JMU Named a Top-50 Best Value College in the U.S.

From: Public Affairs

January 9, 2009

James Madison University is recognized as one of the nation's top 50 "Best Value" public universities in the 2009 Princeton Review "Best Value Colleges" list released Jan. 8.

JMU is among six Virginia institutions on the list, including the University of Virginia, College of William & Mary, George Mason University, University of Mary Washington and Virginia Tech.

"In tough economic times, students and families need more than ever to make every education dollar count," the list's editors write.

The list aims to recognize schools that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price.

The selection criteria cover more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance and financial aid, using institutional data for the 2007-2008 academic year.

On the project's interactive Web site, bestvaluecolleges.usatoday.com, editors note that JMU has maintained affordable tuition by keeping tuition increases below both state and national averages in recent years. According to the site, JMU tuition costs for both in-state and out-of-state students are the lowest of the six Virginia universities on the list.

Also highlighted is JMU's strong commitment to providing both need-based and merit-based financial aid to help defer costs for students and their families.

But it's not all about the money. The editors describe JMU as a "warm, welcoming environment…where it doesn’t take students long to feel comfortable and right at home."

As for academics, the article notes JMU's strong business management and health services majors as well as technical disciplines, including the "standout" integrated science and technology program.

"Throughout the university, faculty value real-world preparation for real-world jobs, and look to take the learning process outside the classroom whenever possible," the article reads, also noting the university's numerous extracurricular programs as vehicles for students to expand on their classroom learning experiences.

The recognition comes on the heels of JMU being named one of the top-30 Best Values in Public Education by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

Kiplinger's bases its college rankings on a "combination of outstanding academic quality and an affordable price tag." A complete list may be found at the Kiplinger's Web site.

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