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February 6, 2013 Published in Schools

The Princeton Review And USA TODAY Name UVA And William & Mary #1 And #4 Best Values For Public Universities For 2013


Staff Report

University of Virginia Rotunda (Courtesy photo)

The Princeton Review yesterday released its annual list of the nation's "Best Value Colleges" – a project the education services company originated in 2004 and has reported since 2009 with USA TODAY. The University of Virginia tops the list of public colleges and universities with the college of William & Mary fourth. Six other Virginia public schools made the list of the top 75 “Best Value Colleges 2013”: Christopher Newport University, George Mason University, James Madison University, Longwood University, Radford University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The University of Richmond was the only private school in Virginia that made the list.

“I want to congratulate the University of Virginia for moving up to take the top spot in this year’s Princeton Review rankings of the nation’s ‘Best Value Public Colleges.’  The recognition by this renowned source, naming the University of Virginia as the best value public college in the nation, and the College of William and Mary as the fourth-best value public college in America, demonstrates that our colleges and universities continue to grow in reputation, quality and value,” said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. “We are committed to continuing this progress. Our continued investments in higher education, initiated through our ‘Top Jobs’ legislation and strengthened through the more than $350 million allocated to higher education in the last two General Assembly sessions, are making the dream of an affordable college education a reality for more students across the Commonwealth. Just last year we saw the lowest average yearly tuition increases at our state colleges and universities in over a decade.

“I applaud President Teresa Sullivan, Rector Helen Dragas, Vice Rector George Martin, the UVa. Board of Visitors, and the faculty and staff for their dedication to continuing to make UVa one of the nation’s premier universities. I look forward to moving forward in our ongoing work with all public and private college and university presidents in Virginia to reach our goal of awarding 100,000 new degrees in the next 15 years, and continuing to make college more affordable and accessible for Virginia students,” McDonnell said.

The 2013 list identifies 150 colleges (75 public and 75 private) The Princeton Review designates as "Best Values" based on assessments that examined more than 30 data points covering academics, cost, and financial aid. The Company chose the 150 schools from 650 colleges and universities at which it conducted institutional and student surveys for this project in 2011-12.

Among the Princeton Review's "2013 Top 10 Public Best Value Colleges," the average cost of attendance for in-state students is about $8,300 (after deducting the average grants awarded to students with need). Among the Company's "2013 Top 10 Private Best Value Colleges," the average cost of attendance is about $17,600 (after deducting the average grants to students with need).

"We commend these colleges for their stellar academics and their exceptional affordability as evidenced by their generous financial aid awards or their comparatively low sticker prices—or both," said Robert Franek, Princeton Review's Senior VP/Publisher and lead author, The Best Value Colleges.

The Princeton Review "Top 10 Best Value Public Colleges for 2013" are:

1. University of Virginia (Charlottesville)

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

3. New College of Florida (Sarasota)

4. College of William & Mary (Williamsburg VA)

5. Univ. of California – Los Angeles

6. North Carolina State University (Raleigh)

7. University of Wisconsin (Madison)

8. State University of New York at Binghamton

9. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

10. University of Georgia (Athens)


The Princeton Review "Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges for 2013" are:

1. Swarthmore College (Swarthmore PA)

2. Harvard College (Cambridge MA)

3. Williams College (Williamstown MA)

4. Princeton University (Princeton NJ)

5. Pomona College (Claremont CA)

6. Yale University (New Haven CT)

7. Rice University (Houston TX)

8. Hamilton College (Clinton NY)

9. Claremont McKenna College (Claremont CA)

10. Grinnell College (Grinnell IA)


Academic factors included the quality of students the schools attract as measured by admissions credentials (e.g., average SAT / ACT score ranges and average high school GPA of enrolled freshmen) as well as by how students attending the schools rated their academic experiences and their professors on the student opinion surveys.

Cost of attendance factors included tuition, room and board, and required fees. Financial aid factors included the average gift aid (grants and scholarships, or free money) awarded to students, the percentage of graduating students who took out loans to pay for school, and the average debt of those students. Also included was survey data on how satisfied students were with the financial aid packages they received.

The Princeton Review's "Best Value Colleges for 2013"

Colleges in italics (25) were not on the list in 2012.



Fayetteville / University of Arkansas-Fayetteville



Berkeley / University of California – Berkeley

Claremont / Claremont McKenna (#9 Best Value Private College)

Claremont / Harvey Mudd College

Claremont / Pitzer College

Claremont / Pomona College (#5 Best Value Private College)

Claremont / Scripps College

Davis / University of California – Davis

Irvine / University of California – Irvine

La Jolla / University of California – San Diego

Long Beach / California State University – Long Beach

Los Angeles / Occidental College

Los Angeles / University of California – Los Angeles (#5 Best Value Public College)

