Affordable Public School Standouts

Public schools noted for affordability and quality.

Nobody wants to pay more for college than they have to. If your child is beginning the college application process, you might want to take a look at the February 2012 issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine.

In that issue, Kiplinger tips the hat to 10 public schools that are noted for quality and affordability. Based on the school's 4-year graduation rate, the rating credits the schools for getting students through their education on time, and on budget.

Kiplinger's 10 standout schools are:

  1. The University of Virginia (4 year graduate rate of 85 percent)
  2. College of William and Mary (82 percent)
  3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (76 percent)
  4. St. Mary's College of Maryland (74 percent)
  5. University of Michigan Ann Arbor (72 percent)
  6. College of New Jersey (71 percent)
  7. University of California, Berkely (69 percent)
  8. University of California, Los Angeles (68 percent)
  9. University of Mary Washington (68 percent)
  10. Miami University, Ohio (68 percent)


Of course, there are numerous factors to consider when evaluating schools, including degrees offered, financial aid offered, tuition and the overall "fit" of the school. But a school's 4-year graduation rate is another measure to consider this application season.

Ian Welham is an expert at helping students find the right fit college, and helping parents pay for it. You can find him at Complete College Planning Solutions and on Facebook

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

jeff goldstein June 04, 2012 at 01:34 PM
It is a bad idea to only look at public colleges and only list prices. Private universities have a lot more money for financial aid especially compared to out of state public colleges. Most public universities don't give any financial aid to out of state students while some of the private universities with the highest list prices can be very generous with financial aid. Even qualifying for work study jobs seems to be easier.
M OKeef June 04, 2012 at 06:40 PM
In state tuition can be a big saver for students. But you fail to mention the out of state tuition bump could make the cost of 9/10 of the above named schools similar to the cost of privates and possibly more expensive when financial aid is considered. Buyer beware, there are many elements to consider when choosing your college.
Michael A Dzikowski June 08, 2012 at 02:27 AM
How can Rutgers University be left off the list ...graduation rate is 74.6% -87th percentile among all colleges and 93rd percentile among all public schools .....(CollegeMeasures.org) Trenton State...I mean College of NJ at 71%....come on ! R.....U.....R.....U......kidding me


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