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Public US. colleges offering the best value for money.

While looking for a public college, here are some things you should consider.

   Cost and Financial aid availability.
   Student indebtedness on completing college.
   Competitiveness of the college.
   Graduation rates of students.
   Academic support to students.

With this criteria in mind, the University of North Carolina Chapel hill is at the top. It has top notch academic standards and greatly affordable with lots of financial aid available to students. It has a graduation rate of 77% and only 31% of applicants are admitted meaning its very competitive and has a large pool of talent choose students from.

Total cost of attending this University is less than $20,000 and financial aid brings the cost down to less than $7,000. They also offer financial aid to 100% of their students who need it.

Truman State university ranks among the top 20 due to its affordability and very good academic standards. Truman State is very competitive with 27% of freshmen scoring higher than 30 on their ACT. They have a 16-to-1 faculty-to-student ratio and in-state students pay $15,000 while out-of-state students pay $21,000. There is a generous financial aid which brings down cost for in-state students to about $8,950 and out of state to $14,600.

Another top college in the list is SUNY Geneseo College in Rochester NY. It has high academic standards and its out of state tuition is about $27,000 per year which is one of the lowest out of state tuitions around.

Other public colleges at the top of the list include the University of Virginia, with a 97% freshman retention rate and a 87% graduation rate on its 4-year programs.

The University of Maryland at College Park improved its 4 year graduation rate and has a low cost too.

While State colleges have had to grapple with bad economic times, often times increasing class sizes and reducing staff, they have tried to keep increases in student costs to a minimum.

The other issue students have to deal with is that a college degree is not a ticket to a good life any more. While this is true, it is also true that college graduates make about $20,000 more a year than a typical high school graduate.

State colleges in California are the best performing colleges and many appear in the top 100. University of California Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz rank high. California colleges have higher average tuition but their academics are top notch. UCLA admit only 25% of applicants with 44% of them getting higher than 700 on the math portion of SAT and 22% getting 700 on the language part.

The best thing with California colleges is that most students qualify for need-based financial aid and nearly half of the students don't pay any tuition at all.