By Jason KUROSU
A new ranking in “Kiplinger’s Personal Finance” magazine’s February 2013 issue places UCLA among the top 10 public colleges in the nation in terms of public values. The Kiplinger article identifies the top schools as institutions which provide a high level of education while also keeping tuition costs and student debt to a minimum.
UC Berkeley and UC San Diego also cracked the top 10, with 10 other UC, Cal State and Cal Poly schools placing within the top 100, this despite continually increasing fees for higher education within the state. Higher education fees have increased by 72% in California since the 2007-08 school year, though costs may have risen even higher had Proposition 30 not passed, which increased Californian sales and income taxes but also prevented numerous cuts to higher education funding.
The list emerges in light of increasing education costs often leading to years of post-graduation debt. Kiplinger measured schools in terms of tuition costs, average student debt, admission and graduation rates, financial aid provided, and other factors while compiling its list. Costs played a heavy factor in the rankings, but Kiplinger notes that in its ranking methodology, “Academic quality carries more weight than costs.”
The competitiveness of Californian schools as well as the financial aid provided to its students may have led to the inclusion of so many Californian schools. UCLA, who ranked sixth, boasts the least in-state costs per year of any of the top 10 schools as well as the least average student debt upon graduation. UCLA and Berkeley do feature high costs for out-of-state students, but it’s the potential for financial aid and the competitive admission rates for the schools that earned them high spots in the rankings.
Visit http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/colleges/ to see the rankings.