WALLA WALLA – Whitman’s No. 20 ranking in the 2009 edition of Kiplinger’s “Best Values in Private Colleges” affirms the college’s ongoing commitment to academic quality and affordability.


Even more so, as the ranking moves up from last year’s mark of 28 on the Top 50 national liberal arts colleges list. Whitman is one of only seven west coast schools – and the only one in the Northwest – to make the prestigious top-50 list.

Kiplinger’s ranks the best values in private institutions across the country, ranking liberal arts colleges and universities that combine outstanding economic value with exceptional education.

“This year’s top 100 private schools met the challenges of a slumping economy,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s in a press releasing announcing this year’s best values.

Kiplinger’s selected 100 schools form a pool of more than 600 private institutions provided by Peterson’s and ranked them according to academic quality and affordability, with quality accounting for two-thirds of the total. The annual rankings appear in Kiplinger’s December 2009 issue, which will be on newsstands Nov. 10; it is online now at www.kiplinger.com/reports/best-college-values.

"It's gratifying to be named one of the nation's top 20 best values for liberal arts colleges, especially during these tough economic times,” says Tony Cabasco, dean of enrollment and financial aid. “This recognition speaks to Whitman's ongoing commitment to academic quality and affordability.  Whitman continues to provide a top-quality education despite the challenges.”

Cabasco reports that like many colleges across the nation Whitman's endowment lost value last year. To cope with the challenge of greater financial need and reduced endowment income, Whitman cut expenses in many areas except for academics.  The scholarship budget was increased by $1.4 million, an 8 percent increase, while keeping tuition increases at 5 percent.

“Enrollment at Whitman remains very strong. We take this as evidence that our investments in financial aid have ensured that Whitman students can continue to afford the high-quality liberal arts education that we offer,” Cabasco says.