UNC Chapel Hill tops best value list of public colleges

Heidi Finley

The UNC campus. Photo by the News & Observer

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has placed the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill atop its rankings of public colleges with the best value in the United States.

It’s the 17th time the university has held the No. 1 spot, which Kiplinger calculates using data on admissions, graduation rates, academic support, cost and financial aid, and student indebtedness.

North Carolina State University ranked No. 9 on the best value list for public colleges, Appalachian State ranked 29th and Clemson University ranked No. 31. The University of South Carolina was No. 46.

For private universities, Duke ranked No. 3, Wake Forest ranked No. 29 and Elon ranked No. 40.

The full rankings are available online at kiplinger.com/links/colleges and will appear in the February 2018 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

A UNC Chapel Hill news release said the ranking reflects the university’s commitment to making education accessible for talented students from all backgrounds through need-blind admissions practices and and providing low-debt, full-need student aid.

“We have fantastic students and a faculty dedicated to providing each one with the opportunity to achieve their dreams in all areas of human endeavor,” Chancellor Carol L. Folt said. “An excellent and affordable education, without fear of overwhelming debt, is one of the many ways we support our students.”

In 2017, the university committed $83 million in institutional funds to need-based financial aid and was nationally recognized for its efforts to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed with the prestigious Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence.


Heidi Finley is the editor of Carolina College Bound. Send questions or suggestions to hfinley@charlotteobserver.com