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Magazine names Binghamton a ‘best value’

Binghamton University ranks first in the nation for out-of-state students on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s new list of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges. Binghamton, which placed fifth overall, is also the best value for New York residents as no other school in the state placed higher.

The annual list ranks four-year public colleges and universities that combine outstanding economic value with a high-quality education.

“Binghamton offers an excellent education at a reasonable price,” President Lois B. DeFleur said, “and I am pleased that the University has received national recognition for its quality education.”

Selected from a pool of more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities, schools on the Kiplinger’s list were ranked according to academic quality, cost and financial aid, with academic measurements accounting for almost two-thirds of the total score. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leads the list, whose top 10 also includes the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.

Cheryl Brown, director of undergraduate admissions, noted that the rankings weigh academic excellence more heavily than cost. “It’s our quality, it’s our graduation rates, it’s our achievement, it’s our retention that put us in this fine company,” she said.

Brown said college expenses are an extraordinary burden for many families. “It helps to have this kind of validation that the price of Binghamton also gives them such a quality place,” she said.

At Binghamton, total costs for in-state students are $14,788, or $10,000 after financial aid. That figure, which includes tuition, room, board and fees, is a third of total costs at many private institutions.

Tuition and fees at four-year public institutions have risen 35 percent during the past four years, according to the College Board. Yet “real values are still available,” says Fred Frailey, editor of Kiplinger’s. “The Kiplinger 100 helps students and their families determine the best match for their educational goals and financial resources,” he said.

Other publications also consistently cite Binghamton’s outstanding education.

The University has been among the elite top 50 public national universities in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list for 10 years, coming in 38th this year. And the 2007 edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges again recognizes Binghamton as the “premier public university in the Northeast.”

DeFleur noted that many prospective students and their parents rely on such rankings as starting points for their college searches. “This gives the University more opportunities to attract talented students to join our vibrant campus community,” she said.

Indeed, Brown said that Binghamton has already received 17 percent more applications than it had at this time a year ago. Some of that increase may be attributed to students applying earlier in the cycle, but she’s confident overall applications will once again rise this year.

The Kiplinger’s list appears in the magazine’s February issue and at View the rankings by state or by cost, quality or financial-aid measures at
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Last Updated: 10/14/08