Money Magazine ranked College of the Ozarks No. 3 on their recently announced list of The 50 Most Affordable Private Colleges.
Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma, was No. 32 on the list.
The publication reviewed more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities across the United States to determine who delivers the most value. College of the Ozarks students are able to work to offset the cost of tuition, allowing them to graduate debt free. Affordability is a cornerstone in the foundation of the College. Since 1906, the College’s mission has been “to provide the advantages of a Christian education for the youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training.”
“We are proud to offer our students the opportunity to work for their education,” said Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman. “They learn discipline, workplace communication skills, and the value of work all within a Christian environment. Our graduates also have a headstart on life. They may buy a car, save for a house, or start a business rather than struggling under the typical astronomical debt-load most graduates face.”
In order for schools to qualify, they had to have at least 500 students, a graduation rate that was at or above the median for its institutional category (public or private), sufficient data to be analyzed, and not be identified as in financial difficulty by the U.S. Department of Education or bond ratings agencies.
The remaining schools were then ranked on multiple factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes. Because these three factors are so interrelated and crucial to families, Money gave them equal weights in the ranking
For determining the quality of education, Money used factors including graduation rates, value-added graduation rates, peer quality and faculty. For determining affordability, factors included net price, educational debt, ability to repay and affordability for low-income families. For determining outcomes, factors included college career services, post-graduation earning power, job meaning and earnings comparative value.