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Pomona College Named Best Value Among Liberal Arts Colleges By Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine

Pomona College has been named the “Best Value” among liberal arts colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, in its December edition, on sale Nov. 8. The “Best Values in Private Colleges 2011-12” article and lists were published online Oct. 25. This marks the third time in four years that Pomona College has topped the list.

Pomona received kudos for its academic quality, 91% four-year graduation rate, “plentiful financial aid,” low average student debt at graduation, good-student-to-faculty ratio (7:1) and excellent on-campus resources. Pomona’s membership in the Claremont Colleges was also noted as a plus.

“The institutions on Kiplinger’s rankings for best value in private colleges represent schools that provide high-quality academics as well as affordable cost even in these tough times,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior associate editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “With money tight and the college choice so important, you have every reason to expect the best bang for your buck.”

Kiplinger’s annual “Best Values” ranking assessed quality by the percentage of students who are admitted out of those who applied, the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members and the four- and five-year graduation rates. This year, Kiplinger’s adjusted its criteria to give more weight to colleges that keep student debt down and to the four-year graduation rate, which they noted is “a measure of the college’s ability to deliver academic support and of the overall cost to families.”

“For many families, tuition at private colleges may seem out of reach,” notes Seth Allen, Pomona’s vice president of admissions and financial aid. “It’s important that families know that there are top colleges like Pomona College that make financial aid a priority, putting tuition within reach of many families. This is something that more people need to know.”

Rounding out the top 10 “Best Value Liberal Arts Colleges” list were: Washington & Lee University, Swarthmore College, Williams College, Davidson College, Hamilton College, Vassar College, Wellesley College, Bowdoin College, and Amherst College.

All four of Pomona’s sister undergraduate colleges in The Claremont Colleges Consortium made the top 50 best values list: Claremont McKenna College at #18, Scripps College at #24, Harvey Mudd College at #26, and Pitzer College at #50.

Pomona College is one of a handful of institutions committed to both need-blind admissions and to meeting the full financial aid need of its students with scholarships. Currently, 53 percent of Pomona students receive financial aid. The average financial aid package is $34,674.