This is the fifth time Bethany has been chosen as one of “Barron’s Best Buys” but it’s only the latest instance where a national publication has placed Bethany on the short list of America’s top institutions. Earlier this month, Bethany was selected as one of the nation’s Top 100 four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the inaugural ranking of all United States institutions compiled by Forbes magazine. Bethany was also named one of 285 “National Colleges of Distinction” in the annual guide by Student Horizons, Inc. and made its fifth appearance on The Princeton Review’s annual list of “Best Colleges in the Southeast Region.”
“This is the fourth time in the past month Bethany has been recognized on a national or regional list of top colleges,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “The other publications focused on the quality of our rigorous academics but the Barron’s guide takes it to the next level by including the cost factor. We are extremely pleased that Bethany College has once again been selected as one of the best education values in America.”
According to Lucia Solorzano, author of Barron’s biannual guide, the institutions chosen in her 10th edition span the spectrum of higher education in the United States. They range from such huge public universities as Penn State, Ohio State and the University of Texas with enrollments topping the 30,000 mark to small private colleges whose total enrollments might not fill a lecture hall at one of the larger universities.
But what set these institutions apart were their similarities. Solorzano noted that the 231 schools selected as “Best Buys” were generally places where tuition and required fees for the 2007-08 school year did not exceed $30,000. Other common factors included at least two-thirds of the faculty possessing doctoral degrees and 50 percent or more of the incoming freshmen earning their bachelor’s degrees in five years or less.
Bethany’s profile, which takes up three pages in the 673-page guide, lauds the breadth and depth of liberal arts courses taken by all undergraduates and makes special note of the mandatory senior projects and comprehensive senior exams required for graduation from the College. The profile also spotlights the fact that 73 percent of Bethany’s faculty have earned doctoral degrees and credits the intimate 14:1 student/faculty ratio with fostering a comfortable yet challenging academic atmosphere.
Bethany is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the oldest college in the state.