Henderson ranked as offering 'best bang for buck'

Henderson State University was named No. 27 among southern colleges and universities in the 2016 Washington Monthly Best Bang for the Buck rankings, released today.

For its regional college rankings, Washington Monthly used data on each university’s six-year graduation rate, how much students earn 10 years after enrollment and whether students are working to pay off student loans. In addition, these rankings factored in the number of first-generation students each college or university enrolls and the net price for enrollment.

When factors such as standardized test scores and Pell Grant awards are taken into account, the predicted median earnings for a Henderson State graduate are about $30,000 per year. However, median earnings for Henderson State graduates are over $36,000 per year, 10 years after enrollment.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, 46 percent of Henderson State’s enrollment was first-generation students, much higher than the predicted 39 percent. These enrollment predictions are based on ACT or SAT scores and Pell Grant awards for each school.

Washington Monthly’s rankings are dedicated to evaluating colleges and universities on the outcomes for students and graduates, according to Kevin Carey, guest editor of the publication’s college guide issue.

“We have devoted a sizable portion of the in-depth journalism that accompanies each new Washington Monthly College Guide to exploring and advocating for exactly this kind of data,” Carey said. “It is far too easy for colleges to garner undeserved reputations for excellence by hiking tuition, burdening students with loans and spending the money on things that have little to do with educational excellence. Meanwhile, colleges that are authentically committed to service and social mobility get far too little recognition or reward.”

Washington Monthly calls its Best Bang for the Buck list, the “exclusive list of schools that help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.” In 2015, Henderson State was ranked No. 81 in the south.

More information on Henderson State University rankings