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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 2:23 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2007

BYU Hawaii rated nation's top private college value

Advertiser Staff

Brigham Young-Hawaii is the top value in the country for students considering private colleges and universities, while the University of Hawaii at Manoa is the 38th-best value among public higher education institutions, a new ranking by Consumers Digest magazine says.

The schools were among those cited for being the top 100 best values in the country after the publication evaluated 3,800 schools nationwide. In doing so it reviewed a variety of measures, including academic excellence of incoming freshman and percentage of faculty members with PhDs. It also looked at the cost for tuition, room and board for one year at each institution.

"Our goal three years when we started this was rooted in our sense that some smaller and lower-profile institutions might get left out from searches and surveys that strictly key on academic performances," said Rich Dzierwa, Consumers Digest editor. The results are being published in the magazine's June issue.

"This is an important subject and it's a costly purchase. We figured in our service to consumers that it would be something that caught attention."

Brigham Young-Hawaii's had the top spot for private colleges and universities three years ago, when Consumers Digest published its first ranking of best values in higher education. Consumers Digest estimated the annual cost for a student attending the school at $8,210 in the 2005-2006 year.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa's ranking slipped from 22nd three years ago. The magazine estimated it cost students $18,882 for tuition, room and board. That was up from $15,716 three years ago and reflected recent tuition increases at the campus.

"That's probably a key factor in slipping down the ranks," Dzierwa said. But "among 3,800 it's pretty impressive."

The magazine said the average annual cost of attending its top schools was $28,979 at private colleges and universities. It was $16,684 at public institutions.