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University of North Florida Ranks Among ‘Best Bang For The Buck’ In Southeastern US

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University of North Florida Osprey sculpture.

The University of North Florida gives students one of best educations for the money, according to one national magazine.

UNF is one of three Florida schools in the top 30 in the Southeastern U.S, said Washington Monthly Magazine

Billing itself as an alternative to the well-known U.S. News and World Report college rankings, the left-leaning publication focuses on “students who aren’t rich” and “reveals the percent of first-generation students each college enrolls.”

To be labeled the “Best Bang for the Buck,” schools are measured according to their retention  and graduation rates of of first-generation college students with poor or middle-class backgrounds. The magazine also looks at whether they find work afterward. U.S. News and World Report rankings consider academic reputation and student selectivity in addition to affordability.

UNF ranked 28th most valuable educations in the Southeast — the only Northeast Florida school to make the cut.

The University of Florida came in just sixth in the region, and New College of Florida was 17th.

Washington Monthly Magazine partly used a new federal initiative called the college scorecard, which compiles data on graduation rates and post-graduation salaries of college students.

That scorecard also rates private Jacksonville University as a good return on investment, with a higher tuition but also a higher average post-graduation salary than UNF.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk