UW-LaCrosse is the 4th best "value" among public universities costing under $30,000 a year. It is ranked behind Unv. Minnesota-Morris, given a 91st ranking overall, to LaCrosse's 57th, but significantly ahead of Unv. Minnesota-Twin Cities, 44th overall.
It's another rating feature from a commercial magazine, Kiplinger's, not an academic accreditation. UWL also is regularly featured by U.S.News & World report.
Nor is the "under $30,000" category ranked by estimated cost. Minnesota-Morris annually is $4,000 higher than UWL. Other categories divide colleges into five regions (also sub-divided into public, private and liberal arts). Unv. Wisconsin-Madison is 2nd in the Midwest and 8th overall, Minnesota-Twin Cities is 9th in the Midwest but only 23rd in UWL's "under $30,000" category. UWL is not ranked in the Midwest category.
There are other categories for Small Colleges, Large Colleges, and Lowest Debt, also sub-divided.
Overall rankings don't seem compatible with other comparisons. Minnesota-Morris is rated 91st nationally for in-state students and 50th for out-of-state, while costing more than UWL, which is 57th for in-state and 49th out-of-state, but 2nd to UWL's 4th in the "under "$30,000 public" category. Individual data includes SAT and ACT scores, application and graduation rates, costs and financial aid, and male-female enrollment. There is no reference to courses, programs, degrees, or employment.
"Under $30,000" is the only cost measure for "value." UWL's most recent budget data shows 14.3% of budget subsidized by the state of Wisconsin, the rest paid by students. A Pell Institute study shows Wisconsin would be the 13th state in line to end funding for higher education entirely, by calculating budget cuts since 1980 - not just the recent recession years.
Kiplinger's overall ranking includes 100 universities. More are included in sub-categories: Marquette, for example, is 52nd for Private Colleges. Many colleges can find a complimentary ranking in some category.
Note: There was not time or convenience to count total of rated colleges.