WEST CHESTER West Chester University has again been named one of the nation's top values for public colleges and universities, according to Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine.

Each year since 2008 the Chester County school has made the list, which ranks institutions based on quality of education and overall cost to students. This year, West Chester is ranked 77th among the top 100 schools.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is No. 1 on the list. The University of Delaware is No. 32. The College of New Jersey is 34th, Rutgers University 47th, and Pennsylvania State University 53d.

The list is compiled using data from 600 public schools, with criteria such as the admission rate; test scores of incoming students; graduation rates; and costs of tuition and room and board.

West Chester, which has just fewer than 16,000 students, also ranks in the top 20 when assessed for cost to in-state and out-of-state students, said university spokeswoman Loretta MacAlpine.

"Considering the academic quality that you get here in terms of the faculty and the classes, I think the value is only increasing," MacAlpine said.

Kiplinger lists the cost per year for in-state students as $18,036, with the cost to out-of-state students $28,160. Average student debt at graduation was listed at $30,345.



West Chester University's rank among Kiplinger's top 100 best values in public colleges


WCU's admittance rate


WCU's 4-year graduation rate


WCU's total cost per year (in-state)


WCU's cost after need-based aid (in-state)


average debt at graduation

SOURCES: Kiplinger, Peterson's Undergraduate Database.