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Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine Ranks
UW-Eau Claire Among the Best Values in Public Higher Education

RELEASED: Jan. 11, 2006

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is one of the best values in public higher education in America, according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.

UW-Eau Claire was ranked 69th in the magazine's 2006 "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" list. The magazine states that schools making the list are "noteworthy for their combination of top-flight academics and affordable costs."

"We've always known that UW-Eau Claire ranks among the best of the best in terms of academic quality," said Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson. "It's satisfying to see that according to the variables used in this publication's rankings, our students are getting great value for their tuition dollars."

Kiplinger's rankings are based on data collected from more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities. Variables used to determine quality include things like admission rates, retention and graduation rates. The value component was determined by looking at cost and financial aid data, such as total cost for tuition, fees, books, and room and board; average cost for a student with need after subtracting grants; and the average debt a student accumulates before graduation.

"We were looking for schools that were academically strong as well as affordable, so in our scoring, academic quality carries more weight than costs," the magazine states.

Protecting the quality of UW-Eau Claire's academic programs has been the top priority as the university has faced unprecedented budget cuts in recent years, Larson said. Tuition has gone up as a result of the fiscal challenges, causing concern that some talented and motivated students cannot afford to attend college, she said.

"So while this ranking is encouraging, we must not forget that additional cuts to our budget will make it more difficult in the years ahead to offer the quality education our students expect at a price all motivated and talented students can afford," Larson said.

Two other UW System schools were included in the top 100 list, with UW-Madison ranked 15th and UW-La Crosse at 36.

UW-Eau Claire was not included on Kiplinger's 2003 list, the last time the magazine compiled its best values list.

-30-

JB

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