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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina named a top education value in 2 separate rankings

Carolina maintains its top five standing among public universities.

The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education’s College Rankings named Carolina the best public university for financial value. The University ranked second overall among the top 250 institutions. Carolina is also named fourth among all public universities and 37th in the nation for graduate success and student learning.

In U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” rankings for the 18th straight year, Carolina placed fifth among national public universities. For the 14th consecutive time in “Great Schools, Great Prices,” Carolina was the first national public university, the eighth overall in rankings of national universities for best value.

“Our students, faculty and staff’s commitment to excellence is evident in Carolina’s placement among the top five public universities for the 18th consecutive year,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “As we remain steadfast in our mission of serving the public in our state and around the world, we will continue to make a world-class education affordable, conduct ground-breaking research and lead in innovation for the future.”

Wall Street value

Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education’s value rankings are based, in part, on the average price of attending the institution—including tuition and fees—for students who receive financial aid.

The new ranking reflects Carolina’s commitment to making education accessible and affordable to all students regardless of background. 

Among the reasons for the University’s high-value ranking is the Carolina Covenant, which allows students whose family income is less than double the federal poverty level to graduate debt-free.

Only 40 percent of seniors who graduated from Carolina in 2015 accumulated any debt, compared with nearly 70 percent nationally. The average debt among those who borrowed at Carolina was also nearly $10,000 below the national average.

A ‘Best College’ again

Carolina also retains its top-five standing alongside the same public schools that recurrently lead U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings. This year, the University of California at Los Angeles ranked first; the University of California at Berkeley, second; the University of Virginia, third; and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, fourth. The University of California at Santa Barbara tied with Carolina as fifth top
public university. 

U.S. News & World Report assesses these rankings on over a dozen measures: graduation and retention rates (22 percent); assessment of academic quality by presidents, provosts, deans of admissions and high school counselors (20 percent); faculty resources (20 percent); student excellence (10 percent); financial resources (10 percent); graduation rate performance (8 percent); alumni giving (5 percent) and social mobility (5 percent).