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The University of Michigan is the best value college in the United States, according to personal finance website Money’s Best Colleges in America list for 2022.

Formerly known as Money Magazine, the organization publishes a ranking of over 600 U.S. colleges and universities on an annual basis. They released the 2022-23 edition on Monday.

The University received an overall score of 89.41 out of 100, becoming the second public university to top the list in its history. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia, also public schools, took the second and third place spots.

According to Money, the University took the No. 1 spot by scoring highly on affordability, quality and student outcomes, the three categories considered for the ranking. The ranking cited affordability for in-state students, high graduation rate and above-average graduate salary, and it went on to praise the University’s non-academic factors.

“The university’s Division I athletics are first-rate, and the Wolverines have notched more than 50 national championships,” the article reads. “Even U-M’s location is stellar. Ann Arbor is a quintessential college town, offering an impressive number of music venues, restaurants, museums and theaters.”

In an article published Monday, Money writer Kaitlin Mulhere discussed how cost of attendance for in-state students and financial aid opportunities such as the Go Blue Guarantee factored into the University’s high performance on the ranking.

“Over the past decade, spending on financial aid has increased an average 11% a year,” Mulhere wrote. “Michigan is also one of the few public universities that meets full need for in-state students, meaning the university offers enough financial aid to cover the difference between its price and a family’s ability to pay.”

Mulhere also mentioned the University’s reputation for poor socioeconomic diversity, citing a 2017 study by the New York Times which, among other things, found that 9% of enrolled students came from families in the top 1% of income earners.

“The university has faced criticism for enrolling a disproportionately large number of students from wealthy backgrounds,” Mulhere wrote. “But that’s an image campus leaders have been trying to change. In the years since (2017), the share of Pell grant recipients, a common indicator of socioeconomic diversity, has climbed slightly — to about 19% of the student body.”

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