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Release: August 7, 2002

UI the 'Best Buy' in Iowa says new Fiske college guide

Even in the face of double-digit tuition increases, the University of Iowa offers a high-quality education at an affordable price, according to The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2003. For the second year in a row, the UI is the only Iowa institution on the Fiske list of 43 "Best Buy" colleges and universities, which are selected based on the quality of the academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance.

The Fiske Guide, edited by Ted Fiske, former New York Times education editor, does not rank universities numerically, but assesses the strengths and weaknesses of some 300 of the top colleges and universities in the United States and Canada in terms of academic strength, social life, and overall quality of life.

The guide calls the UI "one of the most dynamic schools in the country," and says the wide range of strengths, from creative writing to the health sciences, attracts students to "this budget Ivy League."

"The University of Iowa not only boasts a beautiful campus with many improvements on the way, it offers its students a seemingly endless range of academic programs, an abundance of social activities, and a friendly, welcoming climate," the guide says. "With its combination of quality academics, mammoth resources, renowned specialty programs, and extensive research opportunities, this Midwest school is anything but faceless."

Lola Lopes, associate provost for undergraduate education, said that earning the "Best Buy" designation shows that the UI has maintained all the right priorities during a difficult budget year.

"All along we have remained absolutely committed to undergraduate education, including our four-year graduation guarantee," she said. "We have instituted a major project focused on student writing across the undergraduate curriculum, and we have established learning communities for students in a broad range of majors from engineering to the performing arts."

Lopes added that Fiske's recognition of the broad scope of academic opportunities at the UI for such a low cost would bolster the university's message that despite budget difficulties, the UI is committed to keeping quality education accessible to all Iowans.