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Rice beats Yale in rankings; University of Texas lauded for its low-cost tuition

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The Princeton Review and USA Today have partnered to release a list of the nation's best value colleges, and two Texas pillars of higher education make the list.

Princeton Review has been compiling the annual list, which singles out undergraduate programs with excellent academics, good financial aid and comparatively low cost of attendance, since 2004.

Of the 150 schools listed (75 public and 75 private), Houston's own Rice University is ranked fifth in the best value private colleges, behind Williams (No. 1), Swarthmore, Princeton and Harvard. (Yale trails at No. 8.)

Princeton Review cites Rice's devotion to its students as a major draw. 

Princeton Review cites Rice's devotion to its students as a major draw.

"Rice meets 100 percent of demonstrated need for all admitted students," the Princeton Review writes. "As of 2009, Rice eliminated loans to students whose family income is below $80,000, instead meeting their need through a combination of grants, work-study, merit aid (if qualified) and institutional funds."

Another popular alma mater of Houstonians — the University of Texas at Austin — is ranked the 10th best value among public universities and is hailed for its low in-state tuition, at just over $9,000 per year.

Other high-ranking public universities include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (No. 1), the University of Virginia, Florida's New College, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Florida and the University of Georgia.

The University of Houston also appears in the list of the 75 best value public institutions, but is not ranked in the top 10. (Schools outside the top 10 in both categories are listed alphabetically, but not ranked.)

To view the full rankings, click here.

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