UNL again a Kiplinger's 'Best Value'

UNL was named one of the top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2012. The report features schools that deliver a quality education at an affordable price. UNL placed 68th.

According to Kiplinger’s, the total cost of private colleges has recently averaged almost $39,000 a year, more than twice the average annual in-state sticker price — roughly $17,000 — at public schools. A third of the public schools on Kiplinger’s top-100 list charge about the same as or less than $17,000.

Kiplinger’s assesses quality and affordability according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger’s revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation.

The full list of schools is at http://www.kiplinger.com/links/college. Last year, UNL was number 67 on the list and has been consistently listed previously.

Nebraska residents pay approximately $16,300 for a year of tuition, fees and room and board. Additionally, More than $5.2 million in scholarships are awarded to freshman students every year and 77 percent of UNL's new freshmen receive scholarships and/or gift aid toward payment of their tuition. Thirty-five percent of full-time UNL students receive financial gift aid equal to or greater than the cost of tuition, and 49 percent of new freshmen in 2010-2011 received a scholarship from the university (excluding athletic, ROTC and outside scholarships).

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took top honors, a spot it has held consistently since Kiplinger’s first analysis in 1998. At UNC-Chapel Hill, out-of-state students pay $37,500 a year, not inconsiderable but far less than the $54,000-plus costs of nearby competitors Duke and Wake Forest. UNC-Chapel Hill provides the same level of financial aid to both in-state and out-of-state students, according to Kiplinger's.

Big Ten universities on the list were Wisconsin (13), Michigan (16), Illinois (27), Ohio State (37), Indiana (40), Iowa (47), Michigan State (49), Penn State (51), Minnesota (54) and Purdue (60).