Best Value Colleges

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Olivia Griffin, Staff Reporter

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By compiling a wide range of data of more than 650 schools in three categories (academics, cost of attendance, and financial aid), The Princeton Review chose 100 schools on its Best Value Colleges for 2012 list.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill topped the list as the “Best Value Public College,” while Williams College in Massachusetts, topped the list of the “Best Value Private College”.

Additional colleges in the top 10 lists include the University of Texas at Austin (public) and Rice University in Houston (private). Each category contained 75 colleges, for a total of 150 colleges making the cut.

The factors considered by the Princeton Review include undergraduate academics, costs, and financial aid, and the average dollar amount of debt students had at graduation.

In previous years, the University of Oklahoma in Norman and Texas A&M University in College Station were featured on the Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges, with both colleges still making the cut for the 75 best value public colleges in 2012.

University officials state that students should not worry about the pricey tuition of some higher end schools, because of the financial aid available to students.

“The important thing is not to obsess on posted tuition, because there is so much financial aid out there,” Ronald Ehrenbreg, director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute said to the Kiplinger magazine.

Supplying financial aid for students is important for both the students and the universities.

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan, a “Best Value Public College”, says her school spends more than $300 million in undergraduate financial aid so students can focus on their studies rather than their pocketbooks.

For the complete list of the Princeton Review’s “Best Value Colleges”, go to www.princetonreview.com/best-value-colleges.aspx.