UT Dallas Is a Wise Investment

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

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