university of north carolina chapel hill, university of north carolina at chapel hill, university of florida, university of virginia, college of william and mary, new college of florida, university of georgia, universitey of california berkeley, university of maryland college park, university of california los angeles, university of california san diego, best values in public colleges, public colleges, public colleges in maryland, public colleges in virginia, public college rankings, public colleges in dc, public colleges in pennsylvania, public colleges in california, public colleges in connecticut, public colleges in florida, public colleges in texas, public colleges in north carolina, public colleges in new york, public colleges and universities, virginia colleges, virginia colleges and universities 10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012
Slide Show

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Advertisement
The schools that make the list of Kiplinger’s top 100 public colleges have to meet our strict standards for academic quality and affordability.

The top-ten public colleges and universities on our list -- from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to the University of California, San Diego -- scored highest for value among that already select group.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 2 of 11

1. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Caroline Culler

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 18,579

Student-faculty ratio: 14

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 76%; 6-yr., 90%

Total in-state cost: $17,628

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

Average debt at graduation: $16,165

Notable alum: Jeff MacNelly (political cartoonist), Mia Hamm (soccer player), Charles Kuralt (journalist)

At the top of our rankings for the 11th consecutive time, UNC-Chapel Hill stands out on virtually every measure of quality and affordability, from its highly competitive admission rate (32%) and low student-faculty ratio to its strong graduation rates, moderate sticker price and generous financial aid -- an average of about $11,000 annually for students who qualify. UNC-Chapel Hill also ranks number one in value for out-of-state students. The average need-based aid for out-of-staters -- $11,080 -- reduces the total cost to $26,374.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 3 of 11

2. University of Florida

Pedro Alcocer

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: $32,660

Student-faculty ratio: 21

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 59%; 6-yr., 85%

Total in-state cost: $15,526

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

Average debt at graduation: $16,013

Notable alum: Michael Connelly (novelist), Bob Vila (home repair TV personality)

Despite a 15% tuition increase over last year, Florida’s sticker price remains below the national average, and its average need-based aid cuts the price by almost half. Set on a 2,000-acre campus, UF comprises 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers. Among the products born of UF research: Gatorade.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 4 of 11

3. University of Virginia

Karen Blaha

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 15,595

Student-faculty ratio: 16

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 85%; 6-yr., 93%

Total in-state cost: $21,626

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

Average debt at graduation: $19,384

Notable alum: Katie Couric (journalist), Dawn Staley (Olympic gold medalist), Patrick G. Forrester (NASA astronaut)

This elite institution not only has a competitive admission rate (33%), but also the highest graduation rate. And it stands out for its generous financial aid: UVA is one of the two schools in our rankings that meet the full financial need of enrolled students (the other is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Students who qualify for need-based aid pay an average annual cost of only $5,138.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 5 of 11

4. College of William and Mary

Tara Safaie

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 5,898

Student-faculty ratio: 12

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 82%; 6-yr., 90%

Total in-state cost: $23,054

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

Average debt at graduation: $21,367

Notable alum: Thomas Jefferson (U.S. President), Robert Gates (former U.S. Secretary of Defense)

Alma mater of three U.S. presidents (Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler), this historic college, set in Williamsburg, Va., draws students for its academic excellence and liberal arts focus. Its competitive admittance rate, low student-faculty ratio and high grad rates have consistently kept W&M at the top of our rankings. Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s first academic Greek society, was founded here.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 6 of 11

5. New College of Florida

New College of Florida

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 801

Student-faculty ratio: 10

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 57%; 6-yr., 68%

Total in-state cost: $15,458

Total out-of-state cost: $38,487

Average debt at graduation: $11,458

Notable alum: William Dudley (President, Federal Reserve Bank of NY), Jose Diaz-Balart (Telemundo news anchor)

A small, liberal-arts honors school overlooking Sarasota Bay in Sarasota, New College offers a low student-faculty ratio, a low sticker price and exceptional financial aid: Students who qualify for need-based aid pay only $5,316 a year. Student borrowers graduate with less than $12,000 in average debt, about half the national average for students.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 7 of 11

6. University of Georgia

Andrew Davis Tucker

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 25,947

Student-faculty ratio: 19

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 54%; 6-yr., 82%

Total in-state cost: $19,258

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

Average debt at graduation: $15,938

Notable alum: John Campbell (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Clark Howell (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist)

This flagship university, in the music-centric town of Athens, knocks the average price down to $10,288 for students who qualify for need-based aid, and it keeps the average debt at graduation to a moderate $15,938. Virtually all the in-state freshmen at UGA benefit from the Hope scholarship, which covers about $3,182 per semester (about a third of the total tuition and fees).
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 8 of 11

7. University of California, Berkeley

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 25,540

Student-faculty ratio: 17

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 69%; 6-yr., 91%

Total in-state cost: $29,027

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

Average debt at graduation: $16,056

Notable alum: Steve Wozniak (co-founder, Apple Computer), Pauline Esther Friedman ("Dear Abby" advice columnist), Pauline Kael (film critic)

The cost may be pricier than many public colleges, but academic quality puts this UC school at the top of the rankings. Its 22% admit rate is the lowest on our list, and the test scores of incoming freshmen are among the highest. Located on the outskirts of San Francisco, Berkeley makes for a pretty nice place to go to school: All but 3% of freshmen return for sophomore year. The faculty includes eight Nobel Laureates, 32 MacArthur Fellows and four Pulitzer Prize winners.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 9 of 11

8. University of Maryland, College Park

Tomf688 at en.wikipedia

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 26,876

Student-faculty ratio: 18

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 63%; 6-yr., 82%

Total in-state cost: $19,409

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

Average debt at graduation: $22,696

Notable alum: Kevin Plank (founder of Under Armour), Sergey Brin (co-founder, Google), Jim Henson (creator, The Muppets)

This land-grant university located in the Washington, D.C., suburbs attracts top students from Maryland and across the country. Incoming freshmen have an average grade point average of about 4.0, and more than one-third of incoming freshmen score 700 or higher on their math SATs. Maryland recently introduced a residential learning program, called the Honors College, for high-achieving students.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 10 of 11

9. University of California, Los Angeles

Stephanie Diani

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 26,162

Student-faculty ratio: 17

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 68%; 6-yr., 90%

Total in-state cost: $28,174

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

Average debt at graduation: $16,733

Notable Alum: Ralph Bunche (winner, Nobel Peace Prize), Marty Sklar (designer, Disney theme parks)

Like UC-Berkeley, UCLA has one of the most competitive admit rates (23%) on our list. Its total in-state cost of more than $28,000 is offset by an average need-based package of $12,777, bringing the cost after aid to a more affordable $15,397. This preeminent research institution attracted more than $1 billion in research grants and contracts in 2010.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

10 Top Values in Public Colleges, 2012 | Slide 11 of 11

10. University of California, San Diego

University of California, San Diego

Advertisement
Undergraduate enrollment: 23,636

Student-faculty ratio: 19

Graduation rate: 4-yr., 57%; 6-yr., 86%

Total in-state cost: $26,232

Total out-of-state cost: $49,110

Average debt at graduation: $18,757

Notable alum: Craig Venter (Founder, Institute for Genomic Research), Khaled Hosseini (author)

UC-San Diego charges a lower sticker price than its sister schools in our top-ten rankings and delivers enough financial aid to bring the average cost after need-based aid to only $10,317. Near both the Mexican border and the Pacific Ocean, this top research institution gives students plenty of opportunity for expanding their horizons. And have we mentioned the great weather?
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement