Binghamton University ranked 10th best public value nationwide

University drops 2 places since 2013, administration not concerned

While Binghamton University remains a great value according to the Princeton Review, the University has dropped in rank for the second year in a row.

The Princeton Review ranked BU as the No. 10 best value public college in 2014. The University has decreased in rank since 2012, dropping from No. 4 to No. 8 in 2013. BU has maintained a spot in the top 10 for six years in a row.

University President Harvey Stenger said he doesn’t put too much emphasis on BU’s spot on the list.

“I kind of get exhausted by these rankings, but the good news is that we’re always in them,” Stenger said.

The 2014 rankings are based on institutional data and student opinion surveys from fall 2012 through 2013, according to the Princeton Review website.

The rankings take into account more than 30 factors related to academics, financial aid and tuition.

The Princeton Review decides from 650 schools, based on factors such as high school GPA, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores and student/faculty ratios. Of the 650, the Princeton Review selects 75 public and 75 private schools to comprise their “150 Best Value Colleges.”

Stenger said the factors used to measure the rankings seem arbitrary and don’t lend to improving schools.

“The parameters that they use in these rankings are so odd sometimes, and how they weigh them together,” Stenger said. “Their goal is to sell magazines and books — they’re not there to improve higher education.”

The Princeton Review ranking totals BU tuition at $5,870 for New York residents and $16,190 for out-of-state students; however, taking into account room and board, textbooks and additional fees, the site bumps the price up to about $21,832 and $32,152, respectively.

According to the Princeton Review, about 53 percent of students borrow money, and the average debt at graduation is $23,710.

Also, according to the Princeton Review, while the tuition itself is reasonable, the cost of textbooks and additional fees impacts BU’s overall value, and the cost of room and board makes the school a better value for off-campus students.

One of the most important factors to BU’s value ranking is a reliable graduation time, as “the vast majority of Binghamton students graduate in four years; therefore, they are not saddled with an additional year of tuition and fees,” according to the Princeton Review.

Overall, Stenger said that it wasn’t worth sweating over the exact statistics.

“I’m proud that we’re always in the top 20, but I don’t lose much sleep over [the rankings], either,” Stenger said.

According to one student, while BU dropped in rank, it does not necessarily mean the University’s value has diminished.

“At least we’re ranked, but it’s sad that we’ve dropped in rank,” said Deanna Ciampo, a sophomore majoring in anthropology. “At the same time, I don’t think that takes away from Binghamton’s overall value.”