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January 22, 2015

Pitt slips in best-value ranking

Pitt ranked No. 150 in an annual Kiplinger’s Best College Values listing of the 300 best college values in the United States. For the first time, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked public and private institutions together  to facilitate comparisons in a combined rating.

Private institutions dominated the top 21 spots on the list, led by Princeton, Yale, Swarthmore, Washington and Lee, and Wellesley.

Compared with public institutions, Pitt slipped a bit, ranking No. 47 for in-state students (down from No. 45 in the 2014 rankings) and No. 34 for out-of-state students (down from No. 19).

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, No. 22 overall, ranked at the top of public best-value schools, followed by the University of Virginia (No. 42 overall), University of Florida (No. 72 overall), University of California-Berkeley (No. 66 overall) and UCLA (No. 75 overall).

The rankings are based on a combination of quality and financial measures including admission and yield rates, freshman retention, faculty-student ratios, costs, financial aid and student debt.

According to the publication, the 2015 list for the first time measures only four-year graduation rates, reasoning that faster graduation is more economical.

Pitt posted an admit rate of 54 percent, with a student-faculty ratio of 14:1 and four-year graduation rate of 64 percent.

Pitt’s total cost per year for out-of-state students was $40,138, $29,742 for in-state students.

The College Board estimates the 2014-15 average sticker price for out-of-state students at public colleges is $32,762.

After need-based aid, the cost for out-of-state students at Pitt averaged $32,497, $22,101 for in-state students.

The average need-based aid was $7,641, and average non-need based aid was $11,566, with 4 percent of undergraduates without need receiving non-need-based aid.

According to the ranking, Pitt students carried an average debt at graduation of $34,623.

Details on the rankings can be found at

—Kimberly K. Barlow