Misericordia University was named recently to MONEY Magazine's 2016-17 Best Colleges list, the second highest ranked college or university in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

Misericordia earned a ranking of 366 out of the 705 schools listed, climbing 117 places in the ranking since 2015. Among the factors that earned the university recognition included an estimated price for 2016-17 of $45,000 without financial aid and $31,600 with average aid; 99 percent of students receiving financial aid; a 71-percent acceptance rate; average tests scores of 1055 for SAT and 23 for ACT, and an average annual salary for graduates of $45,600 within five years of graduation – a figure that increased from $40,600 in 2015.

In its third year, the ranking is designed to help parents and students determine which of the country's approximately 2,000 four-year colleges and universities "deliver the most value," according to the posting at http://new.money.com/money/best-colleges/rankings/best-colleges/. According to MONEY Magazine, value is defined as "a great education, at an affordable price, that prepares students for promising careers."

After first screening out schools with graduation rates below the median rate, those facing financial difficulties, and those with fewer than 500 undergraduates, MONEY also screened out military academies that require a commitment of service in exchange for free tuition. The remaining 705 U.S. colleges were ranked on 24 factors in three categories: educational quality - including six-year graduation rate; affordability – including net price of a degree and student debt upon graduation, and alumni success – including early career earnings within five years of graduation, mid-career earnings, and earnings adjusted by majors based on reports from PayScale.com.

MONEY also measured comparative value by assessing how well students at each school did versus what would be expected for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds, and the college's mix of majors.

Among the factors considered in the ranking were merit aid, parent and student borrowing, and loan repayment, according to the magazine. A statistical technique was then used to turn all the data points into a single score, and the schools were ranked based on those scores.

"We are happy to have MONEY Magazine confirm for students and parents alike that Misericordia University is a good value based on important statistical information, such as alumni success and graduation rates," said Misericordia University President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D. "This ranking presents important factors, such as net price and the amount of debt students incur as they examine their return on investment, to students and parents.''

Washington Monthly magazine also recognized Misericordia's ROI with a "Best Bang for the Buck" designation in 2015 that recognizes "colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students earn marketable degrees at affordable prices," according to the magazine. That ranking appeared in the September/October 2015 issue of Washington Monthly magazine.

Misericordia University also holds a 2016 "Best Northeastern Colleges" designation by the Princeton Review, a student-survey based measure of quality colleges and universities. MU is one of 225 institutions of higher education The Princeton Review has recommended in its "Best in the Northeast'' section of its website feature, "2016 Best Regional Colleges," that posted in August 2015 on PrincetonReview.com. In the survey, Misericordia received a significantly higher academic rating than peer institutions received from their own students, according to The Princeton Review.

Misericordia had a fall 2015 enrollment of 3,065 students and offers 42 degree programs on the graduate and undergraduate levels in full- and part-time formats.

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