Misericordia University was named to Money Magazine's 2019-20 Best Colleges list, the second highest ranked college or university in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, based on quality and affordability. The university was also recently recognized as one of the top colleges and universities in the northeastern United States, according to The Princeton Review, a nationally known education services company.
Misericordia earned a MONEY magazine ranking of 397 out of the 744 institutions on the 2019-20 Best Schools list, climbing 86 places on the list since 2015. The factors that earned the university recognition include an estimated price for 2019-20 of $49,600 without aid and of $27,700 with average aid; 100 percent of students with need receiving financial aid; the university's 79-percent acceptance rate; average tests scores of 1020 for SAT and 24 for ACT, and the average annual salary for graduates of $45,500 within three years of graduation – a figure that increased from $40,600 in 2015.
The Money Magazine ranking is in its sixth year and is designed to help parents and students determine which of the country's four-year colleges and universities provide "educational quality, affordability and alumni success," according to the magazine. The publication rated 744 U.S. colleges after screening out schools with graduation rates below the median, those facing financial difficulties, and institutions with fewer than 500 undergraduates. The remaining colleges were ranked on 26 factors in three categories: quality of education – including six-year graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and financial stability; affordability – including net price of a degree, student debt upon graduation, and alumni ability to repay debt; and outcomes – including early career earnings within three years of graduation, mid-career earnings and earnings adjusted by majors based on reports from PayScale.com.
Money also measured comparative value by assessing how well students at each school did versus what would be expected for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds, and the college's mix of majors. Additional factors considered in the ranking were the socio-economic mobility index, ability to move from low-income backgrounds to upper-middle-class jobs by the time the students reach their mid-30s, and job impact, a question of "Does your work make the world a better place?" according to Money Magazine.
The magazine also includes two metrics from the federal Department of Education data — graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients and the share of transfer students who earn a degree. A statistical technique was then used to turn all the data points into a single score and the schools were ranked based on those scores, according to the publication. The full list is available at http://money.com/money/best-colleges/.
"Thank you Money Magazine for confirming that Misericordia University is among the best values in higher education, not only in the region but throughout the United States,'' Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., said. "It is important for families to visit colleges under consideration and base their decisions on the visit, and important statistical information, such as alumni success, financial aid, projected earnings and graduation rates.
"Money Magazine and other rankings by respected publications illustrate why Misericordia continues to be considered a prestigious institution to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees," President Botzman added.
Misericordia University is one of 224 institutions of higher education The Princeton Review recently recommended in its "Best Northeastern" website feature "2020 Best Colleges Region by Region," that posted Tuesday, Aug. 6 on PrincetonReview.com/bestNEcolleges.
The Princeton Review editors made their selections based on data the company collected from its survey of 140,000 students regarding questions about their school's academics, administration, student body and themselves. Robert Franek, editor-in-chief, stated the company also considered data from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, information from staff visits to schools over the years, and the opinions of college counselors and advisors whose perspectives the company solicits.
In the Princeton Review profile, Misericordia University students refer to the university's inviting atmosphere as one that attracts a "friendly" and "very inclusive" student population. They describe their campus as "welcoming," and with "a good work/life balance." They also refer to the university as "really community service oriented" where undergrads "have a great time serving others."
Misericordia undergraduates are grateful that professors "really seem like they genuinely care about their students." They also truly appreciate that professors "have (a lot of) experience in their field and bring so much outside information into the classroom that you really get a feel for what it will be like when you are working." The students also said that the school's modest size allows Misericordia to really "cater to each student's needs." One junior explained, "In the end, "Misericordia University is about receiving a top-notch education while providing endless opportunities to grow."
"At Misericordia, we are proud of our friendly and supportive atmosphere and recognize the dedication, nurturing nature and academic expertise of our faculty and staff," Dr. Botzman added. "We are happy that our students respect and appreciate how welcoming and inclusive we are as a campus community."
Misericordia University received significantly higher academic and quality-of-life ratings than numerous peer institutions received from their own students, according to The Princeton Review. The ratings appear on the school profiles, and are scored on a scale of 60 to 99. Misericordia received the following rating scores: Professors interesting rating, 92; accessibility of professors rating, 83; admissions selectivity 76, and quality of life, 78. The Princeton Review explains the criteria for the rating's scores and selection to the rankings on its site at http://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/ranking-methodology.