SPU: A Best Value
Enrollment Remains Strong
Seattle Pacific University was ranked again this year among the top five “Best Values” in the West by U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News says that schools selected as “Best Values” are not only academically strong, but they also “cost considerably less than many other schools when the financial aid they dispense is taken into account.”
In the midst of an uncertain economy, students demonstrated that they, too, saw the value of an SPU education. Total enrollment for 2009–10 set a record at 4,000 students, including 3,044 undergraduates and a record 956 graduate students. Twenty-nine percent of new students came from ethnically diverse backgrounds, an increase of 11 percentage points from last year.
“We made a strong commitment with financial aid to help those families hit hard by the economic downturn,” says Vice President for Administration and University Relations Marjorie Johnson.
Research by the Higher Education Research Institute and other organizations shows that in today’s climate, determining the “value” of the education offered by a university is a complex equation for students and families. That equation takes into account academic strength, cost, and the availability of financial aid — the measurements used by U.S. News — but it also includes other factors, such as the ability of the institution’s graduates to get jobs. And new data suggests that more and more students are looking for an education that includes opportunities for community engagement.
“The value of an SPU education is multi-dimensional,” says Director of Undergraduate Admissions Jobe Korb-Nice. “The recognition from U.S. News is great, but it doesn’t really tell us why students choose Seattle Pacific.”
Korb-Nice notes that because of SPU’s location in the city of Seattle, students get hands-on career experience and broad contacts with employers. Students, he says, are sought out by employers after graduation “because of their unique combination of competence and character.”
“Students also choose Seattle Pacific because of its tremendous sense of community,” he continues. “And it’s our focus on engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ that gives a deeper significance to an SPU education. That’s what prospective students talk about most when they apply to Seattle Pacific.”
—Photo by Nick Onken
Watch these videos from students, parents, a professor, and an employer who see SPU as a “best value.”
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