That's the two-word question being asked around campus recently as university personnel prepare to welcome the Class of 2017 members back this coming week for Gold Rush Days.
It's also a question being asked around Marshall as public and parochial school parents return to the academic year routine this coming week.
A new president will welcome the students at SMSU. Dr. Connie J. Gores hit the ground running on July 1 and has been a visible presence on campus and in the community. For those of you who haven't put the name and the face together yet, you'll have an opportunity at 4 p.m. on Saturday as President Gores is the grand marshal of the Sounds of Summer parade through downtown Marshall.
Move-in day is filled with hope and promise as parents drop of their sons and daughters to begin their SMSU journey. A couple of honors received by the university the last couple of months will bolster their decision to select SMSU.
Southwest Minnesota State University is ranked sixth among colleges and universities in Minnesota for Best Lifetime Return on Investment by AffordableCollegesOnline.org (AC Online). What's that mean? Bang for the buck.
A total of 145 Minnesota colleges were analyzed in the study, and of those, just 22 were ranked. Graduates from the ranked schools enjoy the largest earning gap between non-degree holders over 30 years, and earn more on average than graduates from other Minnesota schools.
SMSU is the highest-ranked of the seven four-year institutions within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
Earlier this summer, SMSU was recognized by The College Database as one of a dozen Minnesota colleges and universities with the highest return on investment.
The College Database created a "Minnesota 20-30 Club" which recognizes 12 colleges and universities that have an annual tuition rate below $20,000 and new graduates who earn more than $30,000 per year, on average.
According to the criteria used by The College Database, SMSU has a tuition rate of $6,679, and its recent graduates earn an average starting salary of $36,000 per year.
An affordable quality education is what students receive at SMSU. And when you combine that with our job placement numbers, things look even better.
Ninety-nine percent of recent SMSU graduates are employed, and 95 percent found jobs in their areas of study (2012 data).
With that news in mind, the 2013-14 academic year begins. Our Office of Admission personnel will be busy right away hitting the road to recruit the Class of 2018 members. And in today's economy, parents and students alike are looking for a university that delivers quality at an affordable price, with a good job at the end of the journey.