Kansas University officials today disputed the notion that KU isn't one of the top 100 educational buys among U.S. colleges and universities.
Rice University, Houston, was named the nation's best college buy Tuesday in Money magazine.
"We clearly are one of the 100 best bargains," said Del Shankel, KU executive vice chancellor. "We're ranked in the most critical list, the New York Times, which is the real bible."
Shankel was referring to the Fiske Guide to Colleges, written by New York Times education writer Edward Fiske.
KU has been cited as a top-quality public institution for the price by Changing Times and Good Housekeeping magazines and in a book, "The Best Buys in College Education."
Money magazine analyzed 1,011 colleges and universities according to quality of students, faculty and facilities and tuition.
ONE BIG EIGHT institution Iowa State University made Money's top 100, coming in 55th.
Also on that list are two of KU's five selected peer institutions: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (ninth) and University of Iowa (51st).
Shankel said one reason KU might have been overlooked by Money is that most colleges and universities have admissions requirements for all students.
KU has an open admissions policy that allows all Kansas residents who graduate from an accredited high school to enroll. KU has admissions standards for out-of-state students.
"Some people assume that because we don't have admissions requirements that the quality of students isn't good. That's not true. We stack up well," he said.
THE TOP-100 list contained 56 private schools, including some of the nation's priciest campuses: Yale, Stanford and the University of Chicago, where tuition exceeds $16,000 annually but which nonetheless were judged excellent values.
On the cost side, the survey rated schools based on tuitions, and used out-of-state charges for public schools to make them more comparable to private institutions.
In measuring educational quality, the survey used such indicators as student-to-faculty ratio, average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, library resources, graduation rates, percentage of graduates who earn doctorate degrees, and the number of graduates who make Standard & Poor's Executive-College Survey of 70,000 top corporate executives.
Criteria used by the magazine also might explain KU's absence from the list, said Robin Eversole, director of University Relations.
For example, KU doesn't require the SAT and doesn't have statistics on the number of graduates with doctorates, she said.