Texas A&M Soars In New ‘Best Colleges’ Report

Aggie Graduation

Texas A&M University ranks fourth among the nation’s public universities in Money magazine’s new “Best Colleges For Your Money” report and 13th overall – up two places since last year among publics and advancing seven places among all institutions of higher learning. Also, it again ranks first in the magazine’s list of “The 50 Best Colleges You Can Actually Get Into.”

Texas A&M tops all public institutions in Texas in the study and places first among all universities in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The only Texas university to rank higher than Texas A&M is Rice, which placed fourth in the list that is dominated by private institutions.

The only public universities to rank higher than Texas A&M are the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Virginia.

Overall, Princeton placed first. Others among the top 12 are Harvard, Brigham Young, Amherst, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Stanford, MIT and Yale.

Texas A&M also is included in the magazine’s “50 Colleges That Add the Most Value.”

“These rankings by Money magazine underscore the true value of attending Texas A&M and our commitment to accessibility and affordability,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “I am particularly gratified that Texas A&M rose seven spots from last year to 13th overall and is fourth among public universities. That shows the hard work our regents, administrators and faculty are doing to improve quality while maintaining affordability.”

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said this new Money study “clearly indicates the university has momentum – that it is being increasingly recognized at the national level for all the right reasons.” He cited the university’s “stellar record” for offering thousands of young men and women educational opportunities that are both affordable and of high quality.

“We are extremely proud of our record for offering degree programs that are of exceptionally high quality at costs that are keeping with that high quality – along with leadership opportunities such as internships, capstone projects and study abroad that put our students in particularly good stead in pursuing their career aspirations after graduation,” he said.  “We are fortunate to be able to attract top students from a variety of backgrounds and have a faculty that is dedicated to helping them succeed, thus fulfilling our land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach for the benefit of the people of Texas and beyond. That has been the case for more than a century – and we are picking up the pace.”

In an earlier Money story regarding colleges that produced the largest number of Fortune 500 CEOs, only two institutions produced more than Texas A&M – Harvard and Cornell.

For this year’s “Best Colleges For Your Money” list, Money ranked 705 schools on 24 factors. Rating factors included graduation rates, affordability measures such as how much students and parents have to borrow, and measures of alumni success, such as how much recent graduates earn. New to the package this year, Money’s methodology incorporated data from the federal government’s College Scorecard and took into account the percentage of a school’s graduates who consider themselves to be in “meaningful” jobs.

In her editor’s letter, Money Editor Diane Harris writes, “According to a new survey by Money and Barnes & Noble College, families care most that schools help students develop the critical-thinking skills needed to succeed in a complex world and prep graduates for fulfilling careers, not simply jobs with a high salary.…As our third annual Best Colleges rankings make clear, affordability can go hand in hand with a top-notch education and career prep – if you know where and how to look.”

In explaining the methodology for the study, Harris said: “To make our first cut, colleges must have 500 or more full-time undergraduates and a six-year graduation rate of at least the median for their type (public or private). We also screened out schools with low grades from bond-rating agencies and those identified by the U.S. Department of Education as being in financial trouble. That left 705 colleges, which we ranked on 24 measures in three equally weighted categories.” The categories:  quality of education, affordability and outcomes.

To view the magazine’s full story and listings, go to: http://new.money.com/money/best-colleges/rankings/best-colleges/.

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Media contact: Lane Stephenson, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4662 or l-stephenson@tamu.edu

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