JMU Named a U.S. Top 50 Best Value Public University

From: Public Affairs

“Virginia residents have the opportunity to study at James Madison for a very low price, while receiving the major benefits of the school’s strong academic and pre-professional programs,” according to the “Princeton Review Best Value Colleges for 2010.”

James Madison University is identified as one of the nation’s top 50 “Best Values” public universities in the list released Jan. 12.

The list features 50 public and 50 private colleges and universities. Of the 50 schools in each category, the top 10 are ranked 1 to 10 and the remaining 40 are listed in alphabetical order and unranked. The complete lists are available at http://www.BestValueColleges.usatoday.com, on USA TODAY’s site, in partnership with Princeton Review.

JMU was selected for inclusion on the best value list from surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 colleges and universities. The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, cost of attendance and financial aid, using institutional data from the 2008-09 academic year.

“A member of the Virginia state school system, James Madison University has emerged as a leader among southern public universities,” according to Princeton Review’s narrative of JMU. “With an undergraduate enrollment of 16,400, James Madison is big, but it isn’t overwhelming. The school strives to create an intimate academic atmosphere, while still providing the resources you’d expect to find at a top university.”

JMU’s commitment to learning outside the classroom and the importance of international study were also recognized. “Programs like Alternative Spring Break are very popular at this service-minded college, while 80 percent of the school’s undergraduates do a practicum, conduct research, complete an internship, or teach,” according to the narrative section.

Financial aid and scholarship opportunities at JMU were cited, including the Thomas and Karyn Dingledine scholarships, which award full tuition for four years to freshman students who have demonstrated leadership, academic achievement and commitment to community service.

JMU was included in the 2009 “Princeton Review Best Value Colleges” list.

This year’s Princeton Review recognition follows the announcement that JMU ranks 21st in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s 2010 list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges.

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Jan. 12, 2010