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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is one of the best values in public higher education, according to the latest rankings from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

The magazine’s annual “100 Best Values in Public Colleges,” released today, ranks American colleges based on affordability and academic quality. This year, the Best Values program evaluated hundreds of public colleges and universities, then narrowed the list to 120 schools based on measures of academic quality such as SAT or ACT scores, admission rates, retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and graduation rates. Each school then was ranked based on cost and financial aid.

UT Knoxville was again the only Tennessee public university to make the top 100.

“Making the University of Tennessee an affordable and accessible institution are among our top goals, and we are pleased to receive national recognition for our efforts,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “Our support of need-based scholarship programs, such as the Tennessee Pledge and Tennessee Promise scholarships, helps ensure that the best and brightest students in our state can come to UT Knoxville and graduate on time.”

Need-based aid has been rising at UT since 2005, when just 1 percent of scholarships were awarded due to financial need. This year, UT gave 45 percent of its scholarships to students based on financial need, up from 31 percent last year. Merit-based aid accounted for 55 percent of scholarships this year, down from 69 percent last year.

UT was not the only Knoxville-area organization ranked highly by Kiplinger’s. The city of Knoxville itself was ranked fifth nationally in their list of “best value cities” last year.

For more information about Kiplinger’s 2012 Best Values in Public Colleges rankings, visit

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm (865-974-5180,