UNF recognized as ‘Best Value’


There’s no place like this, no one like you and nowhere cheaper to go to school.

The Princeton Review recently announced UNF as one of the 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2009,” the fourth consecutive recognition for UNF by the national review board.

The honor was based on survey results of faculty and staff regarding more than 30 factors in three main areas: academics, cost of attendance and financial aid. Tuition, room and board, required fees and book rates were included in the cost of attendance measurement.

UNF ranked in the top-50 public schools according to the criteria. This ranking is a compliment of the quality the university produces, UNF President John Delaney said.

“It is important for the Jacksonville community to know how the university is nationally perceived,” he said. “Clearly, it is the quality. Our academic quality is the driver and obviously [Princeton Review] couple[s] that with the low tuition, and that’s the definition of best value.”

Princeton Review Vice President and Publisher Robert Franek agreed.

“Value is more than just cost,” he said. “We didn’t want to put schools in the project that just had low sticker prices because that didn’t necessarily mean value.”

The top-100 schools were selected from a pool of nearly 650 “academically outstanding” colleges and universities across the nation.

Since there are more than 3,500 public and private colleges nationwide, the Princeton Review narrowed down the search to the top regional schools it selected earlier in the year, said Jeanne Krier, a spokeswoman for the Princeton Review.

UNF was among the top Southeast schools in 2008, so it was a finalist for the “Best Value” honor – one of six schools in Florida.

The university was also profiled in the Princeton Review’s annual book, “America’s Best Value Colleges” in 2007, 2006 and 2005. In 2006, it ranked No. 5 in the nation.

“It is important to recognize how much UNF’s reputation has grown in the past few years,” Delaney said. “I might forget about [the  Best Value recognition] after a few weeks, but it’s been continual for a few years now.”

The review results noted the growing reputation as well – though connected it with the famous UNF joke, A few have a reputation for loving the school so much that they draw out their time, causing others to joke that they attend UNF, which stands for ‘You Never Finish.’”

The Princeton Review added that UNF excelled in class sizes, professor-student relationships and overall enthusiasm for academics – a fantastic summary of a university any student should seek to attend, Delaney said.

“You can go to Harvard, or you can go to UNF,” Delaney said. “It’s much cheaper here at UNF.”

E-mail Holli Welch at [email protected]