University of Arkansas ranks among best values in public colleges

Kiplinger released its list of “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” on Tuesday, and a certain university located on a hill in Fayetteville, Arkansas made the cut.

The University of Arkansas was ranked 53rd for in-state students, and 56th for out-of-state students on the publication’s 2012 list.

The list is drawn from a survey of 500 public universities across the country. The rankings are based on both academic measurements – student SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates, for example – and financial considerations such as cost, availability of financial aid, and student debt after graduation.

The UA improved on their 2011 ranking of No. 57 for in-state students, and No. 58 for out-of-state students.

“We are very pleased to be ranked among Kiplinger’s top 100, as it reflects our commitment to maintain both high academic quality and affordability for the people of Arkansas,” said UA Chancellor David Gearhart. “This is particularly noteworthy, given that our faculty and staff have maintained that balance through efficiencies and strategic investments and with no recent increase in state support. The Kiplinger’s report recognizes the U of A.”

Overall, the University of Arkansas has the fourth-highest ranking among public institutions in the Southeastern Conference, with the fourth-lowest student debt level, the third-lowest cost for in-state students and the lowest cost for out of state students. It is ranked second overall among regional peer institutions, as well as second in all financial categories.

According to Kiplinger, the university’s total cost for in-state students is $16,718; average total cost after financial aid is $9,552; total cost for out of state students is $27,150; average total cost for out of state students after financial aid of $19,984. The survey reports that UA students graduate with the relatively low average student debt of $21,562.