UF places nationally for thrifty schooling

<p>A finance magazine has named UF the country's No. 2 best value in public colleges, behind the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. </p>

<p>At $3,200 a year, UF has the lowest tuition of any school listed in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's top 10 best values. The magazine is based out of Washington, D.C., and focuses on family and business finances. The University of California, San Diego - ranked at No. 8 - charges double UF's tuition. </p>

<p>But the magazine looks at more than raw tuition costs to rank the universities. Instead, it ranks them by what a student actually has to pay to attend - factoring in financial aid. </p>

<p>According to Kiplinger's, in-state students at UF pay $3,200 in tuition and fees plus about $6,800 for books and living costs. But the price drops to about $6,400 after factoring in the average need-based financial aid package. But according to UF, in-state tuition is $3,330. </p>

<p>Almost two-thirds of the magazine's scoring weight comes from academic quality, which is measured by factors such as student-faculty ratio and the number of students in last year's freshman class who scored 600 points or above on the math and verbal components of SAT. </p>

<p>UF Provost Janie Fouke said the university does well in many areas except the student-faculty ratio. With UF's current prices, the university could double its tuition and still compete in these rankings, she said. </p>

<p>"That's probably what we need to do," Fouke said about doubling tuition. More money would help UF decrease its student-faculty ratio. </p>

<p>"Students deserve a better student-faculty ratio," she said. "We do well and will continue to do well even if our tuition is higher." </p>

<p>The Board of Trustees, UF's highest governing body, already has control of graduate and out-of-state tuition. There is currently no indication that the state will hand over control of in-state tuition to the university, Fouke said. </p>

<p><a href="http://www.alligator.org/pt2/060927value.php%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.alligator.org/pt2/060927value.php&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Kiplinger’s top public college values </p>

<p>School Enrollment Admission
rate Student/faculty ratio In-state costs* Avg. debt </p>

<li>The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 16,525 36% 14 $12,029 $11,519 </li>
<li>University of Florida 33,982 52% 23 $10,284 $13,744 </li>
<li>University of Virginia 14,129 39% 15 $14,522 $13,744 </li>
<li>The College of William and Mary 5,642 35% 11 $15,045 $13,688 </li>
<li>New College of Florida 691 53% 10 $10,628 $15,045 </li>
<li>University of Georgia 25,019 62% 15 $11,804 $13,209 </li>
<li>State University of New York College at Geneseo 5,375 44% 19 $13,710 $15,800 </li>
<li>University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 29,639 68% 14 $16,796 $15,100 </li>
<li>State University of New York at Binghamton 11,034 44% 22 $14,740 $14,656 </li>
<li>University of Washington 28,362 68% 11 $13,356 $15,210 </li>

<p>Here is the Top 100 list</p>

<p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/personalfinance/tools/colleges/pubcollege.php?sortby=INRANK04&orderby=flip&states%5B%5D=ALL&myschool%5B%5D=none&outputby=table%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.kiplinger.com/personalfinance/tools/colleges/pubcollege.php?sortby=INRANK04&orderby=flip&states%5B%5D=ALL&myschool%5B%5D=none&outputby=table&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>That's fantastic. I applied and got into four of the top five, but nobody offers NMF scholarships like UF . . .</p>