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Thomas Aquinas College recognized for affordability

  • Contributed by Anne Forsyth



Recorder Staff
Saturday, September 16, 2017

If the original campus in Santa Paula, Calif. is any indication, future students at the Thomas Aquinas College campus in Northfield shouldn’t stress (as much) about impending student loan debt.

Thomas Aquinas College, a Roman Catholic liberal arts college, ranked as No. 30 out of 108 schools on the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Values list for national liberal arts colleges.

According to the list, 64 percent of students receive need-based grants, with a typical cost of $21,441 after grants. By comparison, students at the No. 1 ranked Williams College saw a typical cost of $19,545 after grants, but only 50 percent received need-based grants.

Additionally, in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges guide of national liberal arts colleges, Thomas Aquinas College was ranked No. 58 of 233 schools.

According to U.S. News & World Report’s website, the rankings are determined based on 15 factors relating to academic excellence, with the ranking formula placing “an emphasis on outcomes, evidenced by measures of graduation and retention being the most heavily weighted factors in the Best Colleges rankings.” Data for the 2018 report was gathered in spring and summer.

“(These rankings) point not only to the strength of our academic program — in terms of quality and class size — but also, importantly, to the reasonable tuition, room and board costs, and the generosity of our need-based financial aid program,” Admissions Director Jon Daly is quoted as saying in a Thomas Aquinas College press release. “This is important to both students and parents who need to be sure the investment they make in a college education is worthwhile.”

The liberal arts college took over ownership of part of the former Northfield Mount Hermon School campus on May 2, with hopes of starting another branch in Northfield. The Moody Center owns the remainder of the property.

President Michael McLean previously said he plans for the first classes in Northfield to begin in the fall of 2018. However, the college is still waiting for approval from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, which Director of College Relations Anne Forsyth predicts could come as soon as October or November.

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