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December 5, 2019

11/22/2019 10:38:00 AM
National organization recognizes Lincoln Trail College for affordability

Lincoln Trail College was recognized by EDsmart as one of the most affordable colleges in the nation. The Utah-based organization, which provides information to prospective college students and ranks colleges, named Lincoln Trail College as the 11th most affordable college in the United States.

EDsmart only considered colleges with an average net price of less than $3,500 for their rankings. In addition to cost, they also factored in academic quality, student satisfaction, and median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school. They used data from the U.S. Department of Education websites College Scorecard and College Navigator.

EDsmart gave LTC a score of 90.2. Among the things cited was a poll that found 100 percent of students agree professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes. They also noted that gave LTC a grade of A in the categories of student life and safety. EDsmart highlighted the fact that LTC offers a very low cost of attendance and that 100 percent of students receive some form of financial aid or support.

"If you look at the other colleges on the list, you can see that Lincoln Trail College's quality indicators stand far above the majority of the others found on the list," LTC President Dr. Ryan Gower said in a press release. "Many people assume that low cost means low quality, but I'm very proud that at Lincoln Trail College, our quality indicators are the envy of colleges that charge more than two times what we do for tuition."

LTC is joined on the list with the other three schools in the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District. Frontier Community College is 17th, Wabash Valley College is 19th, and Olney Central College is 25th. While all four IECC schools have the same tuition rates, Gower says the financial support received from the Lincoln Trail College Foundation plays a major role in keeping the cost of attendance low fo r area residents. "Without their support, and the generosity of their donors, the net price for students at LTC would be much higher."

Gower says the fact that all four IECC schools made the list means high praise should be given to the Board of Trustees and IECC leadership for commitment to keeping education accessible for area residents.

The college has received several accolades in recent years. Earlier this fall, LTC was named an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College, ranking it among the top 15 percent of all community colleges in the nation. The Institute considers factors like completion rates and academic and workforce outcomes when naming their top 150 colleges. The college has received that recognition five times. USA Today and rated LTC as the No. 2 community college in Illinois while CNN Money named LTC the top public two-year college in Illinois for student success.

Gower says it should be no surprise that LTC is as successful as it is because the local K-12 schools do such a good job making sure students are college-ready. "We know when students come to LTC from the local schools, they are college-ready and ready to learn here. We continue to work with those students to make sure they are prepared for the next stage in their lives, whether that's beginning a career after graduating from Lincoln Trail or continuing their education at a four-year university."

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