David M. Granger


AUBURN -- Auburn University is one of the nation's top 100 college buys, according to a new report compiled by Georgia-based Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc.

The group, which evaluates more than 1,000 institutions annually for purposes of its report, has chosen AU among its top 100 each year since it began its evaluations three years ago.

IR&E selects the top 100 accredited four-year institutions based on cost and student achievement. To be included, schools must also provide full residential facilities (including residence halls and dining facilities), offer need-, academic- and athletic-based financial aid to qualified prospective students.

Those schools who qualified for the current report must also have had a Fall 1997 entering freshman class with a high school grade-point average and/or a SAT/ACT score higher than the national average and an out-of-state cost (including tuition, fees and room and board) no more than 10 percent above the national average.

AU's average ACT score of 24 for its entering freshman class in Fall 1997 bested the national average of 21, its average SAT score of 1137 outpaced the national average of 1065 and its out-of-state cost of just over $13,000 was less than the national average of more than $15,000.

"A college or university does not have to be expensive to be good," said Lewis T. Lindsey, president of IR&E. "Prospective college students and their parents should not automatically think that to get a quality education they must pay a high cost.

"It is amazing that these schools can consistently, year after year, deliver a quality college education at a cost that is within every student's reach."

This year's IR&E report was based on responses to its survey by admissions offices of more than 1,300 colleges and universities. The survey was conducted in May and June of last year.

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CONTACT: Lindsey, 770/535-9261, ext. 4.