George Fox tops West Coast Christian college list of ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ schools

George Fox was among the highest ranking Christian schools in Washington Monthly's annual college guide.

Washington Monthly names school among nation’s leaders in helping lower-income students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices

According to a national publication, Washington Monthly, George Fox University ranks among the nation’s top colleges and universities in terms of providing the most value for the price.

George Fox ranked first among Christian colleges on the West Coast in the publication’s “Best Bang for the Buck” ranking – a list of the colleges in America that do the best job of helping lower-income students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

The list is exclusive: Of the 1,572 colleges and universities on Washington Monthly’s broader rankings, only 349 made the cut as “best-bang-for-the-buck” schools. George Fox was among 12 Council for Christian Colleges & Universities on the list in the “Master’s Universities” category and was the top CCCU school on the West Coast listed.

To qualify, colleges have to meet four criteria. First, to make sure they aren’t just catering to the affluent, at least 20 percent of a school’s students must be receiving Pell Grants, which go to students of modest means (typically those with annual household incomes below $50,000).

Secondly, schools must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent. Third, each school’s actual graduation rate must meet or exceed the rate that would be statistically predicted for that school given the number of lower-income students admitted. Finally, to make sure their graduates are earning enough in the workforce to at least cover their student loans, schools must have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less.

George Fox excelled on all fronts, as more than one-third (37 percent) of its students receive Pell Grants and a mere 3 percent default on their loans. The school also has a graduation rate well above the 50-percent benchmark criteria.

Once the list was compiled, Washington Monthly applied the “buck” part of the measure by ranking the schools based on their net price of attendance. Net price is the average tuition that first-time, full-time students from families with an annual income of $75,000 or less actually pay after subtracting the need-based financial aid they receive. George Fox’s net price was reported at $18,995 per year.

Ultimately, according to Washington Monthly, the schools listed most successfully addressed this question: “What colleges will charge people like me the least and give me the highest chance of graduating with a degree that means something in the marketplace?”