Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine has recently ranked SUNY New Paltz among the top 100 best values in the nation for public four-year institutions delivering high quality education at an affordable price.
New Paltz ranked 55 out of 672 public educational institutions, placing it in the top 92nd percentile. This accomplishment speaks volumes, as it validates the reputation New Paltz strives to uphold.
“As a public university, we’ve been a comparative bargain,” L. David Eaton, vice president for Enrollment Management, said. “The cost factor has always been there but it’s been very competitive because there are lots of public universities. We have good students with good GPA’s, good retention and graduation rates and high rates for transfer students. Quality indicators tip us in our favor.”
SUNY New Paltz was first recognized by Kiplinger’s in 2000, and their ranking has risen over time, according to Eaton.
“Kiplinger’s works at value. They estimate cost vs. quality and choose the most qualified institutions from there,” Eaton said.
The real concern is whether the ranking will affect prospective students’ decisions to choose this school. Lisa Smith, 46, admits, though a ranking in Kiplinger’s is impressive, it wouldn’t have been what sealed the deal for her daughter.
“It definitely would’ve been a plus, but it wouldn’t have been her main reason for choosing it,” Smith said. “There’s always room for improvement, but I do think [New Paltz] is up there.”
Danielle Esposito, a fourth-year elementary education major and Smith’s daughter, said a different ranking helped spread the word about New Paltz the year she applied.
“I know when I came here, they were ranked “hottest small state school” and everyone wanted to come here,” Esposito said. “I feel like ratings matter for state schools.”
As far as accuracy is concerned, Esposito agrees that New Paltz deserved this ranking.
“I feel like our dorms are good, food’s OK,” she said. “We have great staff and for the most part, they’re there for us. So I understand why New Paltz was rated.”
The majority of Kiplinger’s readers may be economists and financial advisors versus parents and students, but a ranking of this stature can only affect New Paltz positively in the year to come. Eaton said it proves that New Paltz’s accomplishments are more than just talk.
“It’s easy for colleges and universities to make things up about themselves and call themselves valuable,” Eaton said. “Value based on what? This is concrete proof. As cost continues to rise, and it will, our job is to keep it sensible. This ranking affirms our sensibility.”