Don't want to get nickeled and dimed to death by an institution of higher education? Then now's the time to consult the 2013 Best Values in Public Colleges list in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.
For the ranking, Kiplinger selected 100 U.S. universities based on cost factors (like tuition costs, financial aid and student indebtedness) as well as quality considerations (think competitiveness, graduation rates and academic support).
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took the top spot on the list for the 12th year running, which Kiplinger accredits to the school's "stellar academics, reasonable sticker price and generous financial aid."
Texas A&M University ranked No. 18 on the list, and although the College Station school has a significantly higher enrollment tally and a significantly lower annual tuition cost than UNC, the overall graduation rate is lower and the average student debt at graduation is higher.
The University of Virginia took No. 2 on the list, followed by the University of Florida, College of William and Mary and the University of Maryland, College Park.