Ohio Wesleyan University has been recognized as one of the nation’s best buys in higher education by a national publication.
After analyzing 27 data points from 2,400 U.S. colleges, Money Magazine identified 711 schools for the magazine’s “Best Colleges for Your Money.” Ohio Wesleyan landed in the top 500 at 488. The results were based on the magazine’s formula of “educational quality, affordability, and alumni success.”
Susan Dileno, vice president of enrollment, said OWU is in a niche of being a very traditional college where the students entering are 18 and 19 years old and all classes are conducted during the day. No night classes or adult programs like many of the other colleges.
“It’s part of other colleges’ DNA,” she said. “I feel if we were to try it, it would be a disaster.”
Dileno said since OWU is a private college, there is the misconception that students come from mostly upper-class families. She said nothing could be farther from the truth because the economic background of the student population is diverse.
“Students are from both ends of the spectrum,” she said. “Most of our students are aided, about 35 percent are Pell Grant eligible. I think that’s one of the reasons we ended up on Money Magazine’s list.”
Cole Hatcher, media and community relations director, said that about 97 percent of OWU students receive merit-based and/or need-based financial aid.
“The average package of merit-based and other financial aid for our first-year students is about $37,000 per student,” he said. “For the 2016-2017 academic year, Ohio Wesleyan awarded $13 million in grants and scholarships to first-year students.”
Dileno said OWU tries to stay in tune with the current job market, offering the latest programs and internships for a hands on experience. She said many of the internships are with OWU alumni who help students obtain the hands on skills needed in today’s market.
“We have a strong job placement service so they can find jobs in their fields,” she said. “We are committed to making an OWU education accessible and invaluable. It’s a great return on the student’s investment.”
Dileno said OWU is expecting 470 first-year students this fall.
“It’s little down this year,” she said. “But up from two years ago.”
In the spring, she said approximately 350 will graduate.
She said about 83 percent of the 470 first-year students will return the following year.
“The first and second year is where we lose most,” Dileno noted.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.