Fiske editors reviewed more than 300 colleges and universities, categorizing them by in-state tuition costs for the 2012-13 school year on a scale from “inexpensive” — less than $7,500 for the year — to “very expensive” — more than $11,500.
Of the schools reviewed, Fiske editors granted 41 institutions a “best buy” designation for maintaining an “inexpensive” or “moderate” tuition cost while still providing students with a quality education, according to an explanation within the guide.
Of the “best buy” institutions, IU is one of three schools in the Big Ten Conference — the others are University of Wisconsin and Univeristy of Iowa — and one of two Indiana schools alongside Butler University.
When considering schools for the title, Fiske rates the schools’ academics on factors such as academic reputation, quality of faculty and ability of students. Fiske’s ratings are based on submitted surveys where students answer questions about the institution they attend, and the publication acknowledges the subjectivity of its ratings.
Although academics and tuition costs are the main criteria considered for the “best buy” rating, Fiske also reviews schools based on their social scenes and student quality of life.
New initiatives, such as IU’s student financial literacy program launched in June that includes workshops and peer advising, underscore the University’s dedication to driving down tuition costs and student debt. Such programs may have played a role in the new title.
“While a ranking itself cannot reduce the hardships that so many students and their families are facing in these challenging economic times, it does support our continued and creative effort to address the important issues of college affordability and timely degree completion,” IU’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald said in a press release.
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