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Both Georgia Tech and University of Georgia rank in top 10 for public college value

Georgia Tech ranks 9th among public campuses in providing a quality education at an affordable price, followed immediately by the University of Georgia in 10th place, according to Kiplinger’s 2017 list released today.

(You can check out the Best Values College list here, along with top deals among the private colleges.)

The top slot for best value among the publics goes to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kiplinger explains its process this way: For each list, we start by examining academic measures, including how competitive admission to a school is and how efficiently it gets students to their degree. (The majority of schools on our lists have four-year graduation rates that are above the average of 33% for public schools and 53% for private schools.) From there, we look for schools with reasonable price tags, generous financial aid or both. Because the best value for your family may be a public college or university outside your state, we use out-of-state cost figures for public colleges on our combined list but rank the schools using in-state costs for our public schools list. As with last year’s list, we’ve also included future earnings data alongside each school to give you an idea of what attending a particular institution may mean for your child’s post-graduation salary.

About Tech, Kiplinger wrote:

Robust financial aid awards help propel the Georgia Institute of Technology up 14 places on this year’s list of best values in public colleges. The school’s sticker price is about $4,000 higher than the average sticker price for in-state students attending public colleges. But more than one-third of students receive need-based aid, reducing the school’s in-state sticker price by 42%, on average. One-third of students who don’t qualify for need-based aid receive non-need-based aid.

Sports can create a bit of a buzz at this tech school – but make no mistake, Georgia Tech attracts stellar students. The school accepts nearly one-third of applicants. Among incoming freshmen, 40% scored 700 or higher on the critical-reading portion of the SAT, and 66% scored top marks on the math section. All but 3% of freshmen return to Georgia Tech for their sophomore year. The school’s 400-acre campus is located in Atlanta’s walkable Midtown neighborhood, home to an eclectic array of shops and restaurants, several museums and the city’s largest greenspace, Piedmont Park. Georgia Tech boasts the highest average salary figure ($74,500 10 years after enrolling) of all 100 public colleges on our list.

About UGA, Kiplinger said:

Ample financial aid awards and solid academics help the University of Georgia move up two places this year, returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2015. Forty percent of students qualify for need-based aid, and the average award amount of $8,923 cuts the school’s in-state sticker price by 40%. About half of students make it to graduation day without taking student loans, but among those who do report borrowing, the average debt is nearly $5,000 less than the national average among four-year public school borrowers.

On campus, located about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta, students can participate in any of more than 600 student organizations. The school’s campus is also home to Georgia’s State Botanical Garden, the State Museum of Art and the State Museum of Natural History. Off campus, students can enjoy the thriving music scene in nearby Athens, which gave birth to R.E.M and the B-52s and is now home to hundreds of bands in all genres.



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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.