Kiplinger ranks Rice No. 2 best-value university

Rice University moves up from No. 4 in ranking of private universities

Rice University is ranked the country’s No. 2 best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

The 2012-13 rankings released today highlight schools that offer high-quality academics and generous financial aid.

Kiplinger noted that Rice’s 6-to-1 student-faculty ratio is among the lowest for both liberal arts colleges and for private universities, and that 96 percent of full-time faculty have a Ph.D. or the equivalent.

Although Yale University is ranked No. 1, Kiplinger noted that “Rice’s sticker price is the lowest among our top 20 universities, and its need-based aid reduces the cost for students who qualify to an average of less than $20,000.”

Kiplinger takes into account a school’s competitiveness (the percentage of applicants offered admission and the percentage of those students who enrolled; SAT and ACT scores of the freshman class), academic support (student-faculty ratio; the percentage of freshmen who return for their sophomore year) and graduation rates (the percentage of freshmen who earn a bachelor’s degree within four or five years).

Financial measures include cost and financial aid (tuition, mandatory fees, room-and-board and book expenses; cost after need-based aid and non-need-based aid, the percentage of need met and the percentage of non-need-based aid) and student indebtedness (the average debt at graduation, based on graduates who took out education loans).

For the past four years, Rice has ranked No. 4 on Kiplinger’s best-value list.

“I am thrilled that the combination of Rice’s commitment to generous financial aid and need-blind admission, reflected in the remarkable quality and diversity of our undergraduate student body, and the extraordinary quality of our total undergraduate experience have once again been recognized, indeed at an even higher level, by Kiplinger’s,” Rice President David Leebron said.

Rice admits students regardless of their ability to pay and provides financial aid packages that meet 100 percent of their demonstrated need. At Rice, freshmen who qualify for need-based aid and whose family annual income is $80,000 or less are not required to take out loans to pay for their education. And Rice has a $10,000 limit on loans in financial aid packages for other need-eligible incoming freshmen for their four undergraduate years.

“Unlike many top-tier institutions, Rice also awards merit aid to a significant percentage of students, at an average of almost $16,000,” Kiplinger wrote in its description of Rice.

Earlier this year the Princeton Review ranked Rice No. 1 for happiest students and No. 2 for best quality of life, best-run college and students’ love of their school.

To view Kiplinger’s complete list of 100 private best-value schools, go to




About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.