Another New Twist at U.S. News: A Nod to Public University Value

Recently we wrote that the U.S. News ranking methodology and a new way of analyzing academic reputation have an overall negative impact on public universities.  Today, however, another initiative by the magazine will at least show how some public universities are able to present a quality education at relatively low cost.

Like another higher authority, the magazine can both give and take away.

Congratulations to Florida State for taking the top spot on the list.  Miami of Ohio is third, followed by Alabama, William & Mary, and several other public universities we follow. One interesting aspect is that William & Mary, the smallest state school on the list, is the only national university in the U.S. News top 50 to make the value list.

One possible explanation is that the high cost of research in engineering, physics, and computer science might have kept these schools off the list.  If so, then the presence on the list of Clemson and Virginia Tech, both with an engineering focus, is a special tribute to them. 

Please see the list below.

This latest development appears to be a sort of U.S. News version of the Kiplinger Best Value report, which compares a school’s ranking with the tuition and debt costs of students to define value.  The new U.S.News angle is to compare its own ranking of a school with the amount per student spent by the school.

Unlike the other recent change by the magazine that generally undervalues the rankings of public universities, this change uses financial resources to show how some publics can do a lot with a little.  If a school has a relatively high U.S. News ranking, then the amount spent per student can likewise be relatively higher and still yield financial value.   If a school has a relatively low U.S. News ranking, then the amount spent per student likewise has to be low for the financial value to be indicated.

Here are some examples from the magazine’s recent post on the new feature.  We will list major public universities on the list, the magazine rank, and then the amount per student spent by the universities.  The list is in rank order, by value as assessed by the magazine:

Florida State: ranking (97); expenditure per student ($17,731)

Miami of Ohio: ranking (89); expenditure per student ($19,091)

Alabama: ranking (77); expenditure per student ($20,288)

William & Mary: ranking (33); expenditure per student ($27,572)

Colorado School of Mines: ranking (77); expenditure per student ($21,417)

Missouri: ranking (97); expenditure per student ($21,226)

Binghamton: ranking (89); expenditure per student ($22,181)

Indiana: ranking (83); expenditure per student ($22,806)

Ohio U: ranking (131); expenditure per student ($18,983)

Rutgers-Newark: ranking (115); expenditure per student ($20,801)

Georgia: ranking (63); expenditure per student ($27,028)

Clemson: ranking (68); expenditure per student ($26,293)

South Carolina: ranking (115); expenditure per student ($21,389)

Virginia Tech: ranking (72); expenditure per student ($26,261)

Oregon: ranking (115); expenditure per student ($21,749)

 

 

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