And in other news, the sun came up this morning.
For the 10th straight year, Kiplinger's Personal Finance has named UNC-Chapel Hill the best value among public colleges.
The top ranking can be found in the magazine's February 2011 issue, which is now available on newsstands and at www.kiplinger.com/tools/colleges.
Some parents may scoff at this particular ranking, given that tuition at Carolina and all public four-year universities jumped significantly last year thanks to a two-pronged tuition hike needed to help fill a state budget hole.
But Kiplinger says UNC-CH is still far ahead of the curve.
"Despite rising tuition costs, there are still many first-rate institutions providing outstanding academics at an affordable price," said Janet Bodnar, the magazine's editor, in a news release.
At UNC-CH, tuition and fees for an in-state undergrad runs about $6,665 this year, with the total cost of attendance, factoring room, board, books and other incidentals, is about $19,764.
Nationally, the average annual in-state sticker price of a public college is $16,140, according to Kiplinger.
The magazine specifically cites recent moves at UNC-CH to hire 120 junior faculty members, expand its honors program and create a new enrichment program for top freshmen, all while cutting $36 million in operating costs.
It's interesting that the junior faculty hires caught the magazine's eye, and points to the continued importance of private money at public universities.
Some of those hires were made possible by a $5 million private gift in March of last year from the William R. Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust. That gift, coupled with a $500,000 anonymous gift for the same purpose, freed the university to hire 18 new junior faculty members.
In fact, even with tight budgets, universities across the region are still looking to add young faculty members. Given the nation's economic problems, universities that do have some money to spend are finding they have the pick of a talented crop of budding academicians.
Several other UNC system campuses make the list as well. N.C. State is 15th on the list, UNC-Wilmington is 27th, Appalachian State is 35th, UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem is 48th and UNC-Asheville is 58th.
The University of Florida is number 2 on the list.