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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).

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

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.