McNeese State University has been nationally recognized for offering affordable tuition and high average salary earnings for graduates. McNeese ranked 32nd in the top 58 public institutions by AffordableCollegesOnline.org.
To compile its list, ACO reviewed four-year, fully accredited public institutions with in-state tuition of less than $5,000 per year and with average starting salaries for graduates of more than $40,000 per year. The website also looked at mid-career salary averages as well as the overall return on investment for the degree. A complete list can be found at www.AffordableCollegesOnline.org (click the "colleges" tab on the top of the page and choose "Affordable Low Cost / High Salaries Colleges" to see the list).
"McNeese is quickly becoming the university of innovation through the promotion of innovative teaching and learning methodologies, regional partnerships, service-learning opportunities, applied research, cultural engagement and athletic excellence," said Dr. Philip Williams, McNeese president.
"Our core values of academic excellence, student success, fiscal responsibility and university-community alliances guide us and this national recognition indicates that our students are receiving a quality education and have marketable skills," Williams said. "I congratulate our faculty and staff for their work and for embracing our motto of Excellence With a Personal Touch."
Previously recognized nationally as one of the best regional universities in the South and for providing individual attention to students, McNeese will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2014.
"Our students come from 50 parishes, 30 states and 40 countries," said Candace Townsend, McNeese director of public relations. "There is a lot of excitement on campus. In August we will open a new residence hall designed to promote and encourage academic excellence and we will launch our new radio station, KBYS-FM. Just last month McNeese alumnus Adam Johnson won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction."
McNeese has a $335 million annual economic impact in Southwest Louisiana. It awards nearly 70 percent of the public four-year college degrees earned by residents of Southwest Louisiana and more than 800 students, the largest graduating class in McNeese history, received degrees at the spring 2013 commencement ceremony.
"In this climate of soaring higher education costs, prospective students should know that it's quite possible to obtain a great education that lands them a well-paying job, but at a very affordable price," says ACO founder Dan Schuessler. "With a total tuition investment of about $20,000, graduates from these schools leave with the skills and education needed to earn high starting salaries in great careers."
AffordableCollegesOnline used data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Data System, Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and PayScale.com to determine its rankings.