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Kiplinger's Magazine Ranks UW-Eau Claire Among
Best Values in U.S. Public Colleges

RELEASED: Jan. 11, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has again included the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire among its 100 best values in public colleges.

UW-Eau Claire is ranked 64th in the magazine's national 2008 rankings for in-state students and 62nd in best value for out-of-state students. The "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" lists are published online and in the magazine's February issue.

"These national rankings are gratifying because they recognize the quality of education at UW-Eau Claire while also acknowledging that we're providing that first-class education at a reasonable price," said UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich. "To make the list, institutions must offer a top-notch academic experience at an affordable price."

UW-Eau Claire's national reputation for academic excellence is the result of the university's talented faculty providing students opportunities not typically found at regional public universities, said Levin-Stankevich.

"Many schools say they're student-centered, but few back up the claim as we do at UW-Eau Claire," Levin-Stankevich said. "Our faculty consistently put students first. As a result, many of our students are doing meaningful research, community service, internships and countless other things that add great value to their undergraduate experience."

Administrators, faculty and staff are working to ensure those opportunities continue despite significant budget challenges, Levin-Stankevich said. Efforts to keep costs affordable include everything from creating a detailed university strategic plan to increasing the dollars the university brings in from sources other than tuition and the state budget, he said.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation recently completed its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, a five-year effort that raised about $54 million. Many of those dollars were earmarked for student scholarships, Levin-Stankevich said.

Faculty also have aggressively sought outside funding through a variety of public and private sources, including highly competitive programs such as the National Science Foundation and the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Levin-Stankevich said.

"Many institutions go years without ever being awarded an NSF grant or Dreyfus award," Levin-Stankevich said. "Our faculty consistently receive substantial funding awards from these prestigious foundations."

To maintain quality and offset the limits of state support, UW-Eau Claire and other UW campuses have had to increase tuition in recent years, Levin-Stankevich said.

"The Regents have tried to keep those increases reasonable," Levin-Stankevich said. "It's encouraging to know that while students are paying more, Kiplinger's has found they're still getting a great value for their tuition dollars."

To create its top 100 lists, Kiplinger's reviews data from more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities throughout the country. Researchers narrow the list by using several measures of academic quality, including freshman class ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and graduation rates.

The magazine then ranks each school based on cost and financial aid. Researchers look at total cost for in-state students (tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, and estimated expenses for books); the average cost for a student with need after subtracting grants (but not loans); the average cost of a student without need after subtracting non-need-based grants; the average percentage of need met by aid; and the average debt a student accumulates before graduation.

-30-

JB

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