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Princeton Review Names UW-Eau Claire One of Top 100 'Best Value' Public Universities in Nation

RELEASED: Jan. 8, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was named today as one of The Princeton Review's top 100 "Best Value Colleges for 2009" in the United States.

The Princeton Review's list — featured in today's USA TODAY newspaper and on its Web site — includes 50 public and 50 private institutions. UW-Eau Claire is the only college or university from Wisconsin included on the list.

"UW-Eau Claire's longtime commitment to offering students a quality but affordable education has taken on even greater importance given the economic challenges facing our state and nation," Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich said. "The 2009 freshman class will enter college during a recession, a reality that makes it even more important to select a quality institution that provides an education and experiences that will give them a leg-up for a range of opportunities upon graduation. That quality-cost balance cited by The Princeton Review is more important than ever to our students and their families during this time."

The Princeton Review, a New York-based education services company, regularly analyzes data from approximately 650 colleges and universities that it considers the best. When creating its "Best Value" list, it looked at academics, costs and financial aid, using the most recently reported data from each institution for its 2008-09 academic year, for about 650 higher education institutions in the United States. Additionally, 160,000 to 175,000 student surveys were received, which also provided input for the academic ratings.

In the profile of UW-Eau Claire included on the USA TODAY Web site, The Princeton Review describes the university as "a challenging, midsize state university that offers an exceptional and very affordable education."

With fewer than 10,000 undergraduate students, UW Eau Claire has the feel of a smaller college, The Princeton Review states on the USA TODAY Web site. "Don't be fooled, though," it goes on to say. "In terms of its array of majors and minors, Eau Claire compares favorably with much larger schools. As one example, more than 700 students are involved directly in faculty research — an honor reserved for graduate students at most universities."

The Princeton Review describes UW-Eau Claire professors as "accomplished and known for being accessible outside of class," noting that the faculty includes four Wisconsin Professor of the Year recipients and that faculty — not teaching assistants — teach most classes.

The average student is politically liberal, socially laid-back and dedicated to schoolwork, according to the online profile. "The atmosphere on campus is a warm and welcoming one," the profile states. "Intramural sports are popular, while fraternities and sororities aren't a big deal. Lectures, concerts, and on-campus activities keep students busy too."

The Princeton Review describes the city of Eau Claire as "an ideal college town," noting its nightlife, outdoor recreation and proximity to the cities of Madison and Minneapolis.

From 2004-07, The Princeton Review published the results of its rankings in a book, America's Best Value Colleges, and included the data on its Web site. This year, through a partnership with USA TODAY, the full list and analysis are on USATODAY.com. The lists also were featured on NBC's Today show this morning (Jan. 8).

The Princeton Review has included UW-Eau Claire in a variety of rankings in recent years, most recently in August 2008 when it named the university a 2009 Best Midwestern College. UW-Eau Claire was one of 158 schools in a 12-state region to receive the "Best Midwestern College" designation.

-30-

JB

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