Carolina is the fifth-best public university in the country for the 17th consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report.
For the 13th straight time, UNC also placed first among national public universities and ninth overall in “Great Schools, Great Prices,” based on academic quality and the 2016-17 net cost of attendance for a student receiving the average level of need-based financial aid.
The same schools have dominated the top five for several years. This time, the University of California at Berkeley placed first, followed by UCLA, Virginia and Michigan.
U.S. News bases its rankings on several weighted key measures of quality: graduation and retention rates (22.5 percent); assessment of excellence by academic peers and high school counselors (22.5 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student selectivity (12.5 percent); financial resources (10 percent); graduation rate performance (difference between actual and U.S. News’ predicted graduation rates, 7.5 percent); and alumni giving (5 percent).
For the 12th consecutive year, Carolina set a record for total number of applicants with 40,926 applications for fall 2017 admission, up 14 percent over the previous year. Forty-four percent of this year’s incoming class ranked among the top 10 students of their high school class, and 78 percent ranked in the top 10 percent.
UNC makes need-blind admissions and meets 100 percent of the documented need of undergraduates qualifying for need-based aid who apply on time. UNC meets more than two-thirds of that need with grants and scholarships. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine has ranked Carolina first 16 times among U.S. public colleges and universities offering stellar academics at a reasonable price.
In the U.S. News list, UNC was again ranked 30th overall among both public and private universities and colleges. The other top publics were 21st (a tie between Berkeley and UCLA), 25th (Virginia) and 28th (Michigan).
Among Carolina’s other U.S. News rankings: