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Princeton Review Names Pomona College One of the Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges

The Best Value Colleges book cover

Pomona College has been named one of the nation’s top 10 best value private colleges by The Princeton Review. The listing, which places Pomona at #6, was published this week in the book The Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition, which profiles the top 75 public and top 75 private colleges and universities.

In each group, the top 10 colleges are ranked, with the remaining 65 in alphabetical order. The top 10 best value private colleges, in order, according to the Princeton Review are: Williams College, Swarthmore College, Princeton University, Harvard College, Rice University, Pomona College, Washington University, Yale University, the California Institute of Technology and Hamilton College.

In December, Pomona College was selected as the nation’s #1 best value liberal arts college by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, and last fall was named to the Princeton Review’s “2012 Financial Aid Honor Roll.”

In The Best Value Colleges profile, Pomona College is noted for a financial aid program that “is exceedingly generous and goes beyond just covering tuition, room and board, and fees, for which Pomona can, and does meet, 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need...wholly with grants and scholarships, probably along with a campus job.” It also mentions the College’s subsidies of internships and policy of ensuring that cost of study abroad is not a barrier for students on financial aid.

For the 2011-12 academic year, the College expects to distribute approximately $29.3 million in grant and scholarship assistance.

Among the quotes in the guide’s section “Why Students Love Pomona College” were: “As far as liberal arts colleges go, you can’t beat the climate, the community or the classroom experience” and “the perfect balance between academic rigor and laid-back fun.”

The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges selections were based on surveys of administrators and students at 650 colleges and universities. The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, cost of attendance and financial aid. Cost and financial aid data came from fall 2011 surveys of school administrators. Data on academics came from fall 2010 through fall 2011 surveys of school administrators. Survey data from students attending the schools, who shared assessments of their professors and their satisfaction with their financial aid awards, were also included.

Said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's senior vice president/publisher and lead author of The Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition, "We recommend these extraordinary colleges as our 'best buys' for 2012 and salute them for all they are doing to keep costs down and / or offer generous aid to applicants with financial need."

In announcing the 2012 Financial Aid Honor Roll last year, Franek encouraged college applicants always to get information about a school's financial aid offerings and never to cross a school off their list because of its sticker price. “Sometimes,” he noted, “the most expensive colleges are the most generous with their grants and aid."