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Calvin again earns double kudos from U.S News
By Phil de Haan


U.S. News & World Report has released its 2000 edition of "America's Best Colleges" and Calvin College in Grand Rapids has received kudos on two counts.

Calvin was honored both as one of the top schools in the Midwest, at number 11, and also as one of the region's best values, at number three.

Calvin was rated 11th in its category of "Best Regional Universities - Midwest." That category includes some 125 colleges and universities, putting Calvin in the top 10 percent. No other Michigan school broke into the top 20, but the University of Michigan-Dearborn was 30th and Oakland University tied for 31st.

Last year Calvin was tied for 11th in the Midwest and in it was 12th. In fact, Calvin has been a top-rated school in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for 12 of the last 14 years. Creighton University (Neb.) again was top-rated in Calvin's category (for the fourth straight year).

Aquinas College in Grand Rapids made the Second Tier (38th through 62nd) as did Grand Valley State University in Allendale. Also in the Second Tier were such state schools as Central Michigan University and Northern Michigan University. The Third Tier (63rd through 96th) included Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Madonna University, Saginaw Valley State University and University of Michigan-Flint. The Fourth Tier (97th through 125th) included Cornerstone University and Marygrove College.

Calvin also earned honors in the "Great Schools at Great Prices" category. Calvin was rated the third-best value in the Midwest - the only Michigan school so honored in that category. That ratings system looks at the ratio of quality to price, the percentage of undergrads receiving grants meeting financial need and the average discount received. Calvin had 64 percent of its students receive grants based on need and an average cost after grants of just over $12,000. Drury College (Mo.) was top-rated in the Midwest.

To arrive at its "America's Best Colleges" rankings, U.S. News & World Report did a reputational survey of college presidents, deans and admissions directors at accredited four-year colleges and universities. The resulting reputational rankings then were combined with educational data that had been provided by the colleges themselves. These included statistics that measured student selectivity, retention, faculty resources, financial resources, graduation rate and alumni satisfaction.

Calvin scored high in several categories, including freshman retention rate (85%), percentage of faculty which is full time (93%), alumni giving rate (33%) and incoming ACT scores.

Said Dale Kuiper, director of admissions at Calvin: "We are pleased to receive this recognition, since U.S. News is one of the more prominent college guides. We also are gratified to be recognized as a terrific value. Sometimes sticker price is intimidating to families considering a private college. We have worked hard at Calvin to put into place an outstanding financial aid program. We are committed to making Calvin affordable for all families. The U.S. News recognition is a nice affirmation of our efforts."

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