Virginia Tech is again ranked among the top public colleges and universities in the nation that offer a high quality educational experience at an affordable price, according to "Kiplinger's Personal Finance" magazine.

The Kiplinger "100: Best Values in Public Colleges" list, released earlier this week for its February 2010 issue, ranks Virginia Tech 16th among 100 institutions "that combine outstanding economic value with a first-class education," according to the publication's editors.

Since 2006, Kiplinger’s has ranked Virginia Tech among the top 20 public universities for its values in this annual survey.

Kiplinger’s top 100 colleges are identified from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities, and are ranked according to academic quality, cost, and financial aid opportunities. Schools that make the list traditionally work to keep costs down through a variety of creative financing initiatives, such as funds obtained from licensing fees associated with university-branded apparel and other items, and through private fundraising initiatives.

“Despite widespread state government budget cuts and shrinking endowments, this year’s top 100 public schools continue to deliver strong academics at reasonable prices,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s. “In fact, in many cases, these institutions are offering the same or more financial aid as in previous years.”

According to Kiplinger’s private colleges average almost $36,000 a year — a sharp contrast to the public schools on Kiplinger’s top 100 list, in which 39 charge the same or less than the average annual in-state sticker price of roughly $15,000.

Virginia Tech continues to increase its affordability for students by increasing instructional funding for student financial aid. More than 60 percent of Virginia Tech students receive some type of financial aid. The Funds for the Future program, for example, protects certain groups of low-income undergraduates from increases in tuition and fees, and reduces other unmet needs for certain groups of low-income undergraduates.

Six Virginia schools made Kiplinger’s list; the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary were third and fourth, respectively, behind the University of North Carolina and the University of Florida. James Madison University was ranked 21st; the University of Mary Washington was 38th, and George Mason University was 64th.

Share this story