UNC-Chapel Hill ranked as the number one best value among public universities for the 17th year in a row by Kiplinger, a business and financial advice publisher.
Five other public universities in North Carolina made it onto the list of top 100 best value public institutions — N.C. State University ranked ninth, Appalachian State University was 29th, Western Carolina University was 58th, UNC-Asheville was 61st and UNC-Wilmington was 62nd.
The best values are calculated based on data from almost 1,200 public and private four-year institutions provided by Peterson’s, a college information database. The final list compares the top 300 institutions based on quality and cost criteria.
In Kiplinger's article explaining the rankings, Kiplinger staff writer Kaitlin Pitsker wrote that the publisher’s definition of value is "a high-quality education at an affordable price." Therefore, financial data is analyzed and considered. The financial criteria include cost, financial aid met and average student debt at graduation.
“We use in-state cost figures for the public college rankings, but we use costs for out-of-state students on the combined list to reflect the choice families face when comparing private schools with out-of-state public colleges,” she said in the article.