All those late nights in the library
Late nights in the library, with its resulting academic achievement, help push UC Berkeley up the rankings. Photo: John Lee

Kiplinger has named UC Berkeley one of the ten best-value public colleges in the country. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tops the Kiplinger list for the 12th time.

Berkeley is the most selective school in the list’s top 100, with 22% of applicants admitted. The average debt at graduation for Berkeley, $17,116, places it third out of the top ten. Two other University of California campuses — UCLA and UC San Diego — were also in the top ten, at sixth and tenth. 

Last year, UC Berkeley ranked seventh in the financial magazine’s rankings. The rankings weigh a number of factors, including test scores, four-year graduation rates, financial aid, student-faculty ratios, and affordability. Berkeley is the second-most expensive school in the rankings, topped only by UC Santa Cruz. Kiplinger‘s explanation points out that Berkeley’s high academic standing compensated for its comparatively high cost in the rankings.

The magazine includes a bleak caution about the landscape for public higher education:

“Despite a slowly improving economy, the landscape for public colleges continues to look bleak. Having endured cuts in state appropriations over the past several years, colleges have bumped up class sizes and trimmed administrative staff. Meanwhile, the average sticker price — $17,860 for in-staters and $30,911 for out-of-staters, according to the College Board — climbed 4.2% and 4.1%, respectively, over last year, once again outpacing inflation and family incomes. An even bigger cause for concern: The net price (sticker price minus financial aid) for in-state students has risen for the third year in a row.”

‘Remarkable job’ helps Cal navigate through tough times [08.24.12]
UC Berkeley ranks 13th nationally for professor pay [04.15.11]

Would you like a digest of the day’s Berkeley news in your inbox at the end of your day? Click here to subscribe to Berkeleyside’s free Daily Briefing.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...