For the third year in a row, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked the University of Florida No. 3 nationally and No. 1 among Florida public universities on its list of the 100 best values in public colleges for 2015.
UF has been among Kiplinger’s top 10 best values in public colleges since 2005, ranking No. 2 from that year until 2012.
UF’s in-state tuition of $6,310 for a full-time undergraduate carrying a 30-credit load is considerably lower than the national average for four-year public universities of $9,139. In addition, nearly 60 percent of UF undergraduate students graduate with no student loan debt. Of those freshmen who started at UF and graduated in 2013-14 carrying debt, the average amount was $20,640, well below the national average of more than $29,000 for undergraduates.
Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to a number of measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. Many schools, including UF, have appeared on the list multiple times, a testament to the consistent value these colleges provide.
“We salute this year’s top schools,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”
The complete rankings, including the top schools overall as well as the best values in public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges, are available online at kiplinger.com/links/college. The rankings will also appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands Jan. 6.