St. Mary’s College of Maryland has again ranked among the top 50 on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of 100 best values in public colleges for in-state and out-of-state value. The ranking cites four-year schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost. 

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked the top values in public colleges since 1998, and St. Mary’s College has appeared on the list consistently since then. Kiplinger’s assesses quality based on a number of measurable standards, including admissions and retention rates, student-faculty ratio, four-year graduation rate, cost and financial aid. Cost criteria include sticker prices, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

In December, St. Mary’s College’s Board of Trustees voted to approve no tuition increase for the 2015-16 academic year. This locks into place the 2014-15 tuition rate of $11,195 for in-state students which had already been cut by 8.6% from the previous year. It also locks into place the 2014 tuition rate of $26,045 for out-of -state students. This is the third straight year with no increase for Maryland residents and the second year in a row of no increase for out-of-state students. The frozen rate also keeps the tuition cost for in-state students below the fall 2010 level.

St. Mary’s College’s newly inaugurated president, Tuajuanda C. Jordan, says the college is committed to keeping education both excellent and affordable. “Among the highest priorities for St. Mary’s College is not only to provide our students with the best public liberal arts education available, but to ensure access.  It is gratifying to have Kiplinger’s consistently recognize St. Mary’s on our efforts.”

In the press release announcing the best value colleges, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Janet Bodnar, says the publication’s rankings are a valuable resource for families as they try balancing top-quality education with affordable cost. “We salute this year’s top schools. … The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds,” she said.

St. Mary’s College is one of only two public honors colleges in the nation. Located 70 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. and 95 miles south of Baltimore, the college has the fourth highest graduation rate in the nation for public liberal arts colleges.

The rankings will appear in the February 2015 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands January 6, 2015. The rankings are available online now at

Photo Courtesy of St. Mary’s College of Maryland