Forbes Ranks UNC Wilmington among the Top 20 "Best Buy" Universities in the Nation

Monday, August 16, 2010

The University of North Carolina Wilmington skyrocketed to number 17 on Forbes Magazine's 2010 list of "America's Best College Buys." This ranking places UNCW in the magazine's top 20 among all colleges and universities in the U.S. for providing a high quality education at the lowest cost to students.

"This recognition from Forbes is extremely gratifying," said Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo. "It reflects the strategic planning and intentional allocation of resources we have undertaken on our campus to provide students with the most powerful learning experience in a very efficient and cost-effective manner.

"It is a particular compliment to our faculty and staff, who have worked tirelessly through budget cuts and lack of salary increases in recent years to ensure that academic quality remained a top priority, even as resources decreased. I applaud their daily commitment to our students."

With its 17th place standing, UNC Wilmington is second on the list among University of North Carolina system schools, and ranks ahead of numerous institutions in bordering states, including the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, James Madison University, the University of Virginia, Mary Washington, William and Mary, Virginia Tech, George Mason, The Citadel and College of Charleston.

In its introduction to the 2010 "America's Best College Buys," Forbes states: "In the last 20 years tuition and fees at America's four-year institutions have exploded, growing 91 percent beyond the rate of inflation. This is of great concern to many college students and their parents… Knowing where you can get the most quality for each tuition dollar spent can help."

The Forbes "America's Best College Buys" rankings are based on a formula that measures academic quality divided by costs to students. With zero tuition, the three U.S. military academies (West Point, Air Force and Navy) score very well, and are represented in five of the top 10 places on the list.

Overall, the UNC system was ranked well in the 2010 best buy list, with four UNC institutions in the top 25 and seven in the top 50. DePaolo noted that this reflects not only the historic low tuition approach of the state, but also the fact that North Carolina has been committed to keeping tuition and fee increases relatively modest and stable during the past decade, which has not been the case in some other states.

"This reflects North Carolina's commitment to provide its students with high quality, affordable public higher education," she said. "Even though difficult economic conditions have necessitated some increases in tuition and fees, the system and the individual campuses have done everything in our power to keep those increases as low as possible."

UNC Wilmington also ranked second among UNC system universities in Forbes' overall 2010 list of "America's Best Colleges".

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