Beginning with a pool of almost 600 public institutions, Kiplinger's selected the top 100 based on a combination of best academic quality and value. UNC Asheville, which ranks 58th in the nation, has regularly made the list for the past decade.
Kiplinger's found that, among the 100 colleges it ranked, UNC Asheville has the sixth lowest total cost of attending for in-state students and seventh lowest in cost after need-based aid. UNC Asheville students graduate with the eighth lowest average debt.
Academic quality continues to carry more weight than costs in the Kiplinger rankings. Factors considered include test scores of incoming students, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates.
UNC-Chapel Hill was ranked first by Kiplinger's. Others in the UNC system that made the Kiplinger's best values list were North Carolina State University, North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State University.
Kiplinger's February magazine edition will publish the complete "Best Values in Public Colleges, 2014," but the lists are available online now.
Kiplinger's is not alone among financial magazines in recognizing UNC Asheville's value. Last August, Forbes ranked UNC Asheville 20th in the nation on its "Top Colleges 2013: Best Value Colleges" roster.
UNC Asheville also is highly ranked for quality. Last September, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC Asheville as the seventh best public liberal arts college in the nation for the second consecutive year. The Princeton Review’s Best 378 Colleges noted the "top-notch academic experience" that UNC Asheville students receive and ranked the university 13th nationally on its “Town-Gown Relations are Great” list.
In July, The Fiske Guide to Colleges named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy” among the nation's top colleges, and for the 10th consecutive year, UNC Asheville's Environmental Studies Program was highlighted as showing unusual strength in preparing students for careers.
A summary of UNC Asheville college rankings is available online.