Tennessee Tech University continues to be one of "America's 100 Best College Buys," making the list for the seventh straight year.
Issued each year by Institutional Research & Evaluation Inc., an independent research and consulting organization, the "best buy" list identifies the 100 American colleges and universities providing students the highest quality education at the lowest cost.
Only 100 colleges or universities are included in the national listing each year. Six institutions from Tennessee are listed this year, including only three public universities. Tennessee Tech is the only Tennessee Board of Regents university listed.
The "Best College Buy" ranking follows a recent U.S.News and World Report release that said 60 percent of TTU's 2010 graduates left school debt free, and students who carried debt after graduation owed the lowest average of any regional university in the South.
"Keeping a university education affordable is a key factor in helping our students stay in school and graduate," said TTU President Bob Bell. "We are pleased to receive this recognition that highlights our efforts to maintain quality and value."
The research company compiled its report from a survey of 1,449 accredited U.S. colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degree programs and provide facilities for room and board. Of the institutions surveyed, 1,069 schools responded.
To be considered for inclusion in the list of 100, a college or university must also have had an entering freshman class in Fall 2010 with a high school grade point average and/or ACT score equal to or above the national average, and an out-of-state attendance cost in 2011-2012 for two semesters below or not exceeding the national average by more than 10 percent.
TTU's entering freshmen posted a grade point average of 3.4, higher than the national average of 3.1. TTU's average ACT score for that group matched the national average at 23.
In this study, the cost of attendance included tuition, fees, room and board. The university's out-of-state cost of attendance was almost $6,000 less than the national average. In-state cost of attendance was estimated at $14,000.
TTU recorded its 11th straight year of record enrollment this fall, with 11,768 students.