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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Two University of Tennessee campuses rank high in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “best buy” college ratings.

UT-Knoxville is listed as the 12th best educational value in the nation. UT-Chattanooga is third among regional universities in the South.

The news weekly, which annually rates the nation’s best colleges and universities, also has UT-Knoxville ninth on its list of national universities whose students have the least amount of debt when they leave school.

The UT campuses are “sticker price” best values, which takes the school’s quality rating and divides it by tuition, required fees and room and board for the 1996-97 academic year, the magazine says.

UT-Knoxville was eighth in the sticker price ranking last year and seventh in 1994. UT-Knoxville has the lowest out-of-state tuition and fees (used for the rankings) of the top 20 schools on the sticker value list.

UT-Knoxville in-state, undergraduate students pay only $2,220 per year in tuition and required fees. The average cost for room and board is approximately $3,600 a year. A recent Government Accounting Office survey shows UT-Knoxville’s fees are approximately 25 percent below the national average for four-year, public universities. UT-Chattanooga’s were 32 percent below the national average.

Chancellor Fred Obear said UTC will feel the impact of the U.S. News ranking a year from now.

“As prospective students and their parents are beginning to make decisions about where they will go in 1997, this ranking and recognition will serve us very well,” Obear said.

“These rankings have a long-term positive benefit for the university. They attract more outstanding students which in turn makes the university better,” UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder said.

Dr. John Peters, UT-Knoxville vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the rankings and the Bicentennial Scholarships have contributed to the best-prepared freshmen classes in UT-Knoxville history. In 1995, the freshmen averaged 23.6 on the ACT exam, up from 23.3 the previous fall.

The College of Business Administration at UT-Knoxville is listed as the 32nd best business program.

The U.S. News ranking follows last month’s announcement by Public Accounting Report that UT-Knoxville’s masters of accountancy program is rated 10th best in the nation. The undergraduate accounting program was listed 20th best.

In the spring, a survey by Clothing and Textiles Research Journal listed UT-Knoxville’s textiles and clothing program as number one in the nation. The survey reviewed 183 programs at U.S. colleges and universities and ranked them on the number and quality of faculty, students, research publications and other criteria.

UT-Chattanooga’s engineering school is ranked by U.S. News among the nation’s top 30 that do not offer doctoral degrees. The ranking is “wonderful but not that much of a surprise” because UTC’s engineering program has been strong for three decades and has been ranked high previously, Obear said. –

— Contact: Dr. John Peters (423-974-3265) Dr. Fred Obear (423-755-4141)