CLEMSON — Clemson University has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of 100 best values in public colleges for 2016. The ranking cites four-year schools that deliver a quality education at an affordable price.

The Clemson University sign with sun flare

Image Credit: Ken Scar

Clemson, the highest-ranked school in South Carolina, ranked No. 24 for in-state students and No. 36 for out-of-state students among the top 100 colleges thanks to its high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, low sticker price and overall great value.

“We are excited about Clemson’s high ranking by the folks at Kiplinger’s. It reflects quality, affordability and a complete student experience,” said Robert Barkley, Clemson’s admissions director. “These are attributes that are on the minds of prospective students as they search to find a college home. “

Clemson has consistently appeared on the list, rising in rank from No. 34 for in-state students in 2012 to No. 24 today, and from No. 39 to No. 36 for out-of-state students.

Kiplinger assesses value by measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker price, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

“We start with a universe of 1,200 schools, so each school on our rankings, from No. 1 to No. 300, is a best value,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Families can use the list as a starting point and then tailor it to each student’s preference for such things as size, location, campus culture and major.”

The complete rankings are available online at and will appear in print in the February 2016 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands Jan. 5.