AMHERST, Mass. – For an eighth straight year, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is among the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges” compiled by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. The 2017 ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.
The magazine’s latest rankings, published Dec. 15, rate UMass Amherst as the 46th best value for Massachusetts residents and 52nd for out-of-state students. Both rankings are up 10 places from last year.
To develop the rankings, Kiplinger’s uses data from more than 600 public, four-year schools and weighs academic quality, cost and financial aid to develop its 100 top value list. Each school is ranked based on cost measures and financial aid. Cost accounts for 45 percent, and quality accounts for the other 55 percent.
The academic quality calculation considers SAT or ACT scores, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, four- and six-year graduation rates, and the percentage of students who return for their sophomore year.
To assess costs, the magazine weighs the total expenses for in-state students, including tuition, mandatory fees, room, board and books; the average cost for a student with need after subtracting grants but not loans; the average cost for a student without need after subtracting non-need-based grants; the average percentage of need met by aid; the percentage of students who borrow, and the average debt per student borrower at graduation.
Out-of-state rankings are based on academic quality, total costs for out-of-state residents and average costs after financial aid.