Houghton College has been named one of Washington Monthly‘s top 100 Affordable Elite Colleges and Universities and a Best Bang for the Buck Liberal Arts College in the 2014 rankings.

Houghton took 82nd place in the top 100 for Affordable Elite Colleges and Universities in the U.S. The rankings for this category use a methodology starting with a Barron’s Competitiveness score after which each institution is scored on a three-point scale using five measures reflecting access, affordability and student outcomes. The five measures are student loan default rates, percent of students receiving Pell grants, graduation rates, graduation rate performance, and net price of attendance.

To be included on the Best Bang for the Buck Liberal Arts College list, colleges had to meet four criteria in the most recent year: 20% of the students must be receiving Pell grants, and the school must have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent, meet or exceed the statistically predicted rate of admitting lower-income students and make sure their graduates are earning enough in the workforce to at least cover their student loans, and have a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less.

Washington Monthly also commented, “It’s worth pointing out—and giving kudos to—the relative handful of private institutions . . . that made the list. These schools go out of their way to recruit less-affluent students and keep the prices they charge to those students down.”

Houghton College has remained committed to keeping the actual costs of education experienced by students down by actively fundraising for the Student Scholarship Fund, which raised well over $1 million last year.

The college is also very aware of the need to minimize the negative impact of heavy student loan debt that many college students throughout the nation face after graduation. The Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) was implemented this past year at Houghton College and is designed to assist or completely repay a student’s loans after graduation when he or she earns less than $38,000.