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The Blue & Gray Press | October 18, 2017

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UMW recognized for affordability, accessibility

UMW recognized for affordability, accessibility

By HOPE RACINE

The University of Mary Washington has again received national recognition for its academics and affordability, ranking as one of the Princeton Review’s top “Colleges That Pay You Back.”

The list, published on Feb. 3, features colleges that have notable academics, are affordable and provide a large number of career aspects for their graduates. The rating scale used to recognize the schools focused on how well each university offered a “return on education.”

Many students expressed agreement with UMW’s qualifications for and recognition on the list.

“It’s been pretty affordable right now,” said sophomore Nick Atwell. “Academically, I’ve had a lot of good classes. A lot of good teachers. So that has made it enjoyable.”

Freshman Hannah Belski said the academic environment she has experienced so far at UMW has stood out to here.

“I’ve liked all of my academics. I’ve loved all of my professors and all of my classes,” said Belski.

UMW was also listed on other Princeton Review lists, including “Best Southeastern Schools” and “The Best 379 Colleges.”

“Yeah, it’s been good. Affordability has not been an issue. It’s been pretty good,” said freshman Matt Sklaw. “Academically it’s been good. The classes have been challenging but not overwhelming.”

This is not the first time this year that UMW has been recognized for their affordability. Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine recently included the school on their list of “100 Best Values in Public College” for 2015.

While many students benefitted and agreed with the current tuition rates, according to some, some things could be improved.

“From a student perspective, I was lucky enough to not need financial aid. As far as tuition goes, it’s super affordable. Room and board, not so much,” said senior political science major Ciara Peacock.

Unlike The Princeton Review, Kiplinger judged schools based on their admission rates, percentage of returning students, student-to-faculty ratio and graduation rate. UMW ranked sixth in Virginia and ninety-second in the nation, coming behind other Virginia schools such as the University of Virginia, The College of William and Mary, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and Christopher Newport University. UVA ranked second in the nation.

However, the university was also recently awarded a high ranking by the Social Mobility Index, a study that ranks universities on their accessibility, taking into consideration the tuition costs and economic diversity of the student body. UMW was ranked third in the state, behind George Mason University and Virginia State University, and 140th nationally.