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University of Florida Gets High Marks for Affordable Education

July 29, 2014 - 6:00pm

Attending college can be a costly affair for many students, requiring most to take out loans, leaving them to wonder if college is even worth it at all. But according to a new set of rankings from Money Magazine, some colleges give students more bang for their buck -- and one of the top 10 best public colleges for the value is one of Floridas very own.

Gainesville-based University of Florida ranked in the top 50 (placing at No. 28) for the money among 665 colleges across the country and placed at No. 7 for public institutions nationwide.

To get the rankings, Money Magazine took a closer look at the countrys 1,500 colleges and kept schools with above-average six-year graduation rates in their institutional category (public or private) and eliminating those with graduation rates below the median. The magazine also nixed colleges suffering financial difficulties and didnt include military schools.

The remaining 665 schools were then given points in 18 different areas based on their quality of education, their affordability and their outcomes.

Some qualifiers included the standardized test scores of entering freshmen, the net price of a degree, student-to-faculty ratios, debt incurred, as well as early and mid-career earnings.

With tuition costing only $6,000 a year for in-state students and an 85 percent graduation rate, UF offers the best of both worlds in terms of academic excellence as well as affordability.

"We know students, their families and others are more sensitive than ever to the cost of a college education, so this ranking comes at a good time and affirms that the University of Florida is truly an outstanding value," UF President Bernie Machen said.

This isnt the first time UF has garnered attention for its affordability. Earlier this year, Kiplinger Personal Finance ranked the university at No. 3 for the college with the best value.

UF was the only Florida university to rank in Money Magazines top 100. The next Florida college to be ranked by Money Magazine was New Collegeof Florida, which came in at No. 134. Florida State University ranked No. 223.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen.

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