University makes significant jump in Kiplinger's ranking
The University of South Carolina jumped 28 spots to rank No. 32 among the nation’s public universities that “deliver strong academics at affordable prices” for in-state students, according to Kiplinger’s 2009 – 10 “Best Values in Public Colleges.”
The ranking appears in the February issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. In 2008 – 09, the university was No. 60 among 500 public universities that the magazine measures annually for academic quality and affordability.
Kiplinger’s ranks Carolina No. 58 for out-of-state student value – a jump from No. 73 among public universities in 2008 – 09.
Academic quality measures used by Kiplinger’s include SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates, which most schools reported for the class entering in 2002. The magazine also ranks public universities on cost and financial aid.
Scott Verzyl, associate vice president for enrollment management at Carolina, said that Kiplinger’s rankings are based largely on objective data, in contrast to U.S.News & World Report, which relies on substantially subjective criteria.
“This underscores the value component of an education at the University of South Carolina,” Verzyl said. “A high-quality education at an affordable price is increasingly important for college students and their families.
“At the University of South Carolina, we have worked to hold the line on costs without sacrificing excellence and the student experience,” he said. “This ranking is good news, particularly in light of these economically challenging times that are confronting all of higher education.”
The magazine singled out the public universities in its rankings for their ability to maintain academic quality and affordability during the recession: “The schools in our top 100 best values in public colleges and universities … continue to deliver strong academics at reasonable prices, in many cases by offering the same or more financial aid as in previous years.”
The University of South Carolina is the top-ranked public institution in the Palmetto State and is third among universities in the Southeastern Conference, trailing only the University of Florida (2) and the University of Georgia (6). It leads fellow SEC members Louisiana State University (47), University of Arkansas (55), University of Tennessee (58), Auburn University (63), University of Alabama (65) and Mississippi State University (88).
Carolina also is ranked ahead of a number of major research universities, including Pennsylvania State University (40), Purdue University (46), Rutgers University (48) and Michigan State University (51).
Kiplinger’s ranking is among several recent accolades earned by the University of South Carolina. U.S. News ranked the Darla Moore School of Business’ undergraduate program in international business No. 1 in the nation in the 2010 “America’s Best Colleges Guide.” The guide also placed Carolina’s First-Year Experience and Learning Communities among the best in the nation.
To access the full rankings, go to www.kiplinger.com.