U.Va. is nation's best public college in latest Business Insider ranking

University places first on list of top 14 public colleges


Wednesday’s announcement came days after the Princeton Review listed the University as one of the best 381 colleges.

Celina Hu | Cavalier Daily

The University is the top public college in the nation, according to a list released Wednesday by Business Insider.

The ranking considered factors like average annual net costs, four-year graduation rates, average SAT scores, retention rates and median earnings of graduates.

“This year, we adopted a new methodology that put less weight [on] glamour statistics, like reputation and selectivity, and more emphasis on hard measures that demonstrate a school's efficacy,” Business Insider wrote.

The average annual net costs came from the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard, which lists the annual net cost of the University as $17,149. This figure is slightly above the national average of $16,574.

The median salary for University graduates 10 years after enrolling is $58,600, which is above College Scorecard’s national average of $34,300.

Business Insider’s ranking gave the University an A+ for student life and noted the large number of student organizations and varsity sports, as well as a “work hard, play hard” mentality.

“U.Va. first-year students can choose from four undergraduate schools: arts and sciences, architecture, engineering or nursing,” Business Insider wrote. “U.Va. also has a ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. The university boasts more than 600 student clubs and 25 varsity sports.”

Business Insider’s listing of the top 14 public schools in the U.S. also included the College of William & Mary at number 14.

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of California at Berkeley ranked second and third, respectively.

In terms of the top 50 colleges in the nation — including both public and private schools — Business Insider ranked the University as the ninth best school in the country. Princeton University received the top spot in the ranking, followed by Harvard University and Yale University.

Wednesday’s announcement came days after the Princeton Review listed the University as one of the best 381 colleges — a list that does not rank colleges numerically. The University took top spots in several Princeton Review categories, including number 11 for “best alumni network,” number 14 for “colleges that pay you back” and number 17 for “most active student governments.”

related stories