Virginia Tech has again been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 best values in public colleges for 2011-12. The ranking cites four-year colleges and universities that combine outstanding education with economic value.

Since the ranking began in 2006, Kiplinger’s has included Virginia Tech each year among the top public universities for its value in this annual survey.

Kiplinger’s assesses quality and affordability according to several measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger’s changed how it determined its rankings, giving more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low tuition and fees, abundant financial aid, and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, editors say, the overall focus on value remains the same.

“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value’ is more significant than ever,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “This year’s top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices. We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality.”

Virginia Tech continues to increase its affordability for students by increasing instructional funding for student financial aid. More than 60 percent of Virginia Tech students receive some type of financial aid.

The Funds for the Future program, for example, protects certain groups of low-income undergraduates from increases in tuition and fees, and reduces other unmet needs for certain groups of low-income undergraduates.

Presidential Campus Enrichment Awards assists academically talented, low-income high school students from Virginia who demonstrate persistence and a commitment to academic excellence.

Six other Virginia schools made Kiplinger’s 2012 list: the University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, James Madison University, University of Mary Washington, George Mason University, and Christopher Newport University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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