Editorial: These indeed are heady days at McNeese

McNeese State University is fast gaining a reputation for a respectable bang for students’ bucks.

The institution recently ranked third in Louisiana among all public and private institutions with the greatest lifetime return

on investment for its graduates, according to www.AffordableCollegesOnline.org.

AC Online, a web-based news site that

provides students and parents with data about affordable higher

education options, put

McNeese graduates lifetime return on investment at $596,200. That

ranked behind Louisiana Tech at $804,100 and LSU at $749,400.

The University of New Orleans ranked

fourth ($556,500), followed by Xavier University ($535,900), the

University of Louisiana-Monroe

($469,700), Southern ($404,800), Northwestern State University

($388,100), Southeastern Louisiana ($385,000), the University

of Louisiana-Lafayette ($361,000), Nicholls State ($349,500),

Dillard ($287,400) and Grambling ($65,350).

AC online factored universities’ tuition and fees and graduates’ average starting salaries to determine the rankings.

“I congratulate our faculty and staff for their work and dedication and for their commitment to our core values of academic

excellence, student success, fiscal responsibility and university-community alliances,” said McNeese President Dr. Philip

Williams in a news release from the university.

Williams said McNeese is quickly becoming the university of innovation.

Previously AC Online ranked McNeese 32nd out of the top 58 public institutions nationwide for offering affordable tuition

and high average salary earnings for its graduates.

McNeese recently had the lowest tuition of all eight institutions in the University of Louisiana System at $5,099.

U.S. News & World Report named McNeese one of the best regional universities in the South in its 2014 Best Colleges edition.

These indeed are heady days at McNeese.

Adam Johnson, a graduate of the university’s Master of Fine Arts in

Creative Writing

program, won the Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for Fiction. And

earlier this week it was announced that Michael Shewmaker,

a 2010 graduate of the MFA program, was one of five writers to

receive a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry to Stanford

University.

This enviable portfolio should once and for all bury the ill-deserved ‘‘Ryan Street High’’ put-down. Anyone who still mutters

it should be labeled as a fountain of misinformation.

Instead, the university’s motto, ‘‘Excellence with a Personal Touch,'' registers clear and true daily with its students, faculty

and proud alumni.

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This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.