Bradley University Profiled In Bookstores Nationwide

By Joe Bennett

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July 9, 2011 Updated Jul 9, 2011 at 10:47 PM CDT

Bradley University Alumni can be proud to have graduated from one of the top 60 "Best Bet" colleges.

That's according to a widely published book that hit the stores last month.

"The Financial Aid Guidebook" and why one of Central Illinois greatest icons made the list.

For an educational institution as highly reputable as Bradley University, its nothing new to be in a college guidebook.

Then again, experts say this isn't just any guidebook.

It's a book that specifically lists U.S. Colleges where average student loans are no higher than eight thousand dollars a year and where grants averagely exceed loans.

That's pretty much like getting an A.

"I might characterize it as really the first unvarnished guidebook about the process of finding the right college. More than that, really, finding the right value," says Bradley's Executive Director of Financial Assistance David Pardiek.

Pardiek says the book's authors, Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik, are nationally known experts on admissions and financial assistance.

In the book, they compare Bradley to Goldilock's chair: not too big. Not too small. Just the right size.

The title of the book says it all.

"The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting The Education You Want For The Price You Can Afford."

Families I spoke with visiting Bradley's campus say affordability is one of the biggest factors.

"Having four kids, cost is of course important. That's probably the main consideration," Says Tony Mackay.

The Mackays came down from New Lennox Illinois strictly for their visit to Bradley's campus.

Half of Tony Mackay's small litter are his twin sons Adam and Josiah.

The 17-year-olds recognize the bang for the bucks it costs to go to Bradley.

Josiah Mackay says, "I think they really have a good niche with all of the internships and that gives you a valuable and different experience from most colleges."

That, according to Pardieck, is the significance of this guidebook.

It includes many variables before factoring which schools in the U.S. are the most valuable.

"A value, whether it's a higher education or any other product, is the relationship between the experience with that product and what you pay for it in the return on the investment,"Pardieck explains. "Bradley experiences tremendous return on the investment. So again, a great value."

Pardiek adds that Bradley's enrollment has been stable for many years and this mostly amounts to welcomed positive publicity.

If the 3rd party endorsement does add to Bradley's number of applicants, then the school will just have to become even more selective of 6,000 they receive each year.

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