Kiplinger Best Value Universities 2014: Biggest Gainers Among Publics

In this post, we are analyzing the Kiplinger Best Values in Public Colleges rankings for 2014 to determine which universities have improved significantly over the 2103 rankings.  Improvement can mean that more financial aid is available, or that costs have been trimmed, or that quality has improved–all useful for prospective students and parents.

We like to reinforce the annual Kiplinger Best Values in Public Colleges report because of its sensible combination of cost and quality metrics based on generally sound methodology.  For 2014, the emphasis on cost is 45 percent, and on quality it is 55 percent. Thus the basic Kiplinger equation is: relatively low cost and relatively high quality=”best value.”

Cost includes tuition rates and financial aid that offsets those rates to yield low net cost relative to quality.  The cost metric also rewards colleges that have low student loan numbers.

The quality metric includes test scores and acceptance rates; the number of those accepted who actually enroll; student to faculty ratio; and four-year graduation rates.  It is possible for a university to have a tuition increase but still rise in the Kiplinger rankings because of offsetting improvements on the quality side or an increase in financial aid.

Once again, UNC Chapel Hill is rated number 1 in best value among public universities, both for in-state and out-of-state students. The University of Virginia is number 2 in both categories, and the University of Florida is number 3 in the in-state category.

Other big news is that 26 of the public universities listed in the top 100 for best value in 2014 also improved their position by 4 or more places in just one year.  Another 6 universities broke into the top 100 this year.  All 32 will be in bold type below. 

The universities that are new to the top 100 (versus the 2013 list) are Utah, Mississippi, Texas Tech, Georgia State, SUNY Fredonia, and SUNY Plattsburgh, all of which are now among the top 100.

These universities rose 10 or more places in 2014: Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri Inst of Science and Tech, LSU, Wisconsin La Crosse, Oklahoma State, and Ohio State.

The list of the top 100 best value public universities follows, with the in-state ranking first, the out-of-state ranking next, and the increase over 2013 (in-state), if any:

North Carolina–2014 in state (1), out of state (1)

Virginia–2014 in state (2), out of state (2)

Florida–2014 in state (3), out of state (7)

William & Mary–2014 in state (4), out of state (4)

UCLA–2014 in state (5), out of state (5)

Michigan–2014 in state (6), out of state (11), +5

Maryland–2014 in state (7), out of state (14)

Wisconsin–2014 in state (8), out of state (10), +5

UC Berkeley–2014 in state (9), out of state (11)

Georgia–2014 in state (10), out of state (13), +5

New College Florida–2014 in state (11), out of state (42)

Truman State–2014 in state (12), out of state (9), +7

Washington–2014 in state (13), out of state (18), +4

UC San Diego–2014 in state (14), out of state (17)

Binghamton–2014 in state (15), out of state (4)

North Carolina St–2014 in state (16), out of state (15), +5

Texas A&M–2014 in state (17), out of state (32)

UC Santa Barbara–2014 in state (18), out of state (21)

Florida State–2014 in state (19), out of state (23), +7

SUNY Geneseo–2014 in state (20), out of state (3)

UT Austin–2014 in state (21), out of state (36), +6

James Madison–2014 in state (22), out of state (29)

UC Irvine–2014 in state (23), out of state (28)

North Carolina School of the Arts–in state (24), out of state (25)

Connecticut–2014 in state (25), out of state (22)

Ohio State–2014 in state (26), out of state (24), +11

Virginia Tech–2014 in state (27), out of state (31)

N. Carolina Wilmington–2014 in state (28), out of state (26), +4

Stony Brook–2014 in state (29), out of state (20)

Appalachian State–2014 in state (30), out of state (35), +6

Clemson–2014 in state (31), out of state (39)

Delaware–2014 in state (32), out of state (30)

Georgia Tech–2014 in state (33), out of state (46)

College of New Jersey–2014 in state (34), out of state (8)

South Carolina–2014 in state (35), out of state (45)

