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Appalachian again included in Forbes magazine’s America’s top colleges and best buy lists

BOONE—Appalachian State University continues to be listed as one of the best schools in the nation in “America’s Top Colleges,” Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of 650 public and private colleges and universities.

Appalachian also is listed 32nd in the magazine’s ranking of the “100 Best College Buys,” slipping slightly from last year’s ranking as 25th out of 100 colleges. The magazine listed the university’s tuition and fees for a full-time, in-state undergraduate student living on campus as $15,948 based on 2010-11 costs.

The rankings focus on “the things that matter the most to students: quality of teaching, great career prospects, high graduation rates and low-levels of debt,” according to the magazine’s website.

The rankings are based on five general categories: post graduate success, which evaluates alumni pay and prominence; student satisfaction, which includes professor evaluations and freshman- to sophomore-year retention rates; debt, which penalizes schools for high student debt loads and default rates; four-year graduation rate; and competitive awards, which reward schools whose students win prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Rhodes, the Marshall and the Fulbright or go on to earn a Ph.D.

The rankings are prepared for Forbes by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP), a Washington, D.C., think tank.