What comes to mind when you think of the top colleges and universities in Tennessee? You won’t have to look far to find one.
Hiwassee College in Madisonville was recently named a Best Value School in the state of Tennessee. The ranking, which was published in October, was created using National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator and PayScale data to identify the schools based on graduation rate, net price, acceptance rate and a 20-year net return on investment.
Hiwassee College ranked 14th on the list of more than 162 colleges and universities, sharing the top 20 spotlight with schools such as Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee (UT) at Knoxville, Middle Tennessee State University, Lipscomb University, UT-Chattanooga and Tennessee Technology University.
Best Value Schools help students find schools and degree programs that can provide the most available financial aid and assistance, the greatest support and service, the highest return on invest
ment and the best overall educational value.
Hiwassee College officials were proud of the ranking.
“We offer an excellent, private, Christian education for a fraction of the cost of other colleges and universities,” said Adam Reynolds, the director of development and alumni affairs at Hiwassee College. “We pride ourselves on that.”
Alan Jackson, the vice president for academic and student affairs, said the ranking is even more proof of the college’s continued improvements and growth.
“People underestimate the high quality of an education at Hiwassee,” said Jackson. “We have a strong faculty and offer a remarkable education. A lot of students like the environment here at Hiwassee—it’s a quiet and rural setting.”
Reynolds said the college received some unrestricted funds recently that have allowed them to make improvements to the campus, with more improvements on the horizon.
“We’ve even had the opportunity to build up some of our programs,” said Jackson. “Our bachelor of science in our dental hygiene program will be starting in the fall. We are one of only four colleges in the state to offer that and we are the only private college that will offer the four-year degree.”
Being named a Best Value School only adds to the good things going on at the college, said Jackson.
“It’s very important that potential students know that we’re a good value,” he said. “As a student at Hiwassee, we support you and we will go out of our way to help our students graduate. If a student need a course online that we aren’t currently offering online, for example, we will try to work with them to do that. We make sure that students who are dealing with life changing circumstances of whatever reason still have the opportunity to graduate and succeed.”
Reynolds said full-time enrollment numbers at the college also continue to grow.
“We had a six percent increase in enrollment over last year’s numbers,” he said.
More importantly, however, Hiwassee College officials believe the college is continuing to strive and improve.
“We feel like Hiwassee is moving forward,” said Jackson. “The future looks like it is brighter than it has in recent years.”
For more information about applying to Hiwassee College, contact the Admissions Office at 423-442-1212. To contribute to Hiwassee’s efforts of providing a valued education for its students, call Reynolds at 423-420-1245.