For four consecutive years, Waynesburg University has been named a ‘Best College for the Money’ by College Factual. This is not a title that the university must apply for, but is rather earned through several factors.
College Factual ranks schools for this title based on the average cost for an undergraduate degree, the quality of the education results and the school’s personalized factors, such as where the school is located, how much it costs and financial aid.
Douglas Lee, president of Waynesburg University, believes that the honor is a reflection of one of the university’s core commitments.
“It has always been the commitment of the university to educate students at a value proposition,” Lee said.
According to the College Board website, the average price of a four-year private college comes to around $32,410. College Factual’s website says that Waynesburg University has an annual net price of $22,775, nearly $10,000 beneath average.
“There’s so much talk in the news today about the high price of education, and for almost over a hundred years now, we’ve worked against that philosophy of high-priced education, and more toward the value of an education,” Lee said.
Waynesburg was also in the top 2.1 percent nationwide and was ranked number 31 out of 1,483 schools in terms of the financial feasibility of the university, according to College Factual.
“We really try hard to invest in programs for our students,” Lee said. “That’s what’s important to us, investing in programs that really make our students long-term successful.”
The main focus of some institutions is to place students into the work-force as soon as possible after graduation. Lee believes achieving that goal begins with investing into the education programs offered at the university.
“Your job may be changing every five years, so the best thing we can do to educate [the students] is to be adaptable and to have a great ability to solve problems,” he said. “When we talk about value, what’s wrapped around all of that is investing in programs as wisely as we can with the dollars that our students spend here so they get a low-cost education, but also actual outcomes.”
College Factual also states that Waynesburg University is ranked as the 54th ‘Best Pennsylvania College’ and also ranks 31st for ‘Best Nationwide College for your Money’. These titles are also accompanied by awards for different programs Waynesburg offers, such as the nursing program, the criminal justice program and other titles praising the university’s accomplishments.
“I’m very proud of these rankings,” Lee said, “because here’s what they mean: the people are here working at Waynesburg because they’re invested in the outcomes of the students and the mission of the university.”
These outcomes aren’t just the doings of the staff and professors at the university. The students also play a large role in making the college well-known for its community.
“The last piece of it are the students. The students inspire me because so many of them connect with the mission we have, the mission of service and learning. My hope is, as much as I love this institution, that these students continue to love this institution as they grow in the same way,” Lee said.