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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

UF's in-state tuition considered second-best value in US

For the seventh year in a row, UF nabbed the No. 2 spot on Kiplinger's Personal Finance's list of the 100 best in-state values in public colleges last week.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill topped the rankings, and five other Florida colleges made the list: New College of Florida at No. 5, Florida State University at No. 18, University of Central Florida at No. 39, University of North Florida at No. 63 and University of South Florida at No. 87.

UF came in at No. 8 for best out-of-state value.

Kiplinger's ranks colleges by examining factors like cost, financial aid, competitiveness, graduation rates and academic support.

UF spokesman Steve Orlando said this ranking is good news for students and parents.

"People are paying close attention to the value for their money, particularly with a lot of talk about the rising cost of public education," Orlando said. "We're always mindful of making sure that students are getting the best education they can."

Of the top 10, only UF and New College charge less than the national average for in-state students. A year at UF costs a total of $15,526, and the national average is $17,131, according to Kiplinger's website.

Even UF students who graduate with debt tend to save money.

Orlando said students have an average of about $16,000 in debt, compared to about $20,000 nationally.

This is due in part to Bright Futures scholarships and the Florida Prepaid College Plan, he said.

Applied physiology and kinesiology sophomore Sebastien Goodman, 20, said cost was a big factor when he chose UF. He said he takes out about $3,000 in loans each semester and also receives money from Bright Futures.

"For undergraduate education, why wouldn't I try to be more cost efficient?" he said.

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Goodman said he thinks UF's value could improve by lowering the current student-faculty ratio of 21-1.

Orlando said the university is working to improve that number.

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