Pasadena / California Institute of Technology

Redlands / University of Redlands

Riverside / University of California – Riverside

Santa Barbara / University of California – Santa Barbara

Santa Cruz / University of California – Santa Cruz

Santa Paula / Thomas Aquinas College

Stanford / Stanford University



Boulder / University of Colorado – Boulder

Colorado Springs / Colorado College



Hartford / Trinity College

Middletown / Wesleyan University

New Haven / Yale University (#6 Best Value Private College)

New London / Connecticut College



Newark / University of Delaware



Washington DC / Georgetown University



Gainesville / University of Florida

Jacksonville / University of North Florida

Orlando / University of Central Florida

Sarasota / New College of Florida (#3 Best Value Public College)

Tallahassee / Florida State University



Athens / University of Georgia (#10 Best Value Public College)

Atlanta / Emory University

Atlanta / Georgia Institute of Technology



Chicago / University of Chicago

Evanston / Northwestern University

Urbana / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Bloomington / Indiana University

Crawfordsville / Wabash College

Greencastle / DePauw University

South Bend / University of Notre Dame

West Lafayette / Purdue University



Ames / Iowa State University

Grinnell / Grinnell College (#10 Best Value Private College)



Baton Rouge / Louisiana State University



Bar Harbor / College of the Atlantic

Brunswick / Bowdoin College

Lewiston / Bates College

Waterville / Colby College



Baltimore / Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore / University of Maryland – Baltimore County

College Park / University of Maryland

St. Mary's City / St. Mary's College of Maryland



Amherst  / Amherst College

Amherst / University of Massachusetts

Boston / Boston College

Cambridge / Harvard College (#2 Best Value Private College)

Cambridge / Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Medford / Tufts University

Needham / Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Northampton / Smith College

South Hadley / Mount Holyoke College

Waltham / Brandeis University

Wellesley / Wellesley College

Williamstown / Williams College (#3 Best Value Private College)

Worcester / College of the Holy Cross

Worcester / Worcester State University



Ann Arbor / University of Michigan (#9 Best Value Public College)



Minneapolis / University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Northfield / Carleton College

Northfield / St. Olaf College

St. Paul / Macalester College



Kansas City / University of Missouri – Kansas City

Kirksville / Truman State University

Rolla / Missouri University of Science and Technology

St. Louis / Washington University



Lincoln / University of Nebraska



Hanover / Dartmouth College



Ewing / The College of New Jersey

Princeton / Princeton University (#4 Best Value Private College)



Annandale-on-Hudson / Bard College

Binghamton – State University of New York at Binghamton (#8 Best Value Public College)

Brooklyn / City University of New York – Brooklyn College

Buffalo / State University of New York – University at Buffalo

Clinton / Hamilton College (#8 Best Value Private College)

Geneseo / State University of New York at Geneseo

Hamilton / Colgate University

Ithaca / Cornell University

New York / Barnard College

New York / City University of New York – City College

New York / City University of New York – Hunter College

New York / Columbia University

Oswego / State University of New York at Oswego

Poughkeepsie / Vassar College

Saratoga Springs  / Skidmore College

Purchase / State University of New York – Purchase College

Stony Brook / State University of New York – Stony Brook University

Syracuse / State University of New York – College of Environmental Science and Forestry



Asheville / University of North Carolina at Asheville

Chapel Hill / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#2 Best Value Public College)

Davidson / Davidson College

Durham / Duke University

Raleigh / North Carolina State University (#6 Best Value Public College)

Wilmington / University of North Carolina – Wilmington

Winston Salem / Wake Forest University



Gambier / Kenyon College

Oberlin / Oberlin College



Norman / University of Oklahoma

Stillwater / Oklahoma State University



Portland / Reed College



Bryn Mawr / Bryn Mawr College

Easton / Lafayette College

Gettysburg / Gettysburg College

Haverford / Haverford College

Lewisburg / Bucknell University

Philadelphia / University of Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh / University of Pittsburgh

Swarthmore / Swarthmore College (#1 Best Value Private College)



Providence / Brown University



Charleston / College of Charleston

Clemson / Clemson University

Columbia / University of South Carolina



Knoxville / University of Tennessee – Knoxville

Martin / University of Tennessee at Martin

Memphis / Rhodes College

Nashville / Vanderbilt University

Sewanee / The University of the South



Austin / University of Texas at Austin

College Station / Texas A&M University

Dallas / University of Texas at Dallas

Houston / Rice University (#7 Best Value Private College)

Houston / University of Houston




Cedar City / Southern Utah University



Middlebury / Middlebury College



Blacksburg / Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Charlottesville / University of Virginia (#1 Best Value Public College)

Fairfax / George Mason University

Farmville / Longwood University

Harrisonburg / James Madison University

Newport News / Christopher Newport University

Radford / Radford University

Richmond / University of Richmond

Williamsburg / College of William & Mary (#4 Best Value Public College)



Pullman / Washington State University

Seattle / University of Washington

Walla Walla / Whitman College



Eau Claire / University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Madison / University of Wisconsin – Madison (#7 Best Value Public College)

Yale University – New Haven CT (#6 Best Value Private College)

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