Bulletin News

College One of Nation's Best Education Values


SUNY Cortland has once again been named one of the top 100 best values in public colleges for 2013 by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

 The College’s ability to offer a high-quality education that is affordable for nearly all students earned SUNY Cortland a national ranking of 54 for out-of-state residents and 76 for in-state students. Kiplinger’s cited the College’s high graduation rate, reasonable cost, significant financial aid, low average student debt and overall great value.

 “It is extremely gratifying to receive this kind of national recognition for something that all of us here at SUNY Cortland already knows: We provide a world-class education that is accessible to all ambitious students, regardless of their income level,” College President Erik J. Bitterbaum said.

 This is SUNY Cortland’s sixth year on the list. The ranking is compiled annually by Kiplinger’s, following a review of approximately 600 four-year public colleges and universities across the country.

 The Kiplinger’s ranking follows a similar positive evaluation last fall by the U.S. Department of Education. According to the department’s 2012 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) report, SUNY Cortland spends more of its resources on instruction and achieves better retention and graduation rates than a national sampling of similar colleges.

The College also is recognized as a College of Distinction, a select group of national institutions noted for engaged students, excellent teaching, vibrant campuses and successful graduates.

 Among the measurements that make SUNY Cortland notable:

 Selectivity. Only 41 percent of the students who applied for admission to the College last year were ultimately accepted. The mean grade-point average of incoming freshmen last year was 90.

  • Retention. Approximately 85 percent of all full-time, first-year SUNY Cortland students returned for their second year in 2012, according to the IPEDS survey. College officials attribute those high retention rates to the institution’s strong academic support system and the students’ overall positive experience.
  • Graduation rates. SUNY Cortland’s four- and six-year graduation rates -- 45 and 67 percent, respectively -- are high compared to the national average of four-year colleges. Those averages are 31.3 and 56 percent, respectively.
  • Affordability. In addition to reasonable tuition, SUNY Cortland makes a wide range of financial aid and scholarship resources available to keep the cost of students’ education affordable and the amount that they borrow low. Nearly 70 percent of students in need of financial assistance last year had all of their needs met through SUNY Cortland.
  • Quality instruction. SUNY Cortland spends approximately 22 percent more on instruction and academic support than similar institutions, according to the 2012 IPEDS report. Roughly 70 percent of its operating budget is spent directly on instruction. Similar colleges, meanwhile, spend just over 60 percent on teaching and academic assistance, with the rest going to non-instructional support, the report showed.