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News from the Hilltop

Oct. 21, 2013

BSC moves up in "Kiplinger's Personal Finance" college rankings

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine placed Birmingham-Southern 82nd on its list of the country's best values in liberal arts colleges, an eight-point improvement over last year's ranking of 90th.

Kiplinger's compiles its listing of 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges annually based on high-quality academics at a reasonable cost. The top 50 of each category appear in the magazine's December issue—on newsstands Nov. 5. Kiplinger's says its selected schools exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class size, a good freshman retention rate, and a high four-year graduation rate.

"With President Obama's recent emphasis on rating colleges and universities based on their value, our rankings serve as a valuable resource to help students and families make more informed choices," said Janet Bodnar, the magazine's editor. "Combining a high-quality education with an affordable price tag is a challenge, but the colleges on this year's list offer the best of both worlds."

Kiplinger's rankings measure academic quality and affordability. Academic criteria include the student admission rate (the number of students accepted from applicants), the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members, and the four- and five-year graduation rates. On the cost side, Kiplinger's measures the sticker price, the availability and average amount of need-based and merit-based financial aid, and the average student debt at graduation.

"It is gratifying that Kiplinger's has again recognized Birmingham-Southern as a best-value liberal arts college, said Sheri Scholl Salmon '85, associate vice president of admission. "This recognition, coupled with our inclusion in the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges, reflects the college's commitment to offer students a high-quality BSC education with an affordable price tag, especially in these continued tough economic times."

Many of the schools on the top 200 list have appeared in Kiplinger's rankings in previous years, demonstrating that these schools consistently deliver good value. The full list is available online at www.kiplinger.com/links/college.

About Birmingham-Southern College:

Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,200 students from more than 30 states and 16 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.