Good news for Longhorns: That University of Texas at Austin degree is one of the Best College Values in America. Kiplinger's annual roundup ranks UT Austin No. 13 among public colleges offering the most bang for your buck.
Kiplinger analyzed the cost and quality of education to determine the rankings. Impressive SAT and ACT scores from incoming freshman, a 52 percent four-year graduation rate, and a 17-1 student-to-faculty ratio contributed to UT's high academic score.
That quality education comes with a reasonable price tag compared to the public colleges on the list. One year at UT sets the average student back about $22,012, which takes into account in-state tuition, housing, and textbook costs. The price goes down to $12,894 per year for students who receive need-based financial aid, and 67 percent of financial aid needs are met at UT. However, the cost of college still haunts many students after they're done: The average debt at graduation is $27,207.
Non-Texan students don't get quite the same deal: UT ranks at No. 31 for out-of-state costs. The price of one year at UT for an out-of-state student is $46,882 ($37,764 with need-based financial aid), more than double the cost for a Texan student.
UT is the highest-ranking public college in Texas on the list: University of Texas at Dallas ranks No. 33, and Texas A&M University ranks No. 35. The public college with the best value is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.