UF places second for best value in public colleges

Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 10:32 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 11:24 p.m.

The University of Florida remains one of the nation's best values in public colleges, despite increases to its tuition and fees in recent years.

Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked UF as the second-best public college at delivering a quality education at an affordable price. The magazine published the rankings in its February 2011 issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday.

UF has held the second spot since 2005. For the 10th time since the magazine's first analysis in 1998, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill topped the chart.

UF tuition and fees are now about $5,000 in the current academic year for a student taking 30 credit hours over two semesters. Since 2008, the state has allowed UF to increase tuition up to 15 percent annually until rates reach the national average.

There has been a trend in the past 25 years toward higher tuition at public universities, said Paul Lingenfelter, the president of the Colorado-based State Higher Education Executive Officers. Florida has lagged behind the trend, he said, so a 15 percent increase at UF means less than at other universities in the nation.

"You just have to put these things into context," he said.

Last year, the College Board ranked tuition at Florida's public universities at 48th in the U.S. But changes to the state's Bright Futures scholarship program and the possible implementation of block tuition at UF mean higher costs for some students and their families.

Kiplinger based its second-place ranking of UF on its in-state tuition rate. In terms of value for out-of-state tuition, the magazine ranked the university 17th.

Schools were ranked according to cost and financial aid as well as academic measures such as student-faculty ratios and admission, graduation and retention rates.

Other state universities making the list include New College of Florida at No. 11, Florida State University at No. 20, the University of Central Florida at No. 33, the University of South Florida at No. 55 and Florida International University at No. 97.

Contact Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or nathan.crabbe@gvillesun.com.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top