UTRGV Online MPA program ranked high nationally for quality, affordability

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – SEPT. 13, 2017 – The UTRGV Master of Public Affairs online degree program has been ranked No. 21 in the United States for its quality and affordability.

UTRGV is the top-ranked program in the UT System, followed by UT Arlington in 22nd place.

The rankings were released by AffordableColleges.com, an online ranking program that helps prospective students find affordable schools and programs that match their educational interests.

In its ranking comments, the website says UTRGV “has embraced technology and the internet as a means to grow even bigger. UTRGV offers seven online graduate degrees, including a cheap online MPA. The school’s master of public affairs is a 36-credit program that grounds students in public policy analysis, grant writing, research, nonprofits, and the latest management techniques.

“The (UTRGV) curriculum was laid out to fit around a public-service manager's busy schedule, and it can be pursued entirely online in an accelerated format. Ambitious students can earn their diplomas in as little as 12 months.”
The full rankings list is available here: http://www.affordablecolleges.com/rankings/affordable-online-mpa-programs/.

AffordableColleges.com creates a “Value Score” for each school by weighing criteria – such as loan default rates, graduation rates and financial aid data – to winnow out programs that appear cheap at first glance and highlight those with long-term benefits.

Among the 50 schools ranked, UTRGV’s Value Score was 6.38. The lowest score awarded was 4.38 and 7.86 was the highest.


“When calculating the rankings, we use the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS),” according to the website. “Run by the US Department of Education, IPEDS offers reliable and accurate insight into affordability, academic pedigree, and online/distance learning programs. Using IPEDS data, we developed a 1-10 rating system which informs the order of our rankings. The closer a school is to a 10, the more value it offers its students. The methodology is available here.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742