Kiplinger ranks Rice as a top 10 best-value university

Rice University ranks No. 5 among private universities in Kiplinger’s “300 Best College Values for 2018.” On the combined list of private and public colleges and universities, Rice is No. 8.

drawing of graduation cap with packets of dollar bills under it

Starting with nearly 1,200 schools, Kiplinger trimmed the list using measures of academic quality and then ranked the schools based on cost and financial aid data.

Among the factors used for analysis of academic quality and affordability are admission rate (percentage of applicants offered admission), yield (percentage of students who enroll out of those admitted), percentage of incoming freshmen who are high scorers on the SAT or ACT, four-year graduation rate, freshman retention rate, average number of students per faculty member, financial aid, students’ average debt at graduation and the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board.

“Stronger test scores than in previous years and robust financial aid awards helped Rice University return to the top 10 on our combined list this year,” the Kiplinger staff wrote in its profile of Rice. “The school, located in the heart of the country’s fourth-largest city, also stands out for its low six-to-one student-faculty ratio and 96 percent freshman retention rate. With the lowest sticker price in our combined top 10, the school is an attractive option for families regardless of how much aid they think they may qualify for.”

Rice is often cited as one of the country’s best-value private schools because its tuition tends to be lower than at peer research universities and its financial aid policy is reviewed annually to keep the university’s high-quality education affordable to students from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Rice replaces federal loan requirements with scholarship grants for students who qualify for need-based aid and whose annual family income is no more than $80,000. Other students who have demonstrated financial need are not required to take out more than a total of $10,000 in federal loans for their four undergraduate years at Rice.

The complete list of Kiplinger’s new rankings is available at

About B.J. Almond

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