UNC has been named the best value in American public higher education by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for the 17th time.
The nation’s first public university has been consistently at the top of the rankings, which Chancellor Carol Folt said reflects the university’s priorities.
“We have fantastic students and a faculty dedicated to providing each one with the opportunity to achieve their dreams in all areas of human endeavor,” Folt said in a release celebrating the announcement. “An excellent and affordable education, without fear of overwhelming debt, is one of the many ways we support our students. Being recognized for the 17th time as the best value in American public higher education demonstrates our long-standing commitment.”
UNC officials have placed an emphasis on “eliminating barriers” to higher education as part of the university’s recently adopted strategic plan, which includes the university’s efforts to “practice need-blind admissions and provide low-debt, full-need student aid.”
The university was honored earlier this year by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation with a $1 million prize to help low-income students attend and graduate from UNC with little or no debt. It’s the largest award in the nation recognizing a college or university for its success in enrolling low-income students and supporting them to successful graduation, according to a release announcing the award in June.
UNC has also been recognized for programs including the Carolina Covenant, which allows students whose household incoming is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level to attend UNC and have an opportunity to graduate debt-free. Officials say 13 percent of current UNC undergraduates are part of the program.
While UNC took the top spot among public universities once again in 2017, Princeton University led Kiplinger’s overall rankings. Duke University ranks fifth and UNC No. 15 on the overall list.
You can see the full Kiplinger rankings here.