July 11, 2017
Story by Jared Kaufman
As the cost of college increases nationwide, students and parents are more concerned than ever about making smart financial decisions and being sure to get the most “bang for their buck.” Now, the University of Missouri has been recognized as a “school on the rise” and one of the top universities for its price by being named a “Best Buy” school in the 2018 edition of the “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” which for more than 30 years has been a resource for parents and students in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Mizzou is one of 20 public universities noted for its combination of affordability and strong academic quality, and it is one of only two Missouri schools and three Southeastern Conference schools to earn this highly sought after distinction. The Fiske guide, now in its 34th yearly edition, is edited by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, who has been called the “top independent voice in college admissions.”
“Earning the ‘Best Buy’ rating continues to show that the value of an education at Mizzou is one of the best in the country.”
“When students and their parents pick a college, affordability and quality are two determining factors in the decision-making process,” said Pelema Morrice, vice provost for enrollment management at Mizzou. “Earning the ‘Best Buy’ rating continues to show that the value of an education at Mizzou is one of the best in the country.”
Mizzou has long prided itself on providing an accessible and affordable higher education. Last year, Mizzou awarded and processed more than $223 million in need-based grant and merit-based academic scholarships to increase opportunities for academic access and success.
“A key component to keeping higher education affordable is addressing student debt, and Mizzou is above average in helping students graduate with less debt through financial counseling and collaborations with the Office for Financial Success,” said Nick Prewett, executive director of the Office of Student Financial Aid. “Currently, the national average for student debt is $31,000, and at Mizzou, our graduates leave with an average debt of $23,000.”
The Office of Student Financial Aid’s proactive approach to cultivating personal relationships with individual students has been shown to be an important reason why Mizzou students have lower average debt, according to research from the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs. The Office for Financial Success, another money-management resource, is run by the Department of Personal Financial Planning. Trained student volunteers offer individual and group financial consultations on a variety of subjects, including loans, debt management and helping young people create good fiscal habits early in life.
The Fiske guide’s profile of Mizzou called attention to other specific factors that make the university a “Best Buy” option, including:
- High-profile academic programs, such as journalism, agriculture, health sciences, business, music and engineering
- Diversity initiatives, including the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center and an inclusivity orientation for all incoming students
- Mizzou Alternative Breaks, the country’s largest alternative breaks program, which conducted 175 service trips this year
- Study abroad opportunities, which allow students to choose from more than 250 programs in 50 countries
- Nearly 80 Freshman Interest Groups, which are offered in the residence halls. About one in four students belong to a FIG. Mizzou’s FIGs program has earned national recognition and contributes to Mizzou’s above-average retention rates
Mizzou is one of only six public institutions nationwide that can claim a medical school, veterinary medicine college and a law school on the same campus. Students also have immediate access to groundbreaking research along with the country’s most powerful university nuclear research reactor. Based on quality of teaching, research and scholarship, Mizzou is one of only 34 public U.S. universities invited to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU).
“Mizzou is a college that will shape your life and help guide you into the future,” says a student quoted in the guide.