Forbes magazine recently released the College Financial Grades ranking and gave College of the Ozarks an “A” grade.
Using the most recent data available from the government’s National Center for Education Statistics database, Forbes analyzed all private not-for-profit colleges in the U.S. with enrollments greater than 500, grading them on balance sheet strength and operational soundness, plus certain other indicators of a college’s financial condition, including admission yield, percentage of freshmen receiving institutional grants and instruction expenses per student.
In Forbes’ article about methodology, a grim picture is painted: “The majority of the nation’s institutions of higher education are in precarious financial straits, as many tuition-dependent colleges compete to fill freshman classes in order to stay open. Forbes’ sixth report on the financial health of private-not-for profit colleges finds that the overall financial well-being of colleges has deteriorated and many are in danger of closing or merging. Student demand is tapering, tuition pricing (and discounting) is growing, and unfortunately many administrations and faculties are loath to adapt to this new reality.”
For College of the Ozarks, however, the picture is quite the opposite.
“Our financial health is stronger than ever, and our students have the opportunity to graduate debt free,” said Dr. Jerry C. Davis, C of O president. “Our commitment to mission is our guiding light, a light that has guided our path since 1906. Students work to offset the cost of their education. People will support an institution that stands for Christian values, encourages patriotism and respect, and operates lean. We practice what we preach. Students, and staff and faculty alike, work hard at Hard Work U.”
The mission of College of the Ozarks is to provide the advantages of a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training.
All students at College of the Ozarks work, rather than pay, for their education. The cost is met by a combination of gifts from donors, private scholarships, and grants. The College openly discourages debt by not participating in any kind of loans.