Bridgewater College has once again landed on Money’s annual “Best Colleges for Your Money” list.
For the 2020 ranking of the top four-year colleges, Money analyzed data from 739 schools around the country. The analysis took into account 27 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability and outcomes.
Under quality of education, Money looked at seven indicators, including graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio and peer quality. The average Bridgewater student graduates in 4.1 years, ahead of the national average of 4.8 years for students at four-year private colleges.
This year, Money adjusted its rating methodology to increase the emphasis on affordability, due to concerns from students and their families on how the global pandemic might affect their financial situations. Under the affordability category, factors such as net price paid for a degree, educational debt and ability to repay loans were evaluated.
One hundred percent of Bridgewater students who have need receive grants, and the College meets 85 percent of calculated financial need. BC awarded more than $43 million in scholarships and aid in the 2019-20 academic year.
Under outcomes, Money added an increased weight this year on early career earnings and major-adjusted earnings. The average salary for BC graduates within five years of graduation is $41,500.
“While cost is a main factor for families, the value of that cost holds an even deeper level of importance,” said Michael Post, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Bridgewater College. “This accolade is another example that BC provides extraordinary value with academic, extracurricular and professional opportunities that have a lifelong impact for our students.”
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Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to 1,600 students.