Kiplinger's Personal Finance coverNorthern Arizona University ranks as one of the nation’s best values in public colleges—and the best value in the state, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

In its February issue, NAU ranks 63rd for in-state value and 71st for out-of-state value out of 100 schools that “deliver first-rate education without breaking the bank.”

“The issues of accessibility and affordability remain central to our mission,” said David Bousquet, NAU vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “NAU’s ranking in Kiplinger’s magazine is a testament to our ability to offer a great value to students who want an exceptional education in an exceptional location.”

All three of Arizona’s public colleges made the Kiplinger’s Top 100: the University of Arizona ranks 85th for in-state and 95th for out-of-state, while Arizona State University ranks 92nd for in-state and 98th for out-of-state.

Topping the “best values” list is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The rankings are based on data that more than 500 public four-year colleges and universities provided to Peterson’s/Nelnet. Kiplinger’s supplemented Peterson’s data with its own reporting. The list was narrowed to about 120 schools based on several measures of academic quality—including freshman entrance exam scores, admission, retention and graduation rates, and student-faculty ratios. Each school is then ranked based on cost and financial aid.

The Kiplinger’s article and rankings are available on the magazine’s web site.