Three Texas universities ranked in top 100 best value degrees
Updated 5:21 pm, Monday, January 7, 2013
Faced with future student loan debt and a tough economy, the prospective college freshman must weigh a college's academics and tuition prices to get the best bang for their buck.
The Texas universities now offering $10,000 degrees in four years - prompted by a challenge from Gov. Rick Perry in 2011 - are clearly a good deal, but is a degree from an Ivy League school, such as Harvard or Yale, really better aside from name value?
To help those high school seniors making their college decision this spring, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranked the top 100 public universities for best value for in-state students. The rating scale is based on test scores, four-year graduation rates, affordability and how much student-loan debt is typically incurred, among other tangible factors. The magazine reported that 600 universities were considered.
Three Texas universities ranked in the top 100, with Texas A&M University ranked at No. 18, University of Texas at Austin at No. 27 and the University of Texas at Dallas at No. 60. About half of students at these state universities graduate in four years. The national average for four year graduation rates is about 30 percent.
Texas A&M, No. 18 in-state value
SAT | Verbal score 600+: 48%
SAT | Math score 600+: 66%
Admission rate: 64%
Students per faculty: 21
4-year graduation rate: 50%
6-year graduation rate: 80%
Tuition (in state): $5,297
Average debt at graduation: $22,716
% of aid need met: 69%
UT-Austin, No. 27 in-state value
SAT | Verbal score 600+: 57%
SAT | Math score 600+: 72%
Admission rate: 47%
Students per faculty: 18
4-year graduation rate: 53%
6-year graduation rate: 81%
Tuition (in state): $9,790
Average debt at graduation: $25,227
% of aid need met: 67%
UT-Dallas, No. 60 in-state value
SAT | Verbal score 600+: 54%
SAT | Math score 600+: 76%
Admission rate: 53%
Students per faculty: 21
4-year graduation rate: 41%
6-year graduation rate: 61%
Tuition (in state): $11,592
Average debt at graduation: $16,813
% of aid need met: 64%
Source and complete list at Kiplinger.
"We're pleased that Kiplinger has joined many other publications in recognizing The University of Texas at Austin as one of the nation's best values in higher education," UT-Austin president Bill Powers told Alcalde. "With our internationally recognized faculty, our relatively low tuition, and the highest public university graduation rate in the state, we continue to offer outstanding educational opportunities at an affordable price."
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earned the top spot on the list for the 12th time for in-state college values. Kiplinger credits the university's 77 percent four-year graduation rate and its competitive 31 percent admission rate. Six North Carolina universities made the top 100.
California, comparable in size to Texas, performed well on Kiplinger's list. Twelve public California universities made the top 100 list, five of which were in the top 20. Kiplinger points out that last fall California passed Proposition 20, which helped prevent $6 billion in cuts to education, including higher education.
Texas higher education saw cuts after multiple billion dollar shortfalls that state lawmakers wrangled during the 2011 legislative session, including $180 million in formula funding and over $150 million in financial aid.