Rich Experience, Exceptional Value

Fiske Guide honors UMBC for excellence and affordability, highlights strength in social sciences.

UMBC has received the special distinction of being named a “Best Buy” university in the 2015 edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges.

Making sense of today’s many university rankings can be daunting, but this is one list we are particularly proud to be on. Fiske highlights colleges that prioritize excellence in academics and student life, as well as financial accessibility.

UMBC is one of just 22 public universities and 22 private universities recognized as a “Best Buy” this year. Others include University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and University of St. Andrews in Great Britain.

Heavy on chess puns our campus can appreciate, Fiske’s description of UMBC begins, “At the University of Maryland Baltimore County, you can be king or queen of your academic world. Students here are given access to academic and social resources usually reserved for those attending mammoth public institutions or pricey private colleges.”

The guide notes that UMBC capitalizes on its size “by providing students with intimate learning communities, solid academics, and ample resources on a manageable scale.”

Applications to UMBC hit a new record this year, surpassing the 10,000 mark for the first time. As the number of applicants has gone up, financial aid has as well, with need-based aid increasing 110% since 2007.

Yvette Mozie-Ross, vice provost for enrollment management and planning, explains, “Very academically talented students increasingly identify UMBC as a top choice for a high quality, high value undergraduate education. They are attracted by opportunities to connect with accessible faculty, engage in research, and complete robust internships.”

The Fiske Guide recognizes UMBC’s distinctive investment in programs that “ensure its undergraduates thrive.” Echoing Mozie-Ross’s insights, the publication highlights our commitments to undergraduate research, meaningful internships, study abroad programs, and entrepreneurship education.

Among our academic strengths, Fiske draws particular attention to UMBC’s social science, visual and performing arts programs, in addition to the sciences and tech fields. Psychology and emergency health services are among the departments Fiske describes as offering popular and unique student experiences.