LEWISTON, Maine — Bates College, where tuition, room and board costs roughly $40,000 a year, has been ranked by The Princeton Review as the nation’s “best value” college.
Bates, which was fifth in last year’s rankings, topped the 81 schools profiled in the 2006 edition of “America’s Best Value Colleges.”
The Princeton Review said all 81 offer outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages and relatively low costs.
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, N.M., was runner-up, and Brigham Young University of Provo, Utah, ranked third.
Rounding out the top 10 were Hendrix College, Conway, Ark.; University of California-Los Angeles; New College of Florida, Sarasota; City University of New York-Brooklyn College; City University of New York-Queens College; William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo.; and Hanover College, Hanover, Ind.
The Princeton Review, an education services company with no connection to Princeton University, compiled the list and its book from data obtained from administrators at more than 350 colleges and from surveys of college students.
Bates is a private liberal arts college whose tuition is on a par with its peers and with Ivy League schools. It is located in Maine’s second-largest city, with a large Franco-American population and an economy that is moving beyond its former dependence on the textile and shoe industries.
The Princeton Review said its rankings were based on more than 30 factors in four categories: academics, tuition, financial aid and student borrowing.
“Bottom line: The 81 schools that met our criteria for this book are all great college education deals,” said Robert Franek, the company’s vice president for publishing.
Wylie Mitchell, the dean of students for Bates College, said, “It is always gratifying to be placed at the top of anyone’s top 10 list, especially when it is recognition of the value of a Bates education.”
“I don’t know this,” he said, “but I assume two factors that may have stood out are the fact that we generally don’t reduce our financial aid scholarships when students receive outside scholarships, and another may be our relatively low average student indebtedness at graduation.”