The publication is an independent ranking of the value and quality of colleges and universities across the nation, conducted by Institutional Research and Evaluation (IRE) of Rome, Ga. The report profiles the schools that are the highest rated academically, but also have the greatest value as a function of academic quality, cost of attendance and financial aid available.
To be considered for America’s 100 Best College Buys, a college must meet specific requirements. The college must be an accredited four-year institution offering bachelor’s degrees; offer full residential facilities including residence halls and dining services; have an entering freshman class with a high school grade point average and/or SAT/ACT score equal to or above the national average; and have an out-of-state cost of attendance that is below the national average.
In 2011 IRE researched 1,449 accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Of the institutions surveyed, 1,069 schools responded. Winona State University is one of only two Minnesota schools included in the 16th annual report of America’s 100 Best College Buys. (The other is University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.)