Local News

UNC-CH Ranked Best Value Among Public Colleges

Posted January 7, 2008

— For the seventh consecutive year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has ranked first for quality academics and affordability in American public higher education, according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.

Kiplinger's February issue, which hits newsstands Tuesday, examined data from 500 public, four-year colleges and universities to identify the top 100 schools "based on outstanding academic quality, plus an affordable price tag."

The university's total costs for students paying in-state tuition amounts to less than $14,000; out-of-state students pay less than $30,000, the magazine said.

"For their money, students enjoy world-class research facilities, a historic campus that recently underwent [renovations and new construction] and the collected wisdom of distinguished faculty members," the magazine reported.

The universities of Florida and Virginia ranked second and third, respectively, followed by the College of William and Mary and New College of Florida.

The rest of the top 10 were the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Geneseo, University of Georgia, SUNY Binghamton, University of Washington and the University of California at Los Angeles.

Other UNC system schools listed were N.C. State, 13th; Appalachian State, 27th; UNC-Wilmington, 36th; UNC-Asheville, 40th; and UNC-Greensboro, 68th.

UNC-Chapel Hill ranked first after an analysis that focused on academic quality, including the percentage of the 2006-07 freshman class scoring 600 or higher on the verbal and math components of the SAT (or 24 or higher on the ACT), admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios and four- and six-year graduation rates.

The magazine then ranked each school based on cost and financial aid, giving more weight to academic quality than costs.

"We are proud to see such consistent recognition of Carolina's national leadership in providing an outstanding education at an affordable cost," Chancellor James Moeser said.

"The Kiplinger's ranking confirms what our students already know: Carolina is a great choice for the very best students across the state and nation, regardless of their ability to pay."

Moeser said the magazine's ranking reflected the strong support the 16-campus UNC system has received for need-based financial aid from the North Carolina General Assembly.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • NCFF Jan 7, 2008

    Allison842 wrote:

    "UNC produces well-rounded students with outstanding academics across many different fields. Students are required to get a foundation in both right-brain and left-brain subjects. And the quality of the facilities and faculty where this is done are top-notch, especially for a public university."

    I believe you could substitute for "UNC" in this quote the acronym for a number of other outstanding "Research 1" institutions in our state (NCSU, Duke, Wake Forest, etc.) and this would still hold true.

    Each of the "Big Four" schools has its strengths in different fields of academic endeavour. We, as North Carolinian's, should be thankful for the contributions each has made, and continues to make, toward an outstanding quality of life in our area.

  • FloydRTurbo Jan 7, 2008

    Just what my fellow UNC alums need ..... something to brag about! AAARRGGGHHH!

  • lornadoone Jan 7, 2008

    "I love the bitterness and ignorance portrayed by the NCSU faithfuls...it only further illustrates the poor education offered by your institution."

    Come on, now. NCSU is an excellent school. All of the schools in the UNC system are great schools. Forget the silly rivalry for a second and be proud that you live in a state that has so many renowned colleges and universities.

  • brassy Jan 7, 2008

    "But there's a lot more to a "quality education" than simply learning how to do one specific career."

    Would you like fries with that?

  • tarheelalum Jan 7, 2008

    RDM...I'm sorry, but to suggest that your own research is more extensive and accurate than that of the many employees of Kiplinger's Personal Finance that spent nearly 5 months researching and preparing the report is ridiculous. Fellow UNC grad or not...

  • chivegas Jan 7, 2008

    "UNC-CH is also the best value for ethics" - Mike Nifong (Two time grad). :)

  • dougdeep Jan 7, 2008

    RDM, 17000 is the undergraduate enrollment figure.

  • RDM Jan 7, 2008

    Goodyboync, I don't know if you were referring to me or not. I am a Carolina graduate, by the way.
    I am just pointing out that the numbers in this report are not correct. If you use their formula, you must have the basic stats correct or you get bogus results.

  • dougdeep Jan 7, 2008

    If they could only teach the identification of sarcasm...

    My two cents:

    Using admitted students SAT scores as a measure might be misguided. To me, it's a measure of High School graduates, not the institution they choose.

    Any accredited degree (ABET or otherwise) requires "depth" and "breadth", a well rounded curriculum. While great facilities might aid a Chemistry course, they do not help the English Composition class. The quality of professors and other faculty should be the greatest measure, yet they appear to be left off of this survey.

    In either case, I don't think they were too far off their mark. UNC should be in the top 5 of public schools.

  • goodboync Jan 7, 2008

    "it only further illustrates the poor education offered by your institution."

    Do you have facts to back that up? Or is that just your stupid opinion?