Binghamton ranked among nation's top values
From Staff Reports
Binghamton University is once again ranked among the nation's top values in public colleges, according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.
Binghamton is ranked No. 2 for out-of-state students, making it one of the most affordable universities in the nation for non-New York students. Binghamton is also ranked 12th for in-state students, making it a top buy for New Yorkers. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger's February 2012 issue on newsstands and online.
"Our goal is to provide the highest quality education to our students," says Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. "These rankings demonstrate that we are doing exactly that. Despite a challenging economy, we continue to do a good job of providing a great education at an accessible price."
The Kiplinger's rankings assess quality and affordability according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger's revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same. Many schools have appeared on the list multiple times, including Binghamton University, a testament to the consistent value these colleges provide.
"Kiplinger's is a nice ranking because it looks at how successful you are at taking a family's resources and turning it into a college degree," Stenger said. "It is an objective measurement of how much it costs to come here for an in-state student or out-of-state student, what is the percentage of students who graduate within four years and what the debt load is of the student who leaves here."
According to Kiplinger's, private colleges have recently averaged almost $39,000 a year − a sharp contrast to the public schools on the top 100 list, in which a third charge the same or less than the average annual in-state sticker price of roughly $17,000. Plus, the deals aren't restricted to in-state students. At Binghamton University, which is among the top values for out-of-state students, non-New Yorkers pay $27,136 a year.
Other public universities on Kiplinger's top best values list include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Florida, the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary. Schools behind Binghamton University on the in-state rankings included the University of Wisconsin, the University of Washington and the University of Michigan.
"It's a good day when Binghamton is ahead of Madison and Ann Arbor," Stenger said.