UC Davis–2014 in state (36), out of state (30)

Indiana–2014 in state (37), out of state (63)

Illinois–2014 in state (38), out of state (27), +5

UT Dallas–2014 in state (39), out of state (58), +21

Purdue–2014 in state (40), out of state (51), +11

Delaware–2014 in state (41), out of state (57), +5

Central Florida–2014 in state (42), out of state (60)

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo–2014 in state (43), out of state (34)

Minnesota–2014 in state (44), out of state (12)

Pitt–2014 in state (45), out of state (19)

New Mexico Inst Mining & Tech–2014 in state (46), out of state (54)

Rutgers–2014 in state (47), out of state (37)

St. Mary’s Maryland–2014 in state (48), out of state (38)

SUNY New Paltz–2014 in state (49), out of state (33)

Alabama–2014 in state (50), out of state (72)

Univ at Buffalo–2014 in state (51), out of state (47)

UC Santa Cruz–2014 in state (52), out of state (65)

Penn State–2014 in state (53), out of state (41)

Miami Ohio–2014 in state (54), out of state (48)

South Florida–2014 in state (55), out of state (55)

Iowa–2014 in state (56), out of state (86)

Wisconsin La Crosse–2014 in state (57), out of state (49), +16

North Carolina Asheville–2014 in state (58), out of state (70)

Missouri–2014 in state (59), out of state (68), +7

College of Charleston–2014 in state (60), out of state (69), +8

Mary Washington–2014 in state (61), out of state (61)

Iowa State–2014 in state (61), out of state (64), +23

Salisbury Md.–2014 in state (62), out of state (44), +9

Northern Florida–2014 in state (63), out of state (64)

Oklahoma–2014 in state (64), out of state (71), +5

Ramapo–2014 in state (65), out of state (43)

Arkansas–2014 in state (67), out of state (79)

Tennessee–2014 in state (68), out of state (82)

Utah–2014 in state (69), out of state (96), not in top 100 in 2013

Mass Amherst–2014 in state (70), out of state (53)

Northern Iowa–2014 in state (71), out of state (80), +24

George Mason–2014 in state (72), out of state (90)

LSU–2014 in state (73), out of state (99), +17

SUNY Oneonta–2014 in state (74), out of state (52)

Vermont–2014 in state (75), out of state (75)

San Diego State–2014 in state (76), out of state (66)

West Chester–2014 in state (77), out of state (62)

Mississippi–2014 in state (78), out of state (84), not in top 100 in 2013

Oklahoma State–2014 in state (79), out of state (88), +14

Auburn–2014 in state (80), out of state (85)

M0. Inst Science & Tech–2014 in state (81), out of state (81), not in top 100 2013

Colorado School of Mines–2014 in state (82), out of state (82)

Nebraska–2014 in state (83), out of state (89)

Christopher Newport–2014 in state (84), out of state (56)

Univ of Science & Arts Okla–2014 in state (85), out of state (83), +6

Towson State–2014 in state (86), out of state (73)

Texas Tech–2014 in state (87), out of state (91), not in top 100 in 2013

Maryland Balt County–2014 in state (88), out of state (77)

SUNY Purchase–2014 in state (89), out of state (59)

Colorado–2014 in state (90), out of state (98)

Minnesota Morris–2014 in state (91), out of state (50)

Cal State Long Beach–2014 in state (92), out of state (87)

Western Washington–2014 in state (93), out of state (74)

Univ of North Georgia–2014 in state (94), out of state (94)

Georgia St. Col & Univ–2014 in state (95), out of state (97), not in top 100 in 2013

Cal St Poly Pomona–2014 in state (96), out of state (93)

SUNY Fredonia–2014 in state (97), out of state (67), not in top 100 in 2013

SUNY Plattsburgh–2014 in state (98), out of state (78), not in top 100 in 2013

UC Riverside–2014 in state (99), out of state (95)

Oregon–2014 in state (100), out of state (100)

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