10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges

University of North Carolina

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Finding great value in a public university doesn’t mean a student is confined to his or her own state. Hundreds of public universities across the country compete feverishly to broaden their student body by enticing students from other states with attractive financial aid packages and scholarships and grants.

Annual tuition costs at leading public universities generally run 20% to 30% more for out-of-state students (total out-of-state charges average $29,657, according to the College Board), and it’s rising at schools that see out-of-staters as a growing revenue source. Still, out-of-state prices look cheap compared with the average price of a private education ($38,589). Among our list of 100 Best Values in Public Universities, these ten schools provide the best out-of-state value (see our methodology).
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 2 of 11

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina

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In-state rank: #1

Total out-of-state cost: $37,454

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,579

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 76%; 6-yr. 90%

Average debt at graduation: $16,165

For the first time, our top-ranked in-state public college is also our number- one best value for out-of-state students. Carolina earns the top grade thanks to its above-average graduation rates, competitive student-faculty ratio (14 to 1) and gifted student body (25% of incoming freshmen scored 700 or higher on the verbal part of the SAT, and 31% scored 700 or higher on the math section).

Although its out-of-state sticker price is more than $37,000 per year, Carolina is a great deal when you consider the average private-school price ($38,589) and the $54,000-plus per year price tag for nearby private universities Duke and Wake Forest. After need-based aid, the average price drops 30%, to $26,374.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 3 of 11

2. Binghamton University (SUNY)

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In-state rank: #12

Total out-of-state cost: $28,136

Undergraduate enrollment: 11,787

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 66%; 6-yr. 78%

Average debt at graduation: $21,110

Binghamton, a research university located three and a half hours from New York City, takes pride not only in its academically talented student body but also in its accomplished professors, including 36 Fulbright scholars. Its out-of-state sticker price, $28,136, is within range of the in-state tuition at about a dozen schools in our top 100; after need-based aid, the average price drops to $21,420. That combination of quality and affordability has attracted students from all 50 states and 100 countries to Binghamton.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 4 of 11

3. SUNY Geneseo

Benjamin D. Esham

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In-state rank: #11

Total out-of-state cost: $27,184

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,484

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 62%; 6-yr. 77%

Average debt at graduation: $21,200

Students from outside New York State enroll at Geneseo for its highly respected academic programs, spanning 54 undergraduate majors. Located near the Finger Lakes in western New York, Geneseo is also one of the nation’s top producers of bachelor’s degrees in physics (the SUNY school boasts its own particle accelerator as part of its $33 million Integrated Science Center).

Its faculty has won more than a dozen national awards for teaching excellence. And, with an out-of-state sticker price that is 30% below the average sticker price of private universities, it’s a great value for students striving to be the next Einstein.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 5 of 11

4. The College of William and Mary

Tara Safaie

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In-state rank: #4

Total out-of-state cost: $45,331

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,898

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 82%; 6-yr. 90%

Average debt at graduation: $21,367

The second-oldest college in the country (after Harvard), this public liberal arts institution offers a top-notch education at an out-of-state cost that is well below the $50,000-plus sticker price of Ivy League schools.

It’s also one of the most competitive public colleges in the country; it’s admission rate (32%) ties that of top-ranked University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a low student-faculty ratio (12 to 1), outstanding instructors and academic programs, and one of the highest four-year graduation rates in our rankings, William and Mary delivers a great BA for the buck. (And how cool is it to graduate from a school whose alums include U.S. presidents James Monroe, John Tyler and Thomas Jefferson?)
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 6 of 11

5. University of Virginia

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In-state rank: #3

Total out-of-state cost: $45,948

Undergraduate enrollment: 15,595

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 85%; 6-yr. 93%

Average debt at graduation: $19,384

Virginia prides itself on attracting future leaders and giving them the preparation they need to help shape the nation. Its alumni include U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, former attorney general and New York senator Robert F. Kennedy, and CNET founder Shelby Bonnie.

