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BVU Named Best Value School

September 10, 2019 5:31am

Buena Vista University is ranked No. 4 in the 2020 U.S. News and World Report Best Value Schools Among Regional Universities in the Midwest. The ranking among 69 Midwest Universities is 28 spots ahead of the closest Iowa institution in this category.

“We are delighted to achieve this incredible honor, being one of the Best Value Schools Among Regional Universities in the Midwest,” says BVU President Joshua Merchant. “The prestigious U.S. News and World Report ranking shows the value of the work our faculty, staff, students, alumni, benefactors, and friends are doing in advancing programming while making it affordable for our students to earn their degree and get started on their pathway to success.”

The U.S. News & World Report ranking takes a number of factors into account, including the fact 85 percent of BVU undergraduates receive need-based grant aid, which lowers the average annual cost to attend BVU to $21,592, second lowest total among the top seven schools in the category.

“Seventy-five percent of financial aid awards at Buena Vista University come in the form of grants and scholarships, which do not have to be repaid,” says Kevin McIntyre, vice president of enrollment management. “We are constantly striving to make BVU an affordable option to everyone.”

BVU provides approximately $14 million in student financial assistance out of its operating budget each year. Additionally, 100 percent of the full-time students attending BVU in Storm Lake who apply for financial aid receive financial aid.

BVU was also No. 20 in the listing of Best Colleges for Veterans Among Regional Universities in the Midwest. BVU, home to a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program has commissioned more than two dozen officers into the Iowa Army National Guard and Active Duty U.S. Army since its inception in 2009. There are currently 23 students enrolled win BVU’s ROTC program with 14 receiving full scholarships provided by the U.S. Army and BVU.

Among the 158 institutions included in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Universities in the Midwest, BVU was ranked No. 32. The category represents a change from one year ago as BVU moved from the Regional Colleges designation to Regional Universities.

This category measures variables such as six-year graduation rates, first- to second-year retention, class size, faculty salaries, the percentage of faculty with the highest degree in their field, student-to-faculty ratio, percentage of full-time faculty, peer reviews, high school class standing, admissions test scores, alumni giving, and more.

Prospective students and families have access to many U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, tools that aid them in navigating the college application process. “The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” notes U.S. News & World Report officials. “Only schools ranked in or near the top half of their categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that are above average academically.”

(Photo caption: Students are shown using modern, open spaces in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. The space formally reopened in January following the completion of a $15.1-million renovation. BVU was named a Best Value School Among Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report on Monday.)