Previously tied university, Salve Regina, soars ahead of RWU in U.S. News Best Colleges

Kyle Gravel, Opinions Editor

According to the highly regarded ranking system, Best Colleges, by U.S. News and World Report, Salve Regina University, a top competitor of RWU, jumped 15 spots ahead of RWU in the 2018 yearly assessed numerical ranking.

 The two universities were tied at a ranking of #46 in the 2017 ranking. However, in the 2018 assessment, RWU placed in at #43, while Salve Regina placed #28. The ranking was assessed in the “Regional Universities-North” category because the school struggles to draw students nationally, but can do so within the north-east region of the U.S.

 The tuition at Salve Regina, including fees, is $40,150, while Roger Williams is $34,512. Ergo, it should seem that individuals applying for colleges wish to pay significantly more for a “better” university. But how does this well-renowned report judge “better”?

 These two Rhode Island universities have many similarities: they are both suburban, located in the same state and offer similar financial support. But the differences show more statistics worthy of attention. RWU seems to forget one of its greatest selling points to students –– its size.

 Over the past three years, the total undergraduate enrollment has increased significantly to 4,703 students, which is more than double the student population at Salve. This statistic undoubtedly impacts the class sizes and the opportunity for guaranteed housing, which no longer exists. Moreover, U.S News also reported that the RWU acceptance rate is 10 percent higher than Salve Regina. Additionally, the four-year graduation rate is 9 percent higher than RWU.

On the discussion of affordability, RWU is less expensive. But, according to the average total indebtedness of the 2017 graduating class, RWU students found themselves almost $14,000 more in debt than Salve students.

In this report, it is rare that colleges score 15 places higher than the previous year, raising questions of why Roger Williams University is near stagnate as a close competitor soars ahead.