The University of Virginia has been named a top-three Best Value College among the nation’s public universities in a ranking released today by MONEY magazine, a Time Inc. publication.
The 2016 Best Colleges for Your Money rankings listed UVA at No. 3 among public institutions and No. 9 among all U.S. colleges and universities, citing a top-notch education delivered at one of the country’s lowest total college costs.
The magazine evaluated 705 four-year U.S. colleges and universities based on educational quality, affordability and career earnings/alumni success.
The publication determined quality of education based on a number of factors, including six-year graduation rate, peer quality, instructor quality and value-added graduation rate. Affordability was determined by net price of a degree, debt, student loan repayment and default risk, value-added student loan repayment measures and affordability for low-income students.
According to MONEY, the average yearly cost of attendance for UVA students in 2016-17, after need-based or merit-based financial aid, is the lowest of any institution ranked in the top 100.
UVA, which offers admission on a “need-blind” basis, is one of two top-100 publics that meet 100 percent of each student’s demonstrated financial need, enabling the university to prepare students for rewarding careers through quality education at an affordable price. UVA also has the highest graduation rate of any public university in the country, at 93 percent.
Additionally, the rankings determined alumni success based on graduates’ earnings, earnings adjusted by majors, the earnings of federal financial aid recipients at each college, an analysis of the market value of alumni skills, comparative value earnings, career services and job meaning.
The rankings show that the average earnings for a UVA graduate within five years of graduation comes in at $55,400.
UVA leads four Virginia universities among the top 100. Virginia Tech was No. 18, followed by Washington and Lee University (No. 29), the College of William & Mary (No. 36) and Virginia Military Institute (No. 42).
The top 10 publics: the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; the University of California, Berkeley; UVA; Texas A&M University; the University of California, San Diego; the University of Florida; the University of California, Irvine; the University of California, Davis; Virginia Tech; and the University of Maryland, College Park.
The complete MONEY rankings can be found online.