Achieving a major milestone for the benefit of low-income students and their families, Ouachita Baptist University has been named among the top 10 universities in the nation that graduate low-income students.
The findings, posted by USNews.com, also show that Ouachita is the only university, private or public, in the state of Arkansas to earn that recognition. Other universities in that category range from the University of San Francisco to Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
“U.S. News’ study confirms that Ouachita is one of the most affordable universities for all students,” said Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr. “With our generous financial aid, personal attention and commitment to student success, Ouachita is exceptional among all universities, public or private.
“We are also very pleased to report that Ouachita’s graduates leave with less debt than most university graduates,” Dr. Horne added. Recent studies show that Ouachita students graduate with student loan debts below both the state and national averages.
Dr. Brett Powell, OBU’s vice president for administrative services, said the national ranking “is affirmation that the programs we have in place, from financial aid to academic support, are effective in attracting and retaining a diverse mix of students to Ouachita.”
Noting that Ouachita offers “a wide range of financial aid options to keep costs affordable for all students who have a desire to earn a Ouachita education,” Dr. Powell said, “These options are based on a number of criteria, including a student’s academic profile, financial need and leadership qualities.”
The U.S. News study cites the percentage of Pell Grant recipients who graduate compared to the rest of the student body, according to USNews.com. Pell Grants provide federal financial aid to undergraduates from low-income families, generally to students with family incomes below $20,000. The graduation rate of Pell Grant recipients, coupled with other graduation rate statistics, indicate whether schools are effectively serving students from diverse income levels.
In addition to being ranked among the top 10 national universities and national liberal arts colleges in that category, Ouachita has been recognized among the nation’s top tier schools by both U.S. News and Forbes magazines. U.S. News also ranks Ouachita among the nation’s “A+ Schools for B Students.”
Ouachita Baptist University, a private liberal arts university in Arkadelphia, Ark., has served since 1886 as a Christ-centered learning community. With a current enrollment of 1,532 students, Ouachita is educating students from 29 states and more than 30 nations. For more information, visit www.obu.edu.
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications