WCU named ‘Best College Value’ by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine

Western Carolina University has been named a “2018 Best College Value” in an annual review of colleges and universities conducted by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

WCU is ranked 58th among public higher education institutions across the nation in terms of value for in-state students and 48th for out-of-state students. The rankings are based on admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, four-year graduation rates, costs of attending, financial aid and average debt of students at graduation. WCU was ranked 185th overall out of the final 300 public and private institutions selected as a best value by Kiplinger’s.

“Our rankings, which weigh affordability alongside academic quality, are a great resource for students and their parents when sorting through college choices,” said Mark Solheim, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The assessment began with a list of 1,200 public and private schools across the country and data from the 2017 academic year.

“This is further recognition that attending Western Carolina University is an investment in the future,” said Phil Cauley, WCU assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate enrollment. “It’s another acknowledgement that students here gain an education that pays off in learning and life enrichment.”

Cauley added that N.C. Promise, the upcoming tuition plan for WCU (and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Elizabeth City State University) likely will be a determining factor for future rankings. The plan will reduce out-of-pocket tuition costs for in-state undergraduate students to $500 per semester starting next fall. “It’s important to note that costs related to housing, meals and fees will not be affected, so the total cost of attendance for in-state students living on campus will be just over $7,300 a semester, a drop from the current $8,800,” Cauley said.

Rankings and guidebooks can serve as a tool in the college search process, along with campus visits. Prospective students can learn more about the cost of attending WCU and details about financial aid and the university’s award-winning academic programs by attending Open House on Saturday, Feb. 24, or Saturday, March 24. Weekday campus tours also are available year-round by appointment for students and their families.

Preregistration for an Open House and more information are available by going to openhouse.wcu.edu or by calling the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 828-227-7317 or toll-free 877-928-4968.