UT has been included in the Princeton Review’s “Best Value Colleges” for the ninth consecutive year since the book’s debut in 2010. Only 7 percent of all four-year colleges in the United States made it into the 2019 list consisting of 384 schools.
According to the 2019 edition of “Best Value Colleges,” UT’s return on investment rating is 90 out of 99. The return on investment rating refers to the profit or loss a student obtains from attending UT and considers academic rating, financial aid rating and the cost of college.
Joey Williams, director of communications, said one of UT’s strengths is financial aid, which is rated 79 out of 99. In 2018, the University created a financial aid plan called the Texas Advanced Commitment, which guarantees financial aid to students with lower to middle class economic status.
“We need to do a better job, and I think that’s why they created the Texas Advanced Commitment,” Williams said. “We’re guaranteeing that all students that come from families of less than $30,000 … (will get their) full cost of tuition paid for.”
Despite being on every edition of “Best Value Colleges,” UT does not make any decisions based off of these ratings, Williams said.
“Because we’re making a lot of good decisions, the rankings kind of help reflect the fact that we’ve been doing a good job,” Williams said. “The University is ranked really highly in a lot of the big rankings that come out …. It’s great that the rankings acknowledge the academic strength of the University, but it’s not something the University sets out to do.”
David Soto, director of content development for the Princeton Review, said the initial reason for the book was to let students know the strengths of different colleges, such as affordability and academics, so they can have more information to help them navigate the college application process.
“We tout the robust student body (and) the campus life,” said Soto, who co-wrote the 2019 edition of “Best Value Colleges.” “Students love Austin … (and UT has) top rate professors. Kudos to UT for making it into the book and providing that excellent value for students.”
The data for the “Best Value College’s” rankings come from the University, PayScale.com and student surveys.
These surveys ask about financial aid, food on campus and general quality of life at UT. Exercise science senior Domenica Sutherland said she would rate quality of life at UT a 7 out of 10.
“UT has done a really good job of creating a culture that makes you feel included,” Sutherland said. “When you’re a Longhorn, you have a sense of pride that’s associated with that.”