Two of the most prevalent nightmares among Catholic parents are the cost of a college education and the fear that their children will lose their faith when they head off to college.
But there's hope.
One of the nation’s most trusted publishers of business forecasts and personal finance advice, Kiplinger, has ranked three faithful Catholic colleges in its "Top 10" list of private colleges with the lowest sticker price.
, Thomas Aquinas College
(of California), and Franciscan University of Steubenville
have been named to Kiplinger's “Top 10” list of private colleges with the lowest sticker price.
All three are also featured by The Cardinal Newman Society in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College
for their strong Catholic identity. CNS has shown how these faithful institutions are on average also affordable.
And it's not just the cost that Kiplinger took into account. This year, it took into account factors such as student debt, retention rates, and graduation rates, all of which impact the total cost of a college degree. “You don’t have to pay a fortune … to attend a top-quality private college or university,” says Kiplinger in introducing these Top 10 schools.
Michael Hernon, vice president for Advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville, told the Cardinal Newman Society that one of the reasons the college can keep its tuition lower than many other institutions is the generosity of donors. The college recently completed a highly successful capital campaign that raised over $15 million for scholarships.
"Eighty-five percent of our students qualify for some form of financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work study," said Hernon. "We know the spiritual and academic environment at Franciscan University prepares students to be ambassadors for Christ in the world and so we work hard to make a Franciscan education affordable to as many students as possible."
Thomas Aquinas College’s director of admissions, Jon Daly said, "We are proud of the fact that tuition, room and board at Thomas Aquinas College come to just over $30,000, especially here in California where the cost of living is among the highest in the nation."
"We have the second lowest student debt among the 10 colleges with the lowest sticker price," he added. "All of this makes Thomas Aquinas College a great value."
Christendom's Director of Admissions Tom McFadden said, “Christendom's cost, including room and board, comes in well below the average at $27,540. And many students are able to deduct up to $20,000 off that price through our robust financial aid program. Assistance will vary in size—based on need, merit, and other factors—but you're not going to find our caliber of education and personal formation anywhere in the country—especially at a price like that."
The ranking by Kiplinger reinforces the findings of a study published by The Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education which revealed that some of the most faithful Catholic colleges and universities in the United States also offer students significant cost savings. Among the study’s key findings:
· Average tuition for students at the recommended faithful Catholic colleges is about $3,000 less than at other Catholic colleges and about $1,000 less than the average private college.
· The Newman Guide colleges provide students a larger portion of institutional aid (39%) than the average private college (29%).
· Students at the recommended Catholic colleges graduate with fewer loans and less debt—on average, about $2,000 less than at private colleges and $1,400 less than other Catholic colleges.
In fact, according to the U.S. Education Department, the median net cost in 2008-09 for colleges in The Newman Guide was $20,189—more than $5,000 less than the median for large Catholic universities.
Studies referenced are available here
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