These 20 public colleges offer the best value for your money

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University of Virginia

Kiplinger recently released its list of 300 best-value public and private schools, ranked based on quality. While it’s no surprise to see colleges like Stanford and Princeton at the top of the list, it’s also nice to see some public schools toward the top as well.

Kiplinger ranks the schools on things like test scores of incoming students, admission rates, academic support, and graduation rates. They also take into account total cost of the school, financial-aid packages, and the average debt for a student at graduation.

To start the list, Kiplinger uses data on almost 1,200 public and private four-year schools provided by Peterson’s. From there, the publisher narrows the list “based on measures of academic quality.” Quality criteria account for 55 percent of total points, while cost and financial aid measures account for the remaining 45 percent.

When looking at public colleges, it’s important to consider the cost for in-state as well as out-of-state students. Business Insider rounded up the 20 best-value public colleges on Kiplinger’s list for out-of-state students. They included total annual cost, average student debt at graduation, as well as the median earnings of students at each school 10 years after beginning their studies.

Here are 20 public colleges that offer the best value for your money:

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Written by Melissa Stusinski

Melissa Stusinski

Melissa Stusinksi is a professional journalist. She has written for some of the biggest news websites in the United States. She loves spending time outdoors and reading books in her spare time. She can be reached at or (929) 265-0240.