to use these dollars to provide students with experiences that exceed everyone's expectations."

More information about The Princeton Review rankings can be found online.

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