MARSHALL (KMHL) – Southwest Minnesota State University is the only Minnesota University to be ranked in a category of affordable bachelor ’s degrees.

Best Value Schools has ranked SMSU number seven in the nation. The ranking considers cost versus value of schools and takes into account investment return, student and alumni evaluation, cost value, matriculation and academic success.

“As college costs continue to rise, many budget-conscious students consider affordability a major factor in choosing a school,” writes Best Value Schools. “The rankings include some of the best schools offering a full range of programs that fit your needs, along with reasonable tuition and financial aid opportunities.”

Best Value Schools also notes that SMSU has the same tuition rate for nearly all of its students – both in state and out of state and offers what’s called banded tuition – which allows students to take between 12 and 18 credits per semester and pay only the 12 credit rate. Also the publication notes nearly 80 percent of SMSU students receive some form of financial assistance.

“One of the factors that makes SMSU attractive to students and their families is the fact that it’s an excellent value, and we’re very happy to be recognized for that,” said SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya. “Ninety-nine percent of our recent graduates find jobs or enroll in grad school, and they aren’t burdened with overwhelming student debt.”