Magazine: UNC offers best value

Posted January 4, 2010 11:37 a.m. EST

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has again been ranked No. 1 for overall best value in U.S. public higher education by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

UNC has ranked first on the magazine’s list of schools that “deliver strong academics at affordable prices” since 1998, when Kiplinger’s began its analysis. The newest list appears in the February issue, which hits newsstands Tuesday.

The universities of Florida and Virginia, the College of William and Mary and Binghamton University followed UNC on the list.

North Carolina State University ranked 10th on the list, with Appalachian State University 22nd, UNC-Wilmington 27th, UNC-Asheville 44th and the UNC School of the Arts 61st.

“We are pleased to again be recognized as America’s best public university for offering our students a world-class education at an affordable price,” UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. “It’s a tribute to the quality of our students and faculty, as well as a commitment to accessibility that we are proud to keep.”

About two-thirds of the Kiplinger’s ranking is based on measures of academic quality, including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios and four- and six-year graduation rates. The magazine then ranks each school based on cost and financial aid. Factors include total cost for in-state students (tuition, required fees, room and board and estimated book expenses); the average cost for a student with need after subtracting non need-based grants; the average percentage of need met by aid; and the average debt a student accumulates before graduation.