The University of Wyoming is the best university in the nation for out-of-state students in a new ranking list that takes into account academic quality, affordability and accessibility. Academic quality is determined through a combination of US News & World Report and Forbes undergraduate rankings.

“Scoring well in college rankings generally is not a priority for UW, as there’s such a wide variety of them, and many reward exclusivity, which is contrary to our mission as Wyoming’s only public university,” UW President Dick McGinity says. “While we continue to encourage prospective students and parents to view college rankings with skepticism, we’re happy to see a set of rankings that recognizes UW’s great academic and economic value, as well as accessibility.”

In addition, UW ranks 12th in the country for in-state students based upon those same factors, according to the “Best Colleges and Universities 2014 A-List” released recently by CollegeAtlas.org, which calls itself “the encyclopedia of higher education.”

UW’s tuition for resident undergraduates is the lowest among the nation’s 173 public doctoral degree-granting institutions, meeting the Wyoming constitutional mandate that UW tuition remain “as nearly free as possible” for residents. UW’s nonresident tuition is among the lowest in the country.

UW’s 96 percent student acceptance rