Carolina Retakes Top Spot on Best Value List

Carolina has reclaimed its No. 1 spot on The Princeton Review’s annual list of the “Best Value Public Colleges.”

Last year, UNC was No. 2, behind the University of Virginia, which over the past six years has landed the top spot four times. The only school to displace UVA since 2009 has been Carolina, which also was No. 1 in 2012. UVA is No. 3 this year.

The Princeton Review ranks schools based on its analysis of more than 30 data points, with cost data reflecting school-reported figures for 2013-14. The company also factors in data it collected over the past three academic years from its surveys of students about their satisfaction with their financial aid awards and academic experiences at their schools.

Following UNC among public universities are, in order, The New College of Florida, UVA, N.C. State University (up two spots from No. 6 last year), the University of Michigan, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Florida. Rounding out the top 10 were the College of William and Mary, Truman State University and the State University of New York at Binghamton.

In addition to 2012, Carolina previously held the No. 1 spot in 2004.

In a separate list of private universities, Williams College came out on top. The complete list, with individual school profiles, is available online.

The Princeton Review list also is featured in the education services company’s book, The Best Value Colleges: The 150 Best-Buy Schools and What It Takes to Get In, and in reports published Tuesday by USA Today.

Online users can access information about each college and sort the list in various, ways including by state, tuition, enrollment and average grant. The Princeton Review has teamed with USA Today to present this resource online since 2009.

In December, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine rated Carolina the No. 1 value in American public higher education for the 13th consecutive year.

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