Rice University is ranked No. 4 on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s 2015 list of best values among private universities.
The rankings cite four-year schools that combine highest-quality academics and very generous financial aid packages that make education affordable. Princeton, Yale and Harvard universities took the top three spots on the list. Rice has placed among Kiplinger’s top five private best values since the rankings began in 1999, when Rice was No. 1.
This year for the first time, Kiplinger’s also published a ranking that combines private and public best-value schools. Rice is No. 7 on that list. It’s also No. 1 on Kiplinger’s 2015 list of best college values in the West/Southwest and No. 4 on the list of best values in small colleges.
“Rice stands out for its top-notch academics, including a low 6-to-1 student-faculty ratio and a 98 percent freshmen-retention rate,” Kiplinger’s editors wrote. “It’s also an attractive choice for families who don’t quality for financial aid but aren’t millionaires either.”
Kiplinger’s also noted that Rice’s annual sticker price of $54,766 is the lowest among the top 20 schools on the combined list of private and public best values.
The editors assess academic quality on the basis of multiple factors, including admission rate, percentage of students who return for sophomore year, student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker prices, financial aid and average debt at graduation.
Rice University admits students regardless of their ability to pay and provides financial aid packages that meet 100 percent of their demonstrated need. 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. Rice has a $10,000 limit on required loans in financial aid packages for other need-eligible incoming freshmen for their four undergraduate years.
The complete rankings and more info about the methodology are available at kiplinger.com/links/college.