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Monday, November 24, 2014 | Last updated: 6:43am

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UA ranked seventh for best value



Students are getting the most out of the money they spend while attending the UA according to a new collegiate ranking system released in August by President Barack Obama.

The UA was ranked seventh out of 12 colleges that stood out nationally for the value of students’ education as an investment toward their future. The new collegiate ranking system will be used to determine the distribution of federal education funds in order to prevent a sharp increase of tuition. Graduation rates, tuition costs, salaries, on-campus opportunities and careers after graduation were all included in the evaluation.

“We are very excited that we came out on the list,” said Kasey Urquidez, associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of admissions. “We try very hard to fund students for the cost of their education. We understand that students work hard for their money both on and off campus, so we try and keep the educational value high and the cost as low as we can.”

Money contracted to students through scholarships and grants is included in the financial portion of the ranking criteria. About 75 percent of students have some sort of financial aid at the UA, Urquidez said.

The ranking also took into account how many students got a job after graduating. Career Services provided students access to more than 1,200 paid positions both on-campus and locally at the 2013 Wildcat Student Employment Fair, according to Susan Miller-Pinhey, Career Services marketing and special events manager.

The program hosts a yearly career fair that allows students to connect with future employers.

“I think people are becoming very practical when it comes to their college educations,” Miller-Pinhey said. “They want to see some results. We have always been one of the lower cost universities as far as quality is concerned and we [Career Services] certainly contribute.”

While the university can do more with providing financial aid, the amount that they are providing students now is appropriate due to the current economic state of the country, according to Levi Lappe, an ecology and evolutionary biology sophomore.

“So far I’ve been pretty impressed especially with my labs,” Lappe said. “There is a lot of experience available to me. I feel that the university is providing me with enough to do what I need to do.”

Follow Emily Bregger @ebregger_news


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