Miami ranked ‘most efficient’ university

Most efficient universities/Spending per student

Miami University $383.66

Florida State University $392.77

University of Alabama $423.02

Binghamton University $437.23

College of William and Mary (VA) $441.82

Brigham Young University—Provo (UT) $457.29

Indiana University—Bloomington $469

Clemson University (South Carolina) $486.02

University of Missouri $499.61

Clark University (MA) $502.24

Source: U.S. News and World Report

A recent report ranks Miami University as the nation’s “most efficient” university, saying it scores high on academic achievement while spending less than other universities to do so.

This is the third year U.S. News and World Report has compiled the ranking, and Miami has placed in the top three each year — rising from number three in 2012, to number two in 2013 to number one in 2014, said university spokeswoman Claire Wagner.

“We have been pushing for efficient use of our resources — people, items, cash — for years, but with an extra focus in 2008 when the economy was tough on all of us,” she said. “We’ve added sometimes small, sometimes large plans that staff submit on their own, and that adds up to savings as well.”

Earlier this month there was a Lean Fair at the Oxford campus. Lean is a continuous improvement program that encourages ideas to reduce costs and save energy.

One example of this was the Miami University Police Department changing its fingerprint program from a paper-based process to an electronic process, which saves resources and money, Wagner said.

“The ranking shows that the students are succeeding, and we’ve been able to do it at a lower cost than most schools,” she said.

In the most efficient ranking for national universities, Miami topped Florida State University in second place and the University of Alabama in third place. spending per student for each point in the U.S. News overall score. Miami spends $383.66 per student. The next-highest ranking Ohio college is Ohio University, which spends $545.13 per student, according to their report. The amounts represent the spending per student for each point in the overall U.S. News score.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education found that Miami was the most expensive four-year public college in the nation. The ranking of highest net prices includes not only tuition, but other costs such as books and room-and-board fees, minus grant and scholarship aid. Miami topped that list with a total cost of $24,674.

However, both Miami and U.S. News and World Report dispute that finding.

“It’s a matter of cost vs. value,” Wagner said. “Because state support for universities is low in Ohio, you’ll find several of Ohio’s public universities on the ‘most expensive’ list. The same goes for Pennsylvania.”

Declines in state funding is a major reason Miami costs more, she said.

On the same ODE list, Ohio State University ranked 9th, the University of Cincinnati was 16th, Kent State University was 19th and Ohio University was 22nd.

“But, our outcomes are so strong … that students are achieving exemplary educational experiences that prepare them for fulfilling career paths vs. other universities whose students need more time to graduate (thus costing more) or aren’t hired at the rates ours are,” she said.

The outcomes Wagner refers to are that the four-year and six-year graduation rates are “among the best in the nation for public universities” and that alumni are “getting accepted to medical and law school at rates far higher than the norm, and 91.1 percent of our graduates employed or in graduate school a year after graduating,” she said.

Robert Morse, the chief data strategist for U.S. News and World Report, says the $24,674 quoted by the federal agency “is not a real number in the sense that the individual student, on average, doesn’t pay that. That’s something called the net price. It’s an educational policy analyst’s concept … the out-of-state students are paying one price, the in-state students are paying another price, and the people that aren’t on financial aid are paying sticker price.”

Wagner and Morse said that colleges do not pay to be in the U.S. News and World report rankings, which are independent studies.

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