Quality and cost make JMU a winner

by Janet Smith


James Madison University has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s list of 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2015, ranking No. 21. In addition, JMU is No. 133 on the personal finance magazine’s first combined list of 300 top public, private and liberal arts colleges.

The annual list of public colleges spotlights four-year schools that Kiplinger’s ranks on assessed quality according to measurable standards, including admission rate, percentage of students who return for sophomore year, student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Kiplinger’s bases its rankings on a formula of 55 percent quality measures and 45 percent financial measures.

JMU’s four-year graduation rate is 65 percent. The school has a 16 students per faculty ratio, a 61 percent admission rate and a 92 percent freshman retention rate. The university’s total cost per year for Virginia students ($19,366) and cost after need-based aid for in-state students ($11,806) also contributed to the favorable ranking. JMU graduates hold an average debt at graduation of $23,562.

Kiplinger’s analyzed data from nearly 1,200 public and private four-year schools to determine its best values for 2015. The complete rankings are available at The rankings will appear in the February 2015 issues of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

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Dec. 22, 2014

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Published: Monday, December 22, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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