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Murray State ranked No. 1 nationally for its financial aid packages

MURRAY, Ky. (July 27, 2012) — U.S. News & World Report just released its “Short List” of rankings that finds Murray State University at the top of the 10 schools where merit aid awards are most common.

Murray awarded non-need-based scholarships and grants to nearly 77 percent of its undergraduate students, the publication reports. MSU is far above the national average of 13 percent. In fact, the percentage of students receiving merit awards at Murray State tops that of the No. 10  ranked school by over 30 percentage points.

Murray State’s high rate of financial aid through scholarships/grants is particularly noteworthy given the national debate on both the high cost of attending college in the U.S. and the increasing national student debt load.

“Obviously, we’re delighted to receive this recognition which again firmly establishes Murray State University as a national benchmark institution for quality and affordability” said Dr. Randy J. Dunn, president of Murray State University. “I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work of our faculty and staff and the generosity of our alumni and donors with whom we share this distinction.”

The university is concluding a multi-year comprehensive fundraising campaign for the benefits of student scholarships, academic programs and campus enhancements at the end of 2012. To date, more than $67 million has been raised.

“Approximately 50 percent of that total has established scholarship endowments,” said Dr. Bob Jackson, associate vice president of development and governmental relations at MSU and campaign director. “These new scholarship gifts during the campaign have caused our annual scholarship awards to double to more than $1.6 million.”

The national rankings looked at students who did not qualify for financial aid; however, those students may still be in need of assistance in paying for college.

U.S. News & World Report conducted the research using information on schools it recognizes in its yearly “America’s Best Colleges” rankings — MSU has been ranked on the list for its quality for 21 consecutive years.