How do the Highlanders rank up?

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Ralph Winfrey mwinfrey2@radford.edu | The Tartan

Radford University is on a roll, currently on a four year streak of being recognized as a “Best Bang for the Buck” institution by the Washington Monthly Magazine. Affordability, access and student outcomes are the determining criteria when awarding schools.

A comparison of total price (tuition, mandatory fees, room and board) for the 2015-16 academic year shows that Radford University to be 12.9% below the average for in-state undergraduate students and the third lowest among Virginia’s four-year public institutions of higher education.(Radford University Public Relations Department, 2016)

Affordability is commonly associated with average but it is important to disassociate these terms when the topic is Radford. This university is the exception and has the faculty, facilities and accolades to prove it. 80 percent of the faculty holds either doctoral or terminal degrees. Their knowledge coupled with small class sizes has created an optimal environment for learning. This makes Radford’s classrooms a unique experience.

Proper facilities and resources are essential elements of a successful university. The Center for Sciences building is one of the newest additions to campus and easily recognizable due to its modernity. This building is six stories high and equipped with twenty-first century research equipment, labs and auditoriums. This single addition cost 49 million dollars and may indirectly be the reason behind the 2.77 percent increase in tuition and fees from the 2015-2016 academic year. While the University continues to build and renovate, student’s pockets are receiving a break. This is the lowest tuition increase this school has seen in 15 years.

Within that time, coffee has never been more abundant on campus, as 3000 square feet was dedicated to the new Starbucks in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building. This shop is outfitted with three espresso machines and a production line matching the colossal Starbucks at the University of Alabama.

Lastly, the renovation of Draper Hall marks the completion of a three building renovation project that included Bolling and Pocahontas Halls. Now all of the halls on the quad are uniform and has hints of modernity.

The university’s budget has been well managed with student’s financial status in mind. Radford offers students state of the art facilities without compromising their financial stability.