UMBC: Quality and Value

Published: Jul 9, 2015

Quality and Value

The Fiske Guide to Colleges names UMBC as a “Best Buy” for students.

In a moment when both the quality and the price tag of a college education are being scrutinized closely by parents, students and government officials, UMBC is consistently recognized as a standout in both categories.

The latest evidence? UMBC has been named a “Best Buy” university for the second consecutive year in the 2016 Fiske Guide to Colleges. UMBC is one of only 20 public universities, and the only Maryland institution, on the 2016 list, which also includes 24 private universities.

Fiske selects “Best Buy” schools based on the quality of their academic offerings and their affordability. By highlighting UMBC, Fiske researchers recognize UMBC as one of the best values in higher education.

In addition to noting UMBC’s “killer chess team that regularly mops the floor with the competition,” this year the Fiske Guide highlights UMBC’s strong academic programs across the social sciences, humanities, arts, and STEM fields. It specifically recognizes the strength of programs in information systems, psychology, biological sciences, computer science, and visual arts. The guide also notes UMBC’s investment in new facilities, including the Performing Arts and Humanities Building.

Fiske commends UMBC’s supportive campus community, mentioning how First-Year Seminars allow students to closely connect with faculty early in their college careers. The publication notes, “UMBC [provides] students with intimate learning communities, solid academics, and ample resources.”

One student quoted in the guide shares, “Students here tend to be on the nerdy end of the spectrum…but we embrace it.” Another reflects, “We’re focusing on doing big things and being influential people.”

The Fiske Guide to Colleges provides college-bound students and their families with an insider’s look at the academic and extracurricular climates at top colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Founder Edward B. Fiske served 17 years as education editor of The New York Times.

Fiske’s high ranking of UMBC in its guide is part of a growing consensus among publications that assess American higher education. UMBC has made consistent appearances over the past decade in other notable guides to U.S. universities that place a premium on quality and affordability, including The Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.


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