WASHINGTON —Kiplinger's Personal Finance announces the 100 best values in public colleges, ranking four-year institutions that deliver a stellar education at an affordable price. For the tenth time since Kiplinger's first analysis in 1998, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tops the chart.
The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger's February 2011 issue—on newsstands today—and online at www.kiplinger.com/tools/colleges.
Web visitors will find special interactive features including a reader's choice poll, a slideshow of the top 10 schools, and data sortable by criteria such as state, tuition cost, average debt, student/faculty ratio, and admission rate. Parents and college-bound students can dive into dozens of quality and affordability measures for each of the 100 schools on the list.
The average annual in-state sticker price of a public college is $16,140—some $20,000 less than for private colleges. Among the public schools on Kiplinger's top 100 list, one-fifth of them charge less than the average cost. Plus, the deals aren't restricted to in-state students. At Binghamton University (SUNY), which takes the top spot in value for out-of-state students, non-New Yorkers pay $27,535 a year, less than the national average of $28,130.
"Despite rising tuition costs, there are still many first-rate institutions providing outstanding academics at an affordable price," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's. "Schools like these on the Kiplinger 100 list prove graduates can enter the workforce with a great education—and without a huge cloud of debt."
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kiplinger's top-ranked college, prides itself on providing an outstanding education at a low cost. The university recently hired 120 junior faculty members, expanded its honors program, and introduced an enrichment program for top freshmen—all while pruning operating costs by $36 million annually. Carolina continues to meet the full need of students who qualify for need-based aid despite a 35% increase over the past two years in the number of students who qualify for aid.
The Kiplinger 100 Rankings:
More on Ranking Methodology
Selected from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities, schools in the Kiplinger 100 were ranked according to academic quality, including admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios and four- and six-year graduation rates, as well as on cost and financial aid. More methodology specifics—as well as sortable rankings and other interactive features—are available at: www.kiplinger.com/tools/colleges.