University of La Verne is "Best Bang for the Buck" among National Universities: Only Private University Listed in Top 50

LA VERNE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new survey by Washington Monthly, the magazine of public affairs and culture covering the country's capital, ranks the University of La Verne in the National Universities category among the top 50 institutions where students get the "best bang for the buck."

La Verne is the only private institution in the nation to make the National Universities category top 50 list, which includes many of California's first-tier public universities.

"Our ranking in terms of affordability, diversity, and graduation rate," said University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman, "is a powerful validation of the dedication of our faculty and staff to achieve the university's mission and of our students' commitment to earn their college degrees."

Washington Monthly considers four factors in building the ranking. At least 20 per cent of students must be receiving Pell Grants. More than half of the students who enroll must graduate. Each institution's actual graduation rate must exceed that statistically predicted for it by the magazine based on the demographic it serves. The default rate on student loans must be 10 percent or less.

Once those criteria are considered, editors ranked the schools according to net price (the average tuition less need-based financial aid actually paid by students from families with annual incomes of $75,000 or less).

"Washington Monthly's approach to college rankings is heartening," said President Lieberman. "By looking at how students fare after enrolling and how much they really pay, the magazine is giving its readers information they can use to make better decisions about which college may be best for them, as well as assuring the American taxpayers that their tax dollars are indeed providing students with a college degree of substance."

The marketplace has also discovered the viability of a University of La Verne education. Applications for incoming freshman have increased from 1800 applications in 2009 to over 9,000 today. High school counselors, parents and students are making their own comparisons and coming to the same conclusions as Washington Monthly.

In California, out of pocket costs for most students at the University of La Verne are less than they would be in California public universities. And, graduation rates are higher on average when compared to public universities for the traditional four year time period.

In 2012, University of La Verne enrolled 8628 full and part-time students. Among them, 40 percent were Hispanic/Latino, 27 percent white, 8 percent African-American, and 6 percent Asian. Of the traditional undergraduate students (ages 18 – 23), 40% are first-generation students (the first in their families to attend college). Among all undergraduates, 48% are adult learners, with an average age of 34. The University offers 55 undergraduate majors, master's degrees in 16 fields, and three doctorates plus a Juris Doctor of law. Located in La Verne, a foothill city about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, the University also has campuses in seven communities and two military bases in central and southern California. The University was founded in 1891 and retains its original core founding values: ethical reasoning, diversity and inclusivity, lifelong learning, and community and civic engagement.

For the complete Washington Monthly list, visit:

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