5 Georgia, Alabama public colleges rank on list of '100 Best Values'

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comDecember 11, 2013 

Five Georgia and Alabama schools are included on Kiplinger's annual list of 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges” in 2014..

The University of Georgia (No. 13 for in-state value), Georgia Institute of Technology (No. 33), University of North Georgia (No. 94), Georgia College & State University (No. 95), the University of Alabama (No. 50) and Auburn University (No. 80) all made the list.

Kiplinger also ranked each school's out-of-state value; in some cases, as with the University of Alabama, its out-of-state value is much lower (No. 72).

In making its rankings, Kiplinger measures each school’s admission rate, test scores for incoming freshman, graduation rate in four and six years, student-faculty ratios, total cost per year, total cost per year after need-based aid (not including loans) and average debt at graduation.

Thus, schools such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (No. 1 on the list), with its “combination of stellar academics, low cost and rich financial aid” are privileged over schools that are able to offer less aid or have lower graduation rates, according to Kiplinger’s accompanying analysis of its ranking.

Kiplinger’s list offers a broad survey for how schools around the country are combating increasing tuition and decreasing aid — and, thus, increasing student debt — at colleges. As its own analysis points out, the Universities of Florida and Texas have both created “$10,000 degrees.”

In descending order, the average debt at graduation for students at each of the five Georgia and Alabama schools is: $27,639 (University of Alabama), $26,690 (Auburn), $26,412 (Georgia Tech), $19,852 (Georgia College & State), $19,621 (University of Georgia) and $12,166 (University of North Georgia).

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