The Kiplinger Best Value College Index methodology emphasizes a “quality” side in relation to the “cost” side of a university. The quality side includes selectivity, retention, and four-year grad rates, while the cost side takes tuition, fees, merit aid, need-based aid, and post-graduation debt into account.
For the 16th straight year, UNC Chapel Hill leads as the best public value for both in-state and out-of-state (OOS) applicants.
The Southeast and Mid-Atlantic account for 10 of the top 25 best public value schools. West coast universities in the UC system along with the University of Washington account for another half dozen in the top 25.
In the middle, so to speak, are traditionally strong publics including Michigan, UW Madison, Illinois, UT Austin, Minnesota, and Ohio State.
Acceptance rates vary widely among the top value schools, from a low of 15 and 17 percent at UC Berkeley and UCLA respectively, to a high of 66 percent at Illinois.
Other publics with relative low acceptance rates include Michigan (26 percent); Cal Poly (31 percent); Georgia Tech (32 percent); UC Santa Barbara (33 percent); UC San Diego (34 percent); and UC Irvine and UT Austin (39 percent).
Below are the top 25 in-state public values, with the OOS ranking and Acceptance Rate listed as well.
|University||In State||OOS||Accept Rate|
|UNC Chapel Hill||1||1||30|
|William and Mary||4||6||34|
|UC Santa Barbara||14||28||33|
|UC San Diego||17||31||34|
|New College Florida||19||21||61|