10 Reasons Rollins is a Top 10 Best Value School

October 12, 2021

By Audrey St. Clair ’03 and Luke Woodling ’17MBA

Rollins commencement ceremony
Photo by Scott Cook.

Rollins was recently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the South’s top 10 colleges for best value. Here are 10 reasons a Rollins education pays big dividends in both the short and long term.

U.S. News & World Report recently recognized Rollins among the top 10 best value schools in the South in its 2022 ranking of the nation’s best colleges. The best value category takes into account a school’s academic quality and the cost of attendance. So, the higher that quality of the program and the lower the cost, the more bang for your buck. To celebrate, we’re taking a look at 10 of the many reasons Rollins delivers one of the best deals in the South.

English professor Jana Mathews engaging in class discussion with her students.
Photo by Scott Cook.

1. We’re No. 1 all around. For the third year in a row, Rollins was ranked the No. 1 regional university in the South on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the nation’s best colleges. Rollins landed in the top spot among 103 colleges and universities in its category based on 17 measures of academic quality, including quality of faculty, academic reputation, graduation rates, and financial resources per student. This top-ranked track record underscores the quality you can expect on our Winter Park campus and the prestigious weight a Rollins degree carries not only in Orlando, but also throughout Florida and across the country.

Students waking beneath blooming yellow trumpet trees on Rollins campus.
Photo by Scott Cook.

2. You have access to ample aid. For nine in 10 Tars, the net cost students pay after receiving some sort of financial aid or grant is far lower than the sticker cost. Each year, about 96 percent of our students receive more than $80 million in combined federal, state, and institutional aid, allowing them the opportunity to take advantage of the full Rollins experience. On average, first-year students with a demonstrated need receive as much as $35,000 in financial support, which can go a long way toward making the dream of a Rollins education a reality.

Rollins student holding up diploma on graduation day.
Photo by Scott Cook.

3. You’ll get your degree in four years. Finishing college in four years is critical to reducing costs and launching a career as early as possible. However, most undergraduate degrees take at least five years to complete, which can add 20 percent to the total cost of college and doesn’t account for the opportunity costs brought on by a late start in the workforce. That’s why Rollins’ Finish in Four guarantee provides a concrete plan for each student, supported by trusted academic advisors, to complete a degree in four years. If a student holds up their end of the bargain and has to take classes beyond the eighth semester, Rollins will pick up the tab.

Rollins professor Li Wei engaging his students in discussion.
Photo by Scott Cook.

4. Your professors are top ranked too. Great teachers are the foundation of a great education, and at Rollins you’ll learn from the very best. Our innovative faculty are consistently recognized as the best professors in the South for their unusually uncommon commitment to undergraduate teaching. The College’s 11:1 student-faculty ratio and average class size of just 17 students mean that Rollins students receive personalized attention inside and outside the classroom from faculty who know not just their names but their goals and dreams.

Student and professor use projected images of the globe for physics research.
Photo by Scott Cook.

5. You’ll have the opportunity to do real research. The kind of research that’s usually available only at the graduate level. Rollins’ Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program pairs students and faculty together as colleagues on original research about pretty much anything you can imagine, from X-ray astrophysics to healing from racial trauma through theater. Armed with advanced skills in data analysis and laboratory techniques, our students enter grad school with a leg up on the competition.

Social entrepreneurship students brainstorm ideas in AdventHealth's Innovation Lab.
Photo by Scott Cook.

6. You’ll be prepared for more than just a job. Rollins’ personalized, intimate learning environment allows us to deliver on the promise of Rollins Gateway, our unique approach to liberal arts education that combines an interdisciplinary curriculum with high-impact experiences outside the classroom and an integrated mentorship model. You’ll gain broad-based knowledge and an array of 21st-century skills like creative problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication that will help you discover what you truly care about and prepare you to pursue it with all your might.

A grid of images showing Rollins students engaged in work in their communities.
Photo by Scott Cook.

7. You’ll learn how to become an actively engaged member of your community, an essential ingredient of both a meaningful life and productive career. Grounded in the belief that life is for service (what else would you expect from Mister Rogers’ alma mater?), Rollins maintains deep ties to the community through an array of connections, partnerships, and philanthropy. From the moment you set foot on campus to the moment you graduate, you’ll be called upon to serve causes big and small, all while gaining invaluable leadership experience and learning what it takes to lead positive, lasting change in the world.

Biology professor Fiona Harper holds a one-on-one advising session in her office with a student.
Photo by Scott Cook.

8. We’ll always have your back. The individualized attention you receive as a Rollins student begins long before you’re actually a student. In fact, our expert admission counselors will guide you through every step of your journey to Rollins. While you’re here, we’ll surround you with an entire community of mentors—from dedicated academic advisors to alumni career mentors to expert faculty who are deeply invested in your personal and professional development. Once you graduate, you’ll join a powerful alumni network and have access to lifelong benefits like networking opportunities and career services.

Students walking from the Knowles Chapel to the Alfond Sports Center on graduation day.
Photo by Scott Cook.

9. We offer accelerated pathways to success. Through Rollins’ Hamilton Holt School’s accelerated graduate degree programs, students have the opportunity to earn a master’s degree alongside a bachelor’s, allowing you to save time and money while jump-starting your career. Participating graduate programs include applied behavior analysis, education, human resources, liberal studies, and public health. Additionally, the College’s 3/2 Accelerated Management Program allows students to earn their bachelor’s from the No. 1 regional university in the South and Florida’s No. 1 MBA from Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business in just five years. Budding engineers can select the pre-engineering track that combines a three-year program in the liberal arts with two years of academic work in engineering at one of our partner institutions.

Hannah Holman at EA Sports, where she works as a software engineer.
Hannah Holman ’18 landed a coveted role as a software engineer with Electronic Arts right after graduation.Photo by Scott Cook.

10. A Rollins education yields immediate and lifelong returns. Our students graduate from Rollins with purpose and passion, uniquely prepared to forge meaningful lives and productive careers at some of the world’s leading companies and institutions. For proof, look no further than Rollins’ class of 2018. A recent survey found that 97 percent of 2018 graduates were engaged in the workforce, grad school, or volunteer service 12 months after graduation. And as time goes on, the benefits only continue to grow. According to a recent Georgetown University study, the return on investment for an education at a liberal arts college like Rollins is more than $900,000 40 years after enrollment—over 25 percent higher than the median gain at all colleges.

Professor and students in a class discussion at a Rollins outdoor classroom

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