Kiplinger Ranks UVA #2 in 'Best Values in Public Colleges'
Kiplinger Personal Finance Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Kiplinger's Personal Finance has named the 100 best values in public colleges, ranking four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill takes top honors, a spot it has held consistently since Kiplinger's first analysis in 1998. SUNY Geneseo, a small honors college near Rochester, N.Y., places first for out-of-state value. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger's February 2013 issue—on newsstands January 1, 2013—and online now at kiplinger.com/links/college.
Web visitors will find special features, including an FAQ about how the public colleges are ranked, a slide show of the top ten schools, and a tool that lets readers sort by in-state and out-of-state cost, average debt at graduation, and admission rate. In addition, Kiplinger's top 200 private colleges and universities of 2012-13—announced in November 2012—are featured in the Best College Values report.
Why is UNC at Chapel Hill a perennial favorite? Credit its stellar academics, including a graduation rate (77%) that far exceeds the average rate for four-year public schools, a highly competitive admission rate (31%), and a total in-state cost of $18,609 a year. That's a bargain compared with private schools, which run an average of $39,518 a year, according to the College Board, and within the range of the average for public schools, at $17,860. SUNY Geneseo tops the listing for out-of-state value, thanks to its reasonable total cost ($27,769 for out-of-staters, compared with an average of $30,911) and its solid academics.
This year, five California schools landed in the top 20 despite a 72% rise in tuition fees since 2007-08. UC institutions charge the five highest total amounts for in-state students (and the six highest total amounts for out-of-staters) among Kiplinger's top 100 public schools. For UC schools, academics are key. Sixth-ranked UCLA ($26,888 in-state) admits just 25% of applicants, with 44% topping 700 on the math portion of the SATs and 22% exceeding 700 on the verbal portion. Fortunately, most students don't pay the shocking sticker prices. UC schools offset their high cost with liberal financial aid.
"We applaud this year's top 100 schools for their efforts to maintain academic standards while meeting the financial needs of their students," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
Kiplinger's assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.