By Lauren Williams
4:39 PM PST, January 2, 2013
A recent ranking of the 100 best-value public schools in 2012 listed UC Irvine as No. 16 — one of five California schools in the top 20.
UCI, according to the ranking made by Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, admits 47% of those who apply and 65% of its students graduate within four years. The average UCI graduate leaves with $18,719 in debt, according to the listing.
Other Golden State schools to make the top 20 included UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara. In total, 12 California public schools made the top 100 list.
Although UC schools charged the five highest amounts for in-state students, those on the list were deemed among the best value for their students' SAT scores, their admission rates and "liberal" need-based financial aid that offset some of the costs, according to the report.
For example, UCI's total in-state cost was $27,528. After need-based aid was factored in, the in-state cost dropped to $11,659. The ranking also noted that the school retains 94% of its freshmen. UCI ranked 19th in out-of-state schools. Last year, UCI ranked 22nd for in-state schools and 17th for out-of-state schools, according to data provided by Kiplinger's.
The No. 1 value school on the list was University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, which lead the list for the 12th time, according to Kiplinger's.
Kiplinger's measured school's competitiveness, financial aid, academic support, four-year graduation rates and affordability as means to gauge the quality of the schools.