Kiplinger Best Value 2013 Plus Honors Value Added

Below is the most recent list of the honors programs that have the most value-added impact on their universities and that are within universities listed in the Kiplinger top 100 “Best Values In Public Colleges” report of 2013.

We estimate the honors impact by comparing the ranking of each university as a whole with our evaluation of the honors program.  If our ranking places an honors program or college higher than the national ranking of the university as a whole, then the honors program provides value added.

For example, if University A honors college ranks 24th in our evaluation of 50 programs and colleges, and the university as a whole ranks 34th among the 50 universities we considered in the U.S. News rankings, then University A’s honors college has significant value added.

The value-added programs that we are listing in this post are those at South Carolina,  Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan State, Delaware, Stony Brook, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Nebraska, and Indiana.  We will also note if their Kiplinger value is up from 2012, a difficult standard to meet, given the cuts to state schools and the resulting rise in tuition and student loans.

Congratulations to South Carolina, Stony Brook, Minnesota, Missouri, and Indiana for raising their average Kiplinger rankings in 2013 and for having value-added honors programs!

Since all of these universities are also included among the top 100 best values in the annual Kiplinger report, this means that the honors programs at these schools are a “value-added to the value-added” because the honors programs significantly enhance the value that already exists in the universities as a whole.

The annual Kiplinger special report is a well-known and influential publication. The report presents a cost/value analysis, comparing the academic reputation of selected public universities to the total net costs of attending, using both in-state and out-of-state tuition as benchmarks. Kiplinger begins with 500 public colleges and universities, eventually honoring the top 100 as best values.

Kiplinger does not directly consider the value added by public honors programs, although it is certain that the qualifications and achievements of honors students are an important contributor to a university’s academic excellence.

Below is the name of the university, its Kiplinger best value rankings for in-state and out-of-state tuition, and its honors program impact rank among the 50 leading state universities we reviewed. The lower the number in honors impact, the greater the value-added factor of the honors program.

University of South Carolina
In-state tuition (35); out-of-state tuition (50); honors impact rank (2).  Kiplinger average value is UP from 2102.

The University of Arkansas
In-state tuition (65); out-of state tuition (78); honors impact rank (3).

University of Georgia
In-state tuition (15); out-of-state tuition (24); honors impact rank (7).

Michigan State University
In-state tuition (46); out-of-state tuition (66); honors impact rank (7).

Stony Brook
In-state tuition (22); out-of-state tuition (9); honors impact rank (9).  Kiplinger value is UP from 2012.

University of Delaware
In-state tuition (29); out-of-state tuition (26); honors impact rank (10).

University of Minnesota
In-state tuition (45); out-of-state tuition (12); honors impact rank (11).  Kiplinger value is UP from 2012.

University of Missouri
In-state tuition (66); out-of-state tuition (74); honors impact rank (12). Kiplinger value is UP from 2012.

University of Oregon
In-state tuition (98); out-of-state tuition (99); honors impact rank (12).

University of Nebraska
In-state tuition (75); out-of-state tuition (87); honors impact rank (14).

Indiana University
In-state tuition (39); out-of-state tuition (64); honors impact rank (15). Kiplinger value is UP from 2012.

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For Students, Parents, and School Counselors

By publishing A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs, we hope to reach students, parents, and counselors who want and need more detailed information about the leading public honors programs in the country.

For students, we not only show stats about graduation rates, curriculum, and prestigious undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, but we also discuss the academic strengths of each university and important information about honors housing and other honors benefits, such as priority registration.

We also enable parents, who are understandably very concerned about cost and value, to consider our Excellence Impact data, which show the extent to which the honors program in a given university enhances the value of the university as a whole. Another term for this data is “value-added impact.” It is a fact that many universities that do not rank highly in major national surveys also have some of the best honors colleges and programs in the country. Parents need to have some way of assessing the profound impact that honors education can have.

School counselors have the enormous responsibility of advising students and parents on the suitability of a university, based on matching test scores and academic records with the admission requirements of prospective colleges. The Review, therefore, places each of the fifty programs in a category that fits SAT/ACT and GPA requirements. The Review also has a separate listing of programs that are within universities with a strong focus on engineering, business, and agriculture. Most of these programs are relatively new to honors education, so our information should be even more helpful to counselors trying to understand the sometimes confusing world of honors education.

Honors Programs with High “Value Added”

As we approach the publication date of A Review of 50 Public University Honors Programs, we plan to share some results of our research over the past six months. Today’s post lists the universities whose honors values–curriculum, prestigious scholarships, grad/retention rates, and honors benefits–elevate them dramatically in relation to their rankings by U.S. News.

In the guidebook, we refer to the positive difference between the perception of a university, on the one hand, with honors excellence factors, on the other hand, as HONORS IMPACT. For example, a university may have a U.S. News ranking of 100, but score in the top 10 in our review when honors values are the primary focus. One way to look at this positive difference is to regard it as a value added, over and above the perception or quality of the university as a whole. Of course it is far more difficult for a university with a high U.S. News ranking to achieve a dramatic value-added result, but some of the best honors programs are not in high-ranking universities, and we think it’s useful to show how much value they do add.

Below is a list of universities, their U.S. News rank, and their honors impact rank among the 50 we are reviewing:

Arizona State—–132—1
South Carolina—-111—2
Arkansas———-132—3
Arizona———–124—3
Kansas————101—5
Mississippi——-143—5
Georgia————62—7
Michigan State—–71—7
Stony Brook——-111—9
Delaware———–75—10
Minnesota———-68—11
Missouri———–90—11
Nebraska———-101—13
Oregon————101—13
Indiana————75—15

(Revised, April 8, 2012.)