Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal financial advice, on Thursday ranked UVA the fourth-best public college value in the United States.
The new distinction comes after the Princeton Review ranked UVA America’s best value public college in 2018 and U.S News and World Report ranked UVA the No. 2 best-value public university in the country this year.
“The University of Virginia has more than just a stellar men’s basketball team going for it,” the report notes. “UVA cracks the top 10 again in our best values in public colleges thanks to its strong academics and exemplary four-year graduation rate. Nearly 100% of freshmen chose to stay at UVA for their sophomore year, and 88% of students graduate in four years – the highest percentage out of all 100 public schools on our list.”
The Kiplinger report says UVA excels in the financial aid department as well. It says UVA is just one of two on its public college list that meet 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need. (The other is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which topped Kiplinger’s list.)
Kiplinger said the average need-based financial aid package is $22,129, bringing the in-state sticker price to $8,165 – the third-lowest in its top 10.
The publisher looked for schools with strong academics, including a competitive admission rate, low student-faculty ratio and a record of getting students out of school on time. It also gave points to schools like UVA that do a “stellar” job of graduating students with financial need.
UVA President Jim Ryan has committed to building on this success with a new “SuccessUVA” initiative, part of the University’s 10-year strategic plan, “A Great and Good University: The 2030 Plan.”
SuccessUVA will build upon the success of the AccessUVA financial aid initiative by significantly expanding the University’s financial aid program to enable more low- and middle-income, first-generation and underrepresented students to attend UVA. It also emphasizes advising and support services that promote student well-being.