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NYT Magazine Ranks King Among America’s Most Selective, Economically Diverse Universities

September 13, 2023

The New York Times Magazine has named King among the nation’s top schools for economic diversity, ranking the University 21st among institutions supporting mid- to low-income students and their families.

The magazine’s College Access Index was compiled by analyzing the number of incoming freshmen receiving Pell Grants at the nation’s 286 most selective institutions, and lists King alongside other nationally recognized institutions such as Loyola University of New Orleans and the University of California at Irvine.

King was one of only seven Tennessee schools to be listed, ranking ahead of the University of Tennessee (No. 91), Sewanee: University of the South (No. 149), Vanderbilt (No. 166), Belmont and Rhodes (tied at No. 207). Across the state line in Virginia, the nearest institutions included were Virginia Tech (No. 207) and the University of Virginia (No. 248).

“This is yet another recognition of King’s commitment to making high-quality degree programs accessible to students and families of all economic backgrounds,” said President Alexander Whitaker. “As a non-profit institution, we rely on a network of donors to help us in our goals of reducing student debt and empowering graduates to achieve higher-paying jobs. Not only does our approach offer graduates the opportunity to advance, it also makes Bristol and the Tri-Cities a more competitive marketplace for employers, elevating our region as a whole.”

After application of financial aid, the index found that King’s annual net price for mid-income students was $20,100, putting the University’s private, Christian degree programs on par with many public institutions. The list can be viewed here.

The accolade follows a recent recognition by Money Magazine that named King one of the Best Colleges in America, based on multiple data points including amount of financial aid awarded, access to faculty, financial soundness, student debt, and graduate success.

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