UMass Amherst Ranked a ‘Best Value’ Public University by Kiplinger’s

The 2018 ranking of 300 public and private four-year schools is based on objective measurements of academic quality and affordability.

The magazine’s latest rankings, published Dec. 22, rate UMass Amherst as the 57th best value for Massachusetts residents and 44th for out-of-state students.

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.

The full rankings are available online at kiplinger.com/links/colleges and will appear in print in the February 2018 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands Jan. 9.