Local News

UNC-CH Ranked Best Value Among Public Colleges

Posted January 7, 2008 11:26 a.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2008 12:13 p.m. EST

— 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.