January 10, 2013
UNC Asheville is included once again among the top 100 "Best Values in Public Colleges," in rankings recently released by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Beginning with a pool of almost 600 public colleges and universities, Kiplinger's selected the top 100 based on a combination of best academic quality and value. UNC Asheville, which ranks 52nd in the nation, has regularly made the list for the past decade.
Kiplinger's found that, among the 100 colleges it ranked, UNC Asheville has the fifth lowest total cost of attending for in-state students, and UNC Asheville students graduate with the sixth lowest average debt. This academic year, UNC Asheville in-state students pay $5,856 in tuition and required fees, the lowest rate among the university's public campus peer group.
Academic quality continues to carry more weight than costs in the Kiplinger rankings. Factors considered include test scores of incoming students, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates.
UNC Chapel Hill was ranked first by Kiplinger's. Others in the UNC system that made the Kiplinger's best values list were North Carolina State University, and North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State University.
Kiplinger's February magazine edition will publish the complete "Best Values in Public Colleges, 2013," but the lists are available online now.
Kiplinger's is not alone among financial magazines in recognizing UNC Asheville's value. Last August, Forbes ranked UNC Asheville 21st in the nation on its "Top 100 Best Buy Colleges" roster. Of the eight universities in North Carolina that made the list, only UNC-Chapel Hill, at 13th, ranked higher.
UNC Asheville is also highly ranked for quality. Last September, US News & World Report ranked UNC Asheville as the seventh best public liberal arts college in the nation. Princeton Review, in its "The Best 377 Colleges" guide, noted the "top-notch academic experience" that UNC Asheville students receive, and ranked the university 11th nationally on its "college city gets high marks" list.
The Princeton Review's "Guide to 322 Green Colleges for 2012" included UNC Asheville, and in the "Fiske Guide to Colleges," UNC Asheville's Environmental Studies Program was highlighted as showing unusual strength in preparing students for careers for the ninth consecutive year.
A summary of UNC Asheville college rankings is available online via this link.