Knox College Named Top 50 "Best Value Private College"

Best Values Compiled by The Princeton Review and USA TODAY

January 13, 2010

Knox College has been named as a top 50 "Best Value Private College for 2010," according to The Princeton Review and USA TODAY. The list, unveiled on January 12 in USA TODAY and on NBC's Today Show, features 50 private colleges and universities. A second list features the top 50 public college best values.

USA Today siteKnox and the University of Chicago are the only schools in Illinois to make the top 50 Best Value private colleges. The University of Illinois-Urbana is in the top 50 Best Value public institutions.

Knox has a longstanding commitment to access and affordability for students of all financial means, according to Paul Steenis, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission. "We remain need-blind in the admission process. We also have worked hard to moderate the price tag for a Knox education, with only modest increases in cost at a time when many institutions are raising tuition at 2-3-4 times the rate of inflation," Steenis adds.

Over the past eight years, annual increases in Knox tuition, fees, room and board have been between 3.3 and 4.9 percent. In addition to need-based aid, Knox also offers an array of merit- and talent-based scholarships to make college affordable to families of all financial means.

Today Show site"During these challenging financial times, it's important to know that there are colleges like Knox committed to maintaining a top-quality academic experience while also charge a fair and reasonable price," says Steenis. "Knox has a reputation for providing a top-quality liberal arts education at a price tag well below that of many comparable colleges and universities."

The Princeton Review praises Knox for a strong, flexible liberal arts experience that focuses on academic rigor, personal attention, wide-ranging opportunities and a lively campus:

"Renowned for its sharp students and successful alums, Knox College is a small liberal arts college that places a strong emphasis on academic freedom and personal exploration. Knox forgoes the mass of requirements often found at liberal arts institutions, opting instead for a looser system that allows students to stretch themselves as they see fit and engage in extracurricular, volunteer, and off-campus learning opportunities. In fact, the school's motto is: Freedom to Flourish. In addition to coursework, Knox students are encouraged to pursue independent research or creative projects through the Honors program... With so much freedom, though, self-discipline is a must. The workload is heavy, and expectations are omnipresent. Fortunately, each student benefits from the one-on-one guidance of [a faculty mentor], who helps the student shape a four-year plan and decide on a major.

"Knox students are as excited about their social lives as they are about academics. The Knox calendar is packed with theatrical performances, concerts, guest speakers, literary readings, poetry slams, comedians, magicians, and special campus parties."

The "Best Value" selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in academics, costs of attendance, and financial aid awarded in the 2008-09 academic year. "Best Value" schools were identified based on surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities.

"We know many families and students have serious concerns about paying for college in these tough economic times," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of The Princeton Review. "There are many first-rate institutions offering outstanding academics at a relatively low cost of attendance and/or generous financial aid, including some that may surprise applicants. We're pleased to have again teamed up with USA TODAY to identify and commend the 100 colleges that do just that and do it best in the nation."

In December, Knox was ranked among the top 50 Best Values in Liberal Arts Colleges for 2009-2010 by Kiplinger's.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 47 states and 48 countries. Knox's 'Old Main' is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.