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Is Your School a 'Public Ivy'?
"During your college search you might visit schools that consider themselves to be “Public Ivies.” This was never meant to be a label based on the quality of education for everyone, rather the honors programs that these schools had offered to attract students who might have otherwise attended an Ivy League school. Such students could receive “an Ivy League education at a state school price.”
However these labels were placed on schools before the Ivy League institutions made their most recent decisions on financial aid policy, including student loan debt, and before several of the highest-ranked state universities raised their out-of-state tuition to levels that approach, and sometimes exceed $40,000. In addition graduation and retention rates were never considered. If a school markets itself as a Public Ivy it should also have excellent retention and graduation rates.
When Ed started writing profiles, he did some research and came up with some standards. He also figured that the students who were most likely to qualify for admission to an Ivy League school were also likely to qualify for scholarships from a Public Ivy. However, he also believed that the “bread and butter” students, those who make up the middle 50 percent of the applicant pool, should at least get the benefit of a bargain price.
Ed came up with these standards for a Public Ivy:
A six-year graduation rate of no less than 75 percent.
A freshman retention rate of no less than 90 percent.
The in-state tuition and mandatory fees should be no higher than one third that of the least expensive Ivy League school. In this case Princeton charges around $39,000. One third equals $12,870.
The out-of-state tuition and mandatory fees should be no higher than two thirds that of the most expensive Ivy League school. In this case Cornell charges around $43,000. Two thirds equals $28,810.
Among the schools Ed has visited, these met all of his standards, based on 2012-13 tuition and fees, when available, and the graduation and retention rates reported in their most recent Common Data Set.
Binghamton University (NY)
James Madison University (VA)
Ohio State University
University of Maryland-College Park
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ed has not visited these schools, but they also meet his numbers to be considered a Public Ivy:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Texas A&M University
University of Florida
University of Georgia
The schools listed below came very close to being considered a Public Ivy. They hit or beat Ed’s targets for retention and graduation to be considered a Public Ivy. Each of these schools also came in less than $1,000 over his targets for tuition and fees. They should be acknowledged.
Clemson University (SC)
Miami University of Ohio
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
Miami has an especially generous merit scholarship program that would bring tuition and fees below the cut-offs for most of the students who rank in the upper half of their admitted student pool. Room and board charges at Clemson were estimated to be under $8,000, exceptionally low for a flagship-level state university. Rutgers offers exceptionally generous Presidential Scholarships to students with stellar grades and SAT scores of 2250 or better across all three sections of the exam.
These are all exceptional institutions. A diligent student will get a fine education at any one of them. But a school should not be considered a Public Ivy unless it makes the educational experience more economical for all of its students, not just the ones who qualify for its more prestigious academic programs or scholarships