Washington Monthly Ranks Carlow University Among Its Top 100 Best Bang for the Buck Colleges

Carlow University Is in the Top 20 of All Private Colleges on the List, and the Only School in Pennsylvania

University Communications & External Relations For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director of Media Relations September 17, 2013
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Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University cracked the Top 20 private colleges and the Top 100 overall on Washington Monthly’s annual ranking of more than 1,500 colleges that provide the “best bang for the buck.”
Each year, the publication crafts a list of the colleges in America “that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”  Only 349 schools out of 1,572 colleges and universities considered made the best-bang-for-the-buck list. Carlow was ranked 96th overall (public and private) and 19th among just the private schools. Notably, Carlow was one of only three schools from Pennsylvania among the top 100 – and the only Pennsylvania school in the Top 20 – and one of only two Catholic schools among the top 20. The closest Top 20 ranked institution geographically is more than 370 miles away from Pittsburgh.

“We are pleased an independent source like Washington Monthly has confirmed what we have known about Carlow,” said Suzanne Mellon, PhD, the president of Carlow University. “Our mission when Carlow was founded 84 years ago was to not only provide students with a personalized education that prepares them for a career and for life, but to educate people who are not being served by other schools. We are still fulfilling that mission today.”

In an article that accompanied the rankings, Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education in the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy at Seton Hall University, described Washington Monthly’s methodology for its list this way:

“To get on our list, colleges have to meet four criteria. First, to make sure they aren’t just catering to the affluent, at least 20 percent of their students must be receiving Pell Grants, which go to students of modest means (typically those with annual household incomes below $50,000). Second, they must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent—hardly an exacting standard, but a fair one considering that we’re requiring that a fifth of their student body have lower incomes, a demographic that tends to graduate in lower numbers. Third, each school’s actual graduation rate must meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students admitted (among other things, this calculation assures that schools with more than the minimum 20 percent of Pell students aren’t penalized). Fourth, to make sure their graduates are earning enough in the workforce to at least cover their student loans, schools must have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less.”

In the rankings, 59 percent of Carlow students receive Pell Grants, 51 percent graduate, and the default rate on the student loans is five percent.  A link to the Washington Monthly article, which includes a link to its “2013 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings – All Schools,” can be found by following this link:  http://www.washingtonmonthly.com

About Carlow University
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1929. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University is a comprehensive master's institution dedicated to learner-centered education at the collegiate levels and at the elementary school level in the Campus School of Carlow University.

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