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West Chester University is among the 100 best values in public colleges, according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
West Chester was selected from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities. Schools in the Kiplinger 100 were ranked according to academic quality, including admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, tuition cost, average debt and four- and six-year graduation rates, as well as on cost and financial aid.
Of the six Pennsylvania public colleges listed, only the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University Park rank higher than WCU, which is listed at number 71 for in-state value and 52 for out-of-state value.
“Despite rising tuition costs, there are still many first-rate institutions providing outstanding academics at an affordable price,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s. “Schools like these on the Kiplinger 100 list prove graduates can enter the workforce with a great education — and without a huge cloud of debt.”
According to Kiplinger’s, the national average annual in-state sticker price of public schools on the list is $16,140, including fees and room and board. WCU’s annual cost for in-state full-time students is $16,260 with fees and room and board, putting West Chester in the top 25 for lowest in-state costs. The national average for out-of-state cost is $28,130; WCU’s is $24,966, putting West Chester at number 10 when the colleges are ranked by lowest out-of-state costs.
Kiplinger’s first analysis of public universities was in 1998 and West Chester first made the list in 2007 at number 93. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger’s February 2011 issue and online at www.kiplinger.com/tools/colleges.