Last year, Kiplinger listed the University of Texas at Dallas as the 69th-best deal for in-staters among public colleges. This year, the school formerly known as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest moves way, way up to the No. 50 slot, after the personal-finance advisors factored in both academic criteria (such as SAT scores and admission, retention and graduation rates) and financial considerations (including tuition for in-state students and average cost per student without a student loan).
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UTD is touting itself as "one of the 100 best values among public colleges in the United States," and only two other Texas schools crack the Kiplinger Top 100: the University of Texas at Austin (No. 24) and Texas A&M University (No. 25). Among the most interesting stats from the Kiplinger chart is the average debt of a student post-graduation: At UTD, that figure is around $16,895, or $95 more than that of the average UT-Austin grad. And in other awesome UTD news, there's an American Idol-watching party Tuesday from 7-10 p.m. in the Galaxy Rooms of the Student Union! I will bring the popcorn and Kahlua. --Robert Wilonsky