February 5, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University is one of the 100 best college buys in the United States and has one of the 93 best scholarship programs, according to two new student guide books that rate America's colleges and universities.
In the 1997-98 edition of "America's 100 Best College Buys," WMU was listed among schools that are rated the highest academically but have the lowest total cost for the college year. The University also was included in the book's inaugural 1996-97 edition.
In addition, WMU is listed in the first edition of "America's Best College Scholarships." The
1998-99 book recognizes schools that offer merit-based scholarships that pay at least 50 percent of the basic costs to attend college.
The information contained in both of the resource books was compiled by Institutional Research and Evaluation of Gainesville, Ga., and includes details about each listed school's costs, enrollment and campus environment. The books are part of "The Student Guide Series," which is published by John Culler & Sons of Camden, S.C.
For "America's 100 Best College Buys," a total of 1,784 colleges and universities were examined.
To be considered, they had to: be an accredited, four-year institution; offer full residential facilities, including residence halls and dining services; provide opportunities to qualified students for need-based, academic-based and athletic-based financial aid; have had an entering freshman class in fall 1995 with a high school grade point average and/or SAT/ACT score above the national average for entering freshmen; and have had a cost of attendance in 1996-97 below the national average of the institutions that were considered.
The schools selected represent 40 states. Other Michigan institutions included besides WMU are Grand Valley State University, Michigan Technological University and Oakland University.
WMU's 1995 freshman class ACT score was 22, above the national average of 21. Its average grade point was 3.23, higher than the national figure of 3.03. The 1996-97 cost of attendance (tuition and fees for 30 hours and room and board) was $7,497 per year for in-state students and $11,815 for out-of-state students, well below the $13,409 average for schools considered in the survey.
"America's Best College Scholarships" examined 1,658 schools, but only 93 institutions had scholarships that met the publication's criteria.
To be considered, scholarships had to: be available to qualified, incoming, full-time freshmen; not be subject to need; not be repayable in money or service; be renewable for at least eight semesters; have a dollar value of at least 50 percent of the annual cost of tuition, mandatory fees and room and board for out-of-state students; not be subject to residency requirements; be available to all applicants who are U.S. citizens and not directed toward any identifiable group; and be administered by the institution and derived from institutional funds, endowments or private giving.
The schools selected represent 34 states. The only other Michigan institution included is Hillsdale College.
WMU supports one of the largest merit-based scholarship programs in American public higher education, the Medallion Scholarship Program. Since its inception 14 years ago, nearly 10,000 students have participated in the program and some $70 million in four-year scholarships has been offered.
Currently, three types of awards are given: Medallion Scholarships, the program's top prize, now worth $32,000 each; Board of Trustees Scholarships, worth $24,000 each; and WMU Academic Scholarships, worth $4,800 each. In 1997, 21 Medallion Scholarships were awarded.
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Western Michigan University
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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA