Bridgewater College named ‘Best College’ by Kiplinger
Bridgewater College’s model of preparing its students for life beyond campus means more than just connecting them with the right career. It means providing them with a quality educational experience at a price they can afford.
Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, released recently its annual “Best College Values, 2019” list of all U.S. colleges and universities, along with its lists of best value private universities, private liberal arts colleges and public colleges. Bridgewater College lands on the lists for best value for colleges and universities and best private liberal arts colleges.
All of the schools on Kiplinger’s lists meet its definition of value: high-quality education at an affordable price. Key factors include academic measures, student-to-faculty ratio (Bridgewater’s is 14:1), test scores of incoming first-year students and sophomore retention rate. High points were also awarded for four-year graduation rates as well as to schools that graduate students who demonstrate financial need.
On the monetary side, Kiplinger’s looks for schools with affordable sticker prices, generous financial aid and low student debt at graduation.
The personal finance site says it’s more important now than ever to look beyond the initial sticker price when determining the best option for a student, because many schools offer both need-based aid and merit aid. In 2018-19, 99 percent of Bridgewater students received financial aid.
In addition, The Princeton Review, an education services company, named Bridgewater College to its “Best in the Southeast” list in the website feature “2020 Best Colleges: Region by Region.” The chosen colleges constitute about 22 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges.
The Princeton Review selected the schools based primarily on their excellent academics, as well as surveyed students about their campus experiences. Among its student body, Bridgewater ranked highest in quality of life and accessibility of its professors. One student surveyed said the College “is about personally developing students in every aspect of life and making each individual physically, academically, socially and mentally fit for the real world.”
“The Bridgewater College experience is all about connecting students with the resources and opportunities they need and celebrating graduates who have a clear sense of purpose as they enter the professional world,” said Michael Post, vice president for enrollment management. “We are proud to be recognized as a college that is dedicated to ensuring the success of our students.”
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to nearly 1,800 undergraduate students.