05 January 2010

And the best value in public education is ...

... the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill — at least according to a ranking by Kiplinger magazine. How far down the list does one need to go to find the first UC school? Well, UCSD is no. 11 and UCLA is no. 13, below SUNY Binghamton or SUNY Geneseo.

Kiplinger compiled the rankings using a weighted average of academic and affordability indicators, with academic indicators worth twice as much as affordability. In other words, the ranking is supposed to reflect value. Since UC is still way ahead of the schools ranked above it in academic quality, it's the cost of attending UC that must be dragging down the ranking of UC campuses. And the ranking uses this year's tuition figures, before the increases approved by the Regents this past November go into effect. In-state total costs for attending UCSD are listed at $22,900, going down to $11,046 after aid. That is still a pretty penny for California families.

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