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Kiplinger's ranking lauds value of USC education

The University of South Carolina is among the nation’s best values for public higher education -- delivering the best B.A. for the buck -- according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

USC is No. 42 in the February issue’s “Top 100 Best Values in Public Education” ranking, which cites institutions that, “despite shrinking budgets, deliver a stellar education at an affordable price.”

Dr. Dennis Pruitt, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the rankings are another confirmation of what record number of applications and enrollment at the university indicate.

“The Kiplinger ‘Best Value’ ranking is one more confirmation that the University of South Carolina is among the best public universities in the nation for academics and affordability,” Pruitt said. “Our record number of applicants and enrolled freshmen last fall clearly show that students and their parents recognize that USC is honoring its commitment of offering an outstanding undergraduate education at an affordable cost.”

Pruitt said the university’s Gamecock Guarantee, which promises that undergraduate tuition and technology fee will be covered for up to four years for students who meet the program’s academic, financial and participation criteria, also is helping to keep the cost of a USC education manageable.

The rankings are based on a combination of academics and affordability. Kiplinger’s analyzed more than 500 public, four-year schools and examined SAT and ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios and four- and six-year graduation rates, along with tuition costs, student debt, graduation and need-based aid.

Among Southeastern Conference schools, USC leads Louisiana State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Tennessee, Auburn University, the University of Alabama and Mississippi State University.

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