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W&M ranks as fourth-best value in Kiplinger’s listing

The College of William & Mary is one of the nation’s best academic values, according to a report released today by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

The magazine listed William & Mary fourth among its list of top 100 American public colleges and universities that combine “outstanding education and economic value.” It is the third year in a row William & Mary is listed as the fourth in the country.

Schools in Kiplinger’s top 100 were chosen from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities. According to Kiplinger’s methodology, academic quality carries more weight in the magazine’s rankings than costs. The list is initially narrowed to about 120 schools on measures of academic quality – including SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates. The schools are then ranked on cost and financial aid.

“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word 'value' becomes more significant than ever,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, in a press release by the magazine. “This year’s top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices.”

The University of North Carolina remained in Kiplinger’s top spot on the annual ranking, followed by the University of Florida and the University of Virginia. Other Virginia colleges on the list include James Madison University (28th), Virginia Tech (32nd), University of Mary Washington (44th), George Mason University (50th) and Christopher Newport University (94th).

The complete listing appears here and in Kiplinger’s February 2012 issue.