Carolina Now a Top 10 Value Among Publics and Privates

For the 15th year, the nation’s first public university is first in value. Carolina is once again the best value in public schools across the country and also number one for best out-of-state value, a new category added this year by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Carolina also moved into the top 10 ranking of both public and private universities.

The universities of Florida and Virginia placed second and third among public schools.

Washington and Lee University took the top spot in the combined best values list, followed by Princeton and Harvard.

The magazine ranked 300 colleges based on its definition of value, which is a quality education at an affordable price. Based on a scale of 100, quality criteria account for 55 percent of total points, cost criteria account for 45 percent. Some of the key measures for quality are: Admission rates, graduation rates, test scores of incoming freshmen and student-to-faculty ratios. In financial measures, the magazine considers overall cost of tuition, the cost of books, room and board, the average percentage of need met by aid and the average debt a student accumulates before graduation.

According to the Project on Student Debt, 69 percent of students nationwide borrow money to pay for college, while only 41 percent borrow money to attend UNC. Debt for Carolina’s graduating students is $18,945, far below the national average of $35,051.

Forty-seven percent of students at the University currently receive financial aid.

Carolina provides access and affordability through signature programs such as the Carolina Covenant. The program promises prospective low-income students that they will graduate debt free with help from grants, scholarships and work-study jobs.

The University’s Carolina Firsts program also has created a pathway of opportunity for the almost 20 percent of UNC undergraduates who are the first in their family to attend college.


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