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Best College Values: Kiplinger’s Top 100 Public Colleges 2011

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Kiplinger, the Washington, D.C.-based personal finance giant, has just released its Top 100 Public Colleges list for 2011.

States have cut funding for colleges and universities by tens of millions of dollars over the past few years, and Kiplinger has identified the top 100 public colleges which deliver the “best bang for the buck.” According to the company, the schools on the list maintain a level of quality at a fair price despite the massive budget cuts.

Colleges are ranked by academic quality, including the school’s student-faculty ratio, its admission rate and its four-year graduation rate, as well as affordability, such as the total cost of attendance with or without financial aid. To determine out-of-state rankings, academic quality and expense numbers were looked at using total costs for out-of-state residents and average costs after aid.

Kiplinger points out that their current rankings system focuses on traditional four-year schools with broad-based curricula. As a result, schools that offer great value but focus on special or narrow academic programs, such as the military service academies, are excluded.

Kiplinger’s Top 10 Best Values in Public Colleges (In State)

Below you can view condensed information about Kiplinger’s top 10 best college values for in state residents. For comprehensive information on the top 100 public colleges, as well as out-of-state rankings, visit Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges.

1. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Total cost per year (in state): $17,000

Average need-based aid: $9,980

Average non-need-based aid given: $5,219

Average student debt at graduation: $14,262

2. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Total cost per year (in state): $14,684

Average need-based aid: $6,415

Average non-need-based aid given: $4,925

Average student debt at graduation: $15,932

3. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Total cost per year (in state): $ 20,647

Average need-based aid: $14,955

Average non-need-based aid given: $9,880

Average student debt at graduation: $19,939

4. The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Total cost per year (in state): $21,972

Average need-based aid: $13,486

Average non-need-based aid given: $5,625

Average student debt at graduation: $18,410

5. University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD

Total cost per year (in state): $19,040

Average need-based aid: $6,232

Average non-need-based aid given: $6,211

Average student debt at graduation: $20,256

6. State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY

Total cost per year (in state): $19,125

Average need-based aid: $6,643

Average non-need-based aid given: $4,311

Average student debt at graduation: $14,560

7. State University of New York College at Geneseo, Geneseo, NY

Total cost per year (in state): $17,393

Average need-based aid: $4,018

Average non-need-based aid given: $2,068

Average student debt at graduation: $21,000

8. University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Total cost per year (in state): $18,226

Average need-based aid: $7,953

Average non-need-based aid given: $1,872

Average student debt at graduation: $14,766

9. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI

Total cost per year (in state): $17,777

Average need-based aid: $5,850

Average non-need-based aid given: $3,234

Average student debt at graduation: $21,552

10. University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Total cost per year (in state): $19,135

Average need-based aid: $8,720

Average non-need-based aid given: $4,430

Average student debt at graduation: $16,800

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Melissa Rhone+

Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.


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