The University of Virginia continues to offer one of the best educational values in the country, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s annual ranking of 300 colleges and universities around the country, announced Wednesday.
The 2015 list ranks U.Va. as the No. 2 value in the country among public institutions, as it has for the previous two years, and cited the University’s 86 percent four-year graduation rate as the best among the nation’s public colleges and universities. U.Va. ranks No. 42 overall, putting it among the top 100 every year since the magazine began its rankings in 2008.
The University rates as the No. 2 value among public institutions for both in-state and out-of-state students.
“We salute this year’s top schools,” Kiplinger’s editor Janet Bodnar said. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”
Kiplinger calculates its ratings using a combination of academic quality measures, including competitiveness of admissions, four-year graduation rates and academic support, together weighted 55 percent; and cost criteria, including tuition, financial aid and student indebtedness, weighted 45 percent.
U.Va. scores highly in both spheres, with its top-of-class 86 percent four-year graduation rate and its average cost to in-state students after need-based aid ranked No. 2 at $5,885. The University’s financial aid program meets 100 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need.
The complete Kiplinger rankings can be found online, where visitors can sort them by admission rate, average debt at graduation and other criteria for all schools, plus by in-state and out-of-state cost for public universities. There is also a slideshow of the top 10 schools in each category, archives of previous years’ rankings, and FAQ about the ranking methodology. The rankings will be published in the February issue of the magazine, available on newsstands Jan. 6.
After the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and U.Va., the rest of the top 10 public institutions were the University of Florida, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Los Angeles, the University of Michigan, the College of William & Mary, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Maryland-College Park and the University of Georgia.
Other Virginia public schools in the top 100 included James Madison University at No. 21; Virginia Tech, No. 26; Christopher Newport University, No. 89; and University of Mary Washington, No. 92.
U.Va.’s continued strong showing in the Kiplinger’s rankings is backed by the Princeton Review’s annual “Best Value” rankings, in which U.Va. is rated as the No. 3 public university in the nation. U.S. News & World Report rates U.Va. as the No. 2 public university in the nation, tied with UCLA.