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Kiplinger's Ranks Claremont Colleges Best Value

Five of the campuses made the list of the top 100 best values in private liberal arts colleges.

Looking for an affordable liberal arts college with generous financial aid and a solid academic reputation?

Well Claremont is the place to look, according to Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine.

The publication recently named five of the Claremont Colleges in its list of the 100 best values in the liberal arts colleges.  The magazine chooses the list based on academic quality and affordability.  Cost and financial aid, student indebtedness at graduation, academic support, and the four-year graduation rate also are factors, according to Kiplinger.

Pomona College ranked the highest of the five at No. 2.

“Its top academics include an impressive eight-to-one student-faculty ratio, a 14% admission rate and high test scores among incoming freshmen (69% score above 700 on the verbal SAT, and 70% score above 700 on the math),” according to the magazine.  “Pomona also boasts the highest freshman retention rate on our liberal arts list -- all but 1% of first-year students return for their sophomore year -- and it ties with Swarthmore and Haverford for the highest four-year grad rate (91%).”

The total annual cost to attend Pomona College, which includes tuition, room and board, fees, and other expenses, is $55,864.  The average debt at graduation is $10,580 with 100 percent of the aid need met for students, according to Kiplinger’s data.

The average aid package is $37,688, 95 percent receiving grants and 41 percent student loans.  The percentage of students receiving need-based aid is 52.  The enrollment is 1,586 students.

Also on the list is Claremont McKenna, which was ranked 14th.

The total annual cost is $58,965.  The average debt at graduation is $15,936.  The percentage of need met for aid is 100, and the average aid package is $38,394.  Of the aid, 41 percent is need-based, 96 percent received grants, and 34 percent student loans.  The four-year graduation rate is 84.9 percent.  Enrollment is listed at 1,301 students.

Scripps College ranked No. 16.

The college, with an enrollment of 966 students, has an annual total cost to attend of $55,700.  The average debt at graduation is $22,466.

The percentage of need for aid met is 100.  The average aid package is $36,256, 91 percent receiving grants, 41 percent getting student loans, and 44 percent need-based.  The four-year graduation rate is 83.2 percent.

Pitzer College ranked No. 49.

The college, which has an enrollment of 1,099 students, has an annual total cost of $58,266.  The average debt at graduation is $22,568.

A hundred percent of aid is met.  The average aid package is $38,798, with 87 percent receiving grants, 35 percent getting loans, and 38 percent need-based.  The four-year graduation rate is 75.2 percent.

Rounding out the list was Harvey Mudd College, ranked 53rd.

The annual total cost to attend is listed at $59,713, with the average debt at graduation a $25,265.  The enrollment is 777.

The percentage of aid met is 100. The average aid package totals $35,122, with 87 percent receiving grants, 56 percent getting student loans, and 51 percent receiving needs-based aid.

The four-year graduation rate is 74.9 percent.

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