Lee ranks in top 20 colleges for value and service

Lee ranks in top 20 colleges for value and service

A Lee student gives a manicure during 2016's Deke Day, a day dedicated to serving at local nursing homes and elderly care facilities.

Photo by Zach Camp

Lee University was recently recognized for its affordability and service when it was ranked number 12 in Great College Deals’ “20 Best Deals on Small Service-Oriented Colleges,” according to a press release.

Great College Deals is a free online resource that provides updated information for high schoolers and potential college students seeking a higher education, according to GreatCollegeDeals.net.

In order to be considered for the ranking, universities had to have fewer than 7,000 students and a net price of $33,000 or less. Schools that meet these criteria were then awarded points based on the prevalence of service-learning programs, charity partnerships, financial aid packages and more at the given college or university.

Lee earned a total of 13 out of 16 possible points, as stated in the press release.

Dean of Students Alan McClung sees Lee’s vision for service as a lifestyle commitment that he hopes students can embrace through the different service opportunities that Lee offers.

“My personal vision is to offer our students as many different service opportunities as possible, in order for Lee students to realize their own place in the process of change through engagement with the world,” McClung said. “I believe that Lee's vision is to see service as a total commitment to a lifestyle, not just an afterthought.”

Lee’s commitment to service is just one facet of why Great College Deals ranked the university so high.The school also offers a quality and affordable education in comparison to other Christian universities in Tennessee.

According to Lee’s website, tuition can be estimated at around $7,500 – $11,520 per semester, which is considerably low in contrast to similar schools in the surrounding area such as Bryan College and Covenant College, which both list their tuition as ranging from $12,225 – 15,660 per semester.

Lee’s lower tuition cost allows students from all areas to take advantage of the service-minded atmosphere.

Sophomore Public Relations major Allie Karnes is one student who feels fortunate to go to a university that values service as much as Lee does.

“I would say that I am grateful to be apart of an institution that takes service as seriously as it does,” Karnes said. “Most of the time in college, the focus is on ourselves, so I think it’s important to embed [service] in our heads now.”

At Lee, service is seen as a mindset that should be integrated into students’ lives before they enter the world of career and professionalism, according to McClung.

McClung said that the ranking from Great College Deals serves as another sign of affirmation that Lee is accomplishing great strides in both service and affordability.

“I always feel a great sense of pride when Lee receives special recognition,” McClung said. “Particularly, it feels good to be recognized as a service-oriented college as this demonstrates that Lee puts emphasis on education for lifelong learning.”

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