LA GRANDE - Students at Eastern Oregon University were told recently they are receiving a high value for their tuition dollar. A June 1 Consumers Digest report listed EOU as the second-best public university in the United States.

Consumers Digest used a formula focusing on academic excellence of incoming freshmen by using standardized test scores, high-school rank and grade-point average, and the educational quality offered by each institution by looking at student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate and percentage of faculty holding a doctorate or terminal degree.

These numbers determine a score for each institution. The scores were then compared to the estimated student costs in tuition, required fees and average room and board. Not having out-of-state tuition helped EOU considerably, according to the report. Eastern's 2003-04 annual tuition for both in- and out-of-state students was $4,426.

"We're very pleased to be nationally ranked by a national publication like Consumers Digest," said Tim Seydel, EOU spokesperson and assistant vice president for university advancement. "Competing successfully with national research institutions like Florida International University and California Polytechnic State places EOU in the forefront of regional universities."

The top-10 public universities in the Consumers Digest included: 1. Florida International University, Miami, Fla. ($8,151 for annual tuition and room and board); 2. Eastern Oregon University ($10,080); 3. California Polytechnic State, San Luis Obispo, Calif. ($12,628); 4. North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D. ($12,531); 5. North Georgia College & State, Dahlonega, Ga. ($12,640); 6. Utah State University, Logan, Utah ($12,876); 7. University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Fla. ($13,268); 8. Truman State University, Kirksville, Mo. ($13,528); 9. Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah ($13,558); and 10. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss. ($14,026).

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