ACU listed in America's 100 Best College Buys; 1999-00 tuition rate announced

For immediate release
March 22, 1999

ABILENE -- Abilene Christian University has been named one of "America's 100 Best College Buys" for the third straight year, making it one of only 37 private universities in the nation to receive this honor determined by the independent organization Institutional Research and Evaluation Inc.

ACU has been included in this list since the program's inception, said Lewis T. Lindsey Jr., president of the research organization. The list has previously been published in a book by John Culler & Sons, but no guidebook will be available this year, Lindsey said.

"It's amazing that these schools can consistently, year after year, deliver a quality education at a cost that is within every student's reach," Lindsey wrote in a letter to ACU. "In the 1998-99 school year, students attending one of America's 100 Best College Buys saved an average of $2,399 over the national average cost of one year of college."

ACU was one of only five universities in Texas to receive this honor. The others were Baylor University, Houston Baptist University, Texas A&M University and the University of North Texas. Among these Texas institutions, ACU's entering freshmen had the highest entering grade point average (3.5 out of 4.0), and the university's freshmen scored higher than the national average on two different college entrance exams.

School's listed among "America's 100 Best College Buys" must provide "the highest quality in education at the lowest cost," according to the year 2000 report.

Among "America's 100 Best College Buys" data were these cost comparisons, which includes tuition, fees, room and board for 1998-99 (click for full image):


Institutional Research & Evaluation is an independent research and consulting organization specializing in the recruiting and retention of students for institutions of higher education. No college or university pays to be included in their reports, Lindsey said. Institutions are included solely on the basis of merit.

ACU has been cited in the past by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best college values in the nation. The university's total cost of attendance makes it one of the most affordable private universities in the nation. In fact, among similar private universities nationwide, Abilene Christian ranks in the lowest 20 percent in price, said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president.

As of June 1, ACU's tuition will increase 6.1 percent, which will increase it's per-hour cost from $308 to $327, said Phil Schubert, ACU's chief financial officer. The university has had similar increases in the past three years, but continued to remain among the best values in America, he said.

"The current increase still leaves ACU in the lowest quartile of price among Masters I institutions across the country while allowing us to maintain the highest quality academic instruction in a distinctively Christian environment," said Schubert.

Money explained that "incremental price increases help us sustain our commitment to an exceptional academic experience for students."

In addition to holding the tuition increase to the lowest possible level, ACU continues to provide students with a tremendous amount of financial aid, Schubert said. For 1997-98, the university awarded more than $36 million to students in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work study. More than 90 percent of the freshman class received some form of financial aid.

An on-line college guide produced by Peterson's explains to families that the cost for higher education has been increasing 7 to 9 percent each year, and will probably continue at or near that rate.

In fact, ACU's assistance to students also has been recognized nationally. Last year, Abilene Christian was cited as offering "America's Best Scholarships."

"A college does not have to be expensive to be good," Lindsey said. "Prospective college students and their parents should not automatically think that to get a quality education they must pay a high cost."


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Last update: March 23, 1999
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