Best Values in Public Colleges 2012

Kiplinger's has just released its 2011-12 rankings of “best values” among the nation's top 100 public colleges. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tops the rankings for best values in public colleges and universities for the 11th consecutive time and it takes top honors for out-of-state value as well. Following are some of the top performers:

Texas A&M University - Ranked 21st in Kiplinger's annual listing of “best values” among the nation's top 100 public colleges. It is one of only three Texas universities to be included on that list this year, followed by the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at Dallas.

University of Minnesota, Morris - Morris and the Twin Cities campuses of the University of Minnesota were the only Minnesota institutions included on the Best Values in Public Colleges list. The student-faculty ratio at Morris is 13:1. The comprehensive cost to attend Morris in 2011–12 (including tuition, fees, room, and board) is $19,212 for both in-state and out-of-state students. About 90 % of the student body receives financial aid.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - It was the only Tennessee public university to make the top 100. This year, UT gave 45 % of its scholarships to students based on financial need, up from 31 % last year.

Salisbury University - SU is placed 71st, and is the second-highest-ranked University System of Maryland campus, after the University of Maryland, College Park.

University of Massachusetts Amherst - It was rated as the 55th best value for out-of-state students. For Massachusetts residents, UMass Amherst is 70th in terms of overall value. Last year, the University was ranked the 59th best value for out-of-state residents and 83rd for in-state students.

James Madison University - Rated 28th on the list of four-year public schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. JMU's high four-year graduation rate of 67 % was a significant factor in the university's ranking on the best values list. It also has a very high six-year graduation rate of 82 %. The university's competitive total cost per year for Virginia students ($17,664) and cost after need-based aid ($10,984) also contributed to the favorable ranking. JMU graduates hold an average debt at graduation of $20,417.

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