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10 NC Colleges Among Best Value Schools In U.S.

10 NC Colleges Among Best Value Schools In U.S.

With the rising cost of college tuition and the enormous amount of student debt most graduates take on, prospective college students predictably want to get the most for their money. For students planning to enroll this year, a new list ranks the best value colleges in the country for 2018 and 10 of those colleges are right here in North Carolina.

The list is compiled by Kiplinger, a personal finance and business forecasts publisher. Kiplinger notes that nationally over the past 20 years, in-state students attending public four-year universities have gone up 82 percent when adjusted for inflation. Tuition hikes have been less dramatic at private, non-profit four-year colleges, but still jumped 59 percent.

Student-loan debt has also gone up while average earnings of recent college graduates have remained relatively flat, according to Kiplinger. The publication’s annual list of the 300 best value colleges and universities weighs quality with affordability, giving students a resource to see where they’ll get the most for their investment.

Kiplinger defines value as "a high-quality education at an affordable price."

The 10 North Carolina institutions that are among 300 in the country that rank as "best value colleges" are:

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No. 2 — Davidson College, Average debt at graduation: $20,431
No. 5 — Duke University, Average debt at graduation: $22,256
No. 15 — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Average debt at graduation: $20,852
No. 66 — North Carolina State University, Average debt at graduation: $21,507
No. 85 — Wake Forest University, Average debt at graduation: $33,797
No. 111 — Appalachian State University, Average debt at graduation: $22,058
No. 132 — Elon University, Average debt at graduation: $30,170
No. 185 — Western Carolina University, Average debt at graduation: $20,201
No. 233 — University of North Carolina Wilmington, Average debt at graduation: $25,112
No. 236 — University of North Carolina at Asheville, Average debt at graduation: $22,026

To come up with the rankings, Kiplinger looks at admission and graduation rates, academic support, tuition costs and financial aid, average student debt and the salary graduates might earn a decade after they graduate. (You can read more about Kiplinger’s methodology here.)

The top 10 colleges on the list are:

Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusett Duke University, Durham, North Carolina Pomona College, Claremont, California Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Rice University, Houston, Texas Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

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