Among UVA’s strong points: an incoming freshman class that consistently scores high on the SATs (this year, 33% scored 700 or higher on the verbal portion of the SATs; 43% scored 700 or higher on the math portion), a low student-faculty ratio of 16 to 1, and an outstanding four-year grad rate (85%). Out-of-state students with need don’t have to come up with the full $46,000 sticker price to attend UVA. After financial aid, the average cost drops by 36%, to $29,460 annually.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 7 of 11

6. University of California, Los Angeles

Nikhil Kulkarni

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In-state rank: #9

Total out-of-state cost: $51,052

Undergraduate enrollment: 26,162

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 68%; 6-yr. 90%

Average debt at graduation: $16,733

Located at the northern tip of downtown Los Angeles, UCLA offers 127 undergraduate majors and 79 minors (from engineering and applied sciences to theater and film and television production). It attracts a competitive student body: 20% of incoming freshman scored 700 or higher on the verbal portion of the SATs, and 42% scored 700 or higher on the math portion.

Its L.A.-based campus gives students access to the sports, live music, theater and film programs that make this area the cultural hub of Southern California. Don’t be put off by the steep sticker price for out-of-state students. A 25% reduction after need-based aid brings the average per-year price to $38,275.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 8 of 11

7. University of California, Berkeley

Bonnie Azab Powell/UC Berkeley

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In-state rank: #7

Total out-of-state cost: $51,905

Undergraduate enrollment: 25,540

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 69%; 6-yr. 91%

Average debt at graduation: $16,056

Head north to the Bay Area and you’ll discover the University of California’s 1,200-acre flagship campus. Berkeley’s 130 academic departments give students plenty to choose from: The most popular majors are electrical engineering, computer science, political science and molecular biology. Home to 25 Nobel prize winners, Berkeley has cultivated the minds of such notable personalities as media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 9 of 11

8. University of Florida

Will McC

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In-state rank: #2

Total out-of-state cost: $37,803

Undergraduate enrollment: 32,660

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 59%; 6-yr. 85%

Average debt at graduation: $16,013

This 2,000-acre campus may be best known as the home of the Florida Gators (and the proving ground for Gatorade), but the state’s oldest university, founded in 1853, also offers 100-plus undergraduate majors in 16 colleges.

With more than 1,200 freshman and sophomores participating in the honors program, the student body is as competitive in the classroom as Gator Nation’s football team is on the gridiron. Out-of-state tuition is also competitive. After need-based aid, the average price drops by 20%, to $30,356 per year.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 10 of 11

9. University of Georgia

Peter Frey

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In-state rank: #6

Total out-of-state cost: $37,468

Undergraduate enrollment: 25,947

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 54%; 6-yr. 82%

Average debt at graduation: $15,938

The first state-chartered university in America leads among public colleges in the number of scholarships its students have earned. Since 1996, Georgia’s students have included seven Rhodes Scholars, 37 recipients of Goldwater scholarships and ten Truman Scholars. Georgia offers 22 bachelor’s degrees in more than 140 fields of study. Out-of-staters with need can enjoy a bit of southern comfort knowing that need-based aid brings the average price to $28,498 per year.
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10 Best Values in Out-of-State Public Colleges | Slide 11 of 11

10. University of Maryland, College Park

B Gervais

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In-state rank: #8

Total out-of-state cost: $36,780

Undergraduate enrollment: 26,876

Graduation rates: 4-yr. 63%; 6-yr. 82%

Average debt at graduation: $22,696

There are many reasons to “Fear the Turtle.” Here are three: Its incoming freshmen post high test scores (18% scored 700 or higher on the verbal portion of the SATs, and 33% did so on the math portion), it has accomplished faculty members (39 have been appointed to the National Academies, a prestigious advisory group that includes the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine), and it’s affordable. Although UMD raised this year’s total price, need-based aid lowers the average cost by nearly 20%, to $29,821.
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