Newsweek’s annual edition of “College Rankings 2012” ranked Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) as sixth in the U.S for Most Affordable Schools. Not only is NEIU ranked high on the list, but the company the university keeps is impressive. The five universities preceding NEIU according to Newsweek are:
1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2) Princeton University
3) California Institute of Technology
4) Baylor University
5) Harvard University
When most people think about college affordability, they think cheap, but in the report, Newsweek factors in four elements to determine the rankings: debt, total cost, financial aid and future earnings. According to the report, the average debt per student and percentage of students graduating with debt, according to College InSight is weighted at 25 percent. The total price, including tuition and living expenses, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is 25 percent, as is the percentage of full-time students receiving financial aid (this was a proxy for student wealth and financial need). The last 25 percent of the weighted ranking is based on the starting median salary and mid-career salary from each university, according to PayScale. “I receive a top quality education here in the social work program at NEIU,” Senior Kelly Webb said. “The social work and sociology departments have well prepared me for my pursuit of graduate school. All of my professors are from universities such as Harvard and University of Chicago. I believe they bring their knowledge here to NEIU to provide students with a higher level of education at more affordable costs.”
The report stated that “more than 78 percent of NEIU’s full-time students receive financial aid and only 13 percent of graduates incur debt.” NEIU is a fully accredited public university serving approximately 12,000 students in the Chicago area. NEIU offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts, sciences, education and business. To see the full report or view the press release, visit NEIU’s website.