College of Charleston named a best value by Kiplinger’s

By Ashley Barker 
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 11, 2013

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked the College of Charleston as one of its “Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2014.”

CofC ranked No. 60 on the in-state list, up eight spots from last year, and No. 69 on the out-of-state list, according to a news release.

The college’s 58% four-year graduation rate and its $23,357 average student debt at graduation influenced the ranking, along with its total cost per year and available financial aid, according to Kiplinger’s analysis factors. Kiplinger’s also looks at the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for their sophomore year and the student-faculty ratio to assess the quality of an institution.

Cost factors account for 45% of the overall formula, and quality factors complete the remaining portion.

“The college landscape today is very different — tuition increases and student debt dominate the national conversation surrounding higher education,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, in a statement. “This year’s top 100 schools have made admirable strides to maintain academic integrity and standards while meeting the financial needs of their students.”

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill remained the top value for the 13th consecutive year for in-state students. It’s followed by the University of Virginia and the University of Florida.

Clemson University was ranked the highest in South Carolina, taking the 31st spot on the in-state list and No. 39 for out-of-state students. The University of South Carolina was close behind at No. 35 in state and 45th on the out-of-state rankings.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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