Students are getting a “bang for their buck” at UC Davis, according to Princeton Review and USA Today.
The test prep center and the publication agree that UC Davis offers students quality academics at a reasonable price. UC Davis made Princeton Review’s top 100 list for 2009.
“In these tough economic times, with college expensive and loans so hard to come by, we want parents and students to know there are some colleges out there that provide value,” said Harriet Brand, the Review’s spokesperson.
With a multitude of student job opportunities and a diverse population, Princeton Review called UC Davis a “vibrant campus community” with “rigorous academics” and a “world-class research university, offering some of the best undergraduate research opportunities anywhere.“
Four other California schools made the top 10 list. UC San Diego, California Institute of Technology, Pomona and Stanford ranked numbers 7, 8, 9 and 10, respectively. Aside from the top 10, the other schools are not ranked.
University of Virginia (Charlottesville) was the #1 Best Value Public College and Swathmore College (Swathmore, PA) is the #1 Best Value Private College. The list ranks the top 10 public and private schools on separate lists and the remaining schools are alphabetically ordered.
“For parents and students it’s a challenge for families to identify not only best school for them academically and socially but which school for them will have the best prospect to get financial aid,” said Jeanne Krier, publicity director at Princeton Review.
Schools and families are struggling at both ends. Not only are public schools suffering from decreased state funding, while students are striving to get into college as well as find the money to pay for it.
“Hopefully [the list] will help meet that goal for finding the best school for you,” Krier said. “Many are surprised because they hear about a sticker price which is very daunting and takes a while to understand there is very generous financial aid at school. People are put off by the sticker prices without realizing the financial aid.”
Aid at UC Davis is focused on needy students. More than half the student body receives some kind of financial aid, and merit-based scholarships are also awarded. The university has a variety of student and parent loans and deferred payment plans. The UC system frequently supplies full tuition costs with university grant funding, according to the Princeton Review.
The average need-based gift given to freshmen is $9,655, while the average given in loans is $4,425.
In-state tuition fees for California residents is $8,299 per year, while out of state students pay $26,984, which includes $20,021 of nonresident tuition. Freshmen pay an extra $11,978 to live in the dorms and use a meal plan. Students pay about $1,506 for books and supplies.
The list drew from more than 650 institutions, taking into account 30 factors in academics, cost of attendance and financial aid. The report used data from each college or university’s 2007-2008 academic year.
Princeton Review also took into account the percentage of graduating seniors who borrowed in loans and the average debt they had after graduation. Forty-six percent of UC Davis grads borrowed and the average indebtedness was $14,372.
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.