Kansas University's open-admissions policy may be to blame for its omission, Chancellor Robert Hemenway says.
New College of the University of South Florida, a tiny liberal arts school in Sarasota, again beat the likes of Harvard and Yale in a ranking of best college value.
For the third straight year, New College topped Money magazine's list of the top 100 college buys Wednesday.
Making its debut on the list was Ottawa University, a four-year liberal arts college in Ottawa, and the only Kansas school to be recognized.
"We're thrilled to be considered one of the top 100," said Marty Smith, director of public relations at Ottawa University. "To be rated above Harvard and Yale and Columbia and some of those schools certainly makes you feel pretty good."
Kansas University was not included in the list. KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said the omission was puzzling, considering that in-state tuition at New College was higher than tuition for Kansans at KU.
"KU will continue to be a bargain whether Money magazine says so or not," Hemenway said.
Tuition at New College for Floridians is $2,066. KU's in-state tuition is $1,866.
In compiling its list, Money used a formula that considered 16 measures of educational quality, such as college entrance exam scores, ratio of students to tenured faculty, and four-year graduation rates. These were factored against tuition and fees.
The magazine excluded colleges with strong religious requirements.
Hemenway said the main reason for KU's absence was that the ranking takes into account whether schools have selective admissions. KU is an open-admissions university, meaning that all graduates of accredited Kansas high schools are granted admission regardless of academic qualifications.
Some prestigious names rank low on Money's list. Harvard University ranks 43rd, Yale is 46th and Columbia is 97th. Tuition, room and board and other fees at the Ivy League schools this year are around $27,000.
Ottawa University, which ranked 32nd, charges $7,960 a year in tuition for in-state and out-of-state students, Davis said.
Davis attributed the school's appearance on the list to faculty quality and a longstanding effort to hold the line on tuition increases.
"On average, there's a 6 1/2 percent increase annually in tuition nationwide. Our increases are right around 4, 4 1/2 percent annually, and they have been for several years," he said.
Fall 1995 enrollment at Ottawa University, founded in 1865, is 560 students.