More On Best Values In Public Colleges 2011.
Look for colleges that deliver an outstanding, affordable education in good times and bad. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, ranked Kiplinger’s number-one best value for schools, is a prime example. Carolina’s admission rate remains among the lowest on our annual list; its students are among the most competitive; and its in-state cost, at $17,000, is not much higher than the average price ($16,140) for all public universities.
For students who qualify for need-based aid, the total price for this top-tier university drops to an average of $7,020. Carolina’s performance is all the more exceptional considering the current climate for public higher education. Over the past few years, states have cut funding for schools and universities by tens of millions of dollars.
Enrollment and the demand for financial aid have surged. Federal stimulus funding, which provided crucial support, will soon run out, and Medicaid continues to deplete state coffers.
“Everywhere you look, there is less money,” says Shirley Ort, director of the office of scholarships and student aid at Chapel Hill. Unlike past shortfalls, this one will likely affect higher education in “significant and probably permanent ways,” says Charles Lenth, of the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
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