NORTH NEWTON — Bethel College has placed high in a college ranking designed to help address issues of cost and student debt.

The website lendEDU places Bethel at No. 57 among 829 colleges and universities in the United States that it considers “Best Colleges for Financial Aid.”

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics and Peterson’s Financial Aid Dataset, the lendEDU study considered need-based financial aid (60% weight), non-need-based financial aid (34%) and financial aid for international students (6%).

College costs are continually increasing, making it less and less possible for students and their families to pay for college with savings alone, as may have been true in the past.

This is where financial aid comes in, which could include scholarships, grants, student loans and/or work-study programs.

The lendEDU listing is intended to help prospective students find colleges and universities where they are likely to receive the best financial aid packages. After analyzing 829 four-year institutions throughout the U.S., lendEDU determined which are the best for financial aid.

“We released this report to help future college students better understand which colleges may be affordable for them by taking into account more than just the cost of attendance,” said Dave Rathammer, lendEDU’s vice president for content.

Bethel is the second-highest Kansas college on the “Best for Financial Aid” list and the highest among its peer schools in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

LendEDU was started in 2014 and self-describes as “a marketplace for private student loans, student loan refinancing, credit cards and other financial products.” LendEDU’s reports have been featured on NPR, CNBC and in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest ranked Kansas private college, at No. 12, in "Washington Monthly," Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges; ranks at No. 23 in "U.S. News & World Report," Best Regional Colleges Midwest; is Zippia.com’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the No. 10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas, according to RNtoBSN.com; and earned its second-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star gold award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2019-20. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.