A terrific value in our book

By Walt Braun

We’re not surprised that Kansas State University has been included in a national publication’s list of “Best College Values,” but it’s still nice that the university will get some exposure among prospective students and families who might not otherwise have considered K-State.

Three primary categories were considered in determining which 75 of 650 public and private institutions to include in the annual Princeton Review publication: academics, cost and financial aid. Among other observations, the publication noted that each year K-State assists students with more than $16 million in scholarships and that more than two-thirds of students benefit from scholarships, other financial aid or work-study.

Also, although tuition for public and private institutions in the United States, including Kansas, has been on an upward trend for years, K-State’s comparatively modest tuition was recognized as a great value. It’s economical in part because, as the publication noted, doctoral-level instructors teach most of the courses.

Pat Bosco, KSU vice president for student life and dean of students, has plenty to brag about, and he did a little in reaction to the ranking. “It’s a big deal for Kansas State University to be singled out among the nation’s best for affordability and value. With more than 250 academic programs and majors, award-winning and caring faculty, and a dedicated student life staff, our students find the educational opportunities and services they need to succeed.”

K-State is no stranger to the Princeton Review or organizations that review colleges and universities. K-State also was listed in Princeton Review’s 2012 guide to “The Best 376 Colleges” and its 2011 “Guide to 311 Green Colleges.” And K-State was called one of this country’s best colleges in 2011 by U.S. News and World Report.

The more that people know about K-State, the more they appreciate it. In that sense, it’s not so different from Manhattan, or Kansas itself, for that matter. Countless people move to this community intending to stay for the short term, often just several years. They find over time that there’s a lot more to this special place than the clichés they’ve heard for years. And they learn that the people here are as hardworking and as honorable as they are innovative.

We don’t doubt that KSU President Kirk Schulz’s campaign to elevate Kansas State University to a top 50 public research institution in the coming years will succeed. He runs a terrific university in a vibrant, supportive community — and both are getting better every year.

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