The University of Arizona has made tremendous strides in its effort to provide a world-class educational experience at an affordable price, according to Money Magazine.
The UA jumped 139 places in the publication's sixth annual Best Colleges for your Money ranking, released Monday. The UA finished 170th out of 744 U.S. colleges and universities, compared with 309th in 2018 and 325th in 2017.
The UA also finished in the top 100 among public universities, placing at No. 89.
"This monumental leap in these rankings reflects our efforts to ensure that earning a degree at the University of Arizona is both a sound educational and financial decision," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "We take immense pride in the value of our degrees, both from an experiential standpoint and from what that experience allows our students to achieve as a return on their investment."
The UA's improvement in the rankings can be attributed to an increase in the university's graduation rate, alongside a decrease in the net price of a degree. Money calculates net price as an estimated amount a typical freshman starting in 2019 will pay to earn a degree, while taking into account the college's overall price, how much the school awards in grants and scholarships, and the average time it takes students to graduate from the school as reported to the U.S. Department of Education.
Money Magazine's annual analysis considers more than 19,000 data points, including graduation rates, tuition fees, family borrowing and alumni salaries in its effort to identify the colleges that best combine quality and affordability.
Money looks at each institution's quality of education, affordability and post-graduation outcomes and breaks those into 26 separate factors. Data collection and analysis for the rankings were led by American Institutes for Research. Data sources include the U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com and calculations from Money and College Measures.
The UA also made significant gains in Forbes' fourth annual Best Value Colleges list, released in May, rising 46 spots to No. 62 overall.