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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks fifth among the nation’s best public universities for the 12th consecutive year, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The rankings appear in the 2013 “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook and at beginning Sept. 12.

Among national public universities, UC-Berkeley ranked first, followed by UCLA and Virginia (tied for second), Michigan (fourth) and UNC (fifth); the same order as in last year’s list.

Other U.S. News rankings results for UNC included the following:

  • 1st among national public universities for the 8th consecutive year and 17th overall in “Great Schools, Great Prices,” based on academic quality and net cost of attendance for a student  receiving the average level of need-based financial aid in 2011-2012. Forty-one percent of UNC students received need-based aid in 2011. Carolina meets 100 percent of the documented need of students qualifying for need-based aid who apply on time.
  • A 97 percent average first-year retention rate for the third consecutive year.
  • A 90 percent average six-year graduation rate – 5 percentage points better than U.S. News predicted for the second consecutive year. (UNC’s current four-year rate is nearly 81 percent.)
  • Tied for 13th with Wake Forest University for a “strong commitment to teaching.”

  • Listed among outstanding undergraduate programs with “A Focus on Student Success.” Carolina was cited for exemplary first-year experience (seminars and other programs bringing small groups of students together regularly with faculty and staff), undergraduate research/creative projects, study abroad and service learning.

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