Lawrence University

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Lawrence University is ranked as one of the “Best Value Colleges” in the country by The Princeton Review.

The 2021 Best Value list, released Tuesday, includes Lawrence as one of the top 200 private colleges across the country based on academics, costs, financial aid, debt, graduation rates, and alumni career and salary data.

“We are happy that, after they evaluated some 650 colleges on more than 40 data points, The Princeton Review has determined Lawrence University provides one of the nation’s best returns on investment,” said Ken Anselment, vice president for enrollment and communications. “For students and families who are making the decision to invest in a Lawrence experience, this is welcome news.”

The schools listed are not ranked in order.

“The 200 schools we chose are those we recommend as offering the best ROI (return on investment),” The Princeton Review said in announcing the rankings. “Our ROI rating tallies considered more than 40 data points, broadly covering academics, affordability, and career preparation.”

Lawrence recently marked the close of its Be the Light! Campaign, which raised $232.6 million. That includes more than $91 million for Full Speed to Full Need (FSFN), an ongoing initiative that provides endowed scholarships to help bridge the difference between a student’s financial aid and their demonstrated need.

The impact of the FSFN efforts can be seen in the lessening of the average debt for Lawrence graduates over the past five years. The average student debt has dropped to $29,118, its lowest mark in 10 years. It hit a high mark of $34,573 in 2015-16 and has dropped steadily each year since. The percentage of Lawrence’s students graduating with debt dropped to 56% in 2019-20, well below the 75% of a decade earlier.

“The schools we name as our Best Value Colleges for 2021 comprise only just over 1% of the nation’s four-year colleges,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief. “They are distinctive in their programs, size, region, and type, yet they are similar in three areas. Every school we selected offers outstanding academics, generous financial aid and/or a relative low cost of attendance, and stellar career services.”

The Princeton Review is a tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company.

In August, The Princeton Review included Lawrence in The Best 386 Colleges guide, which came months after the organization named Lawrence the No. 3 Best Impact School in the country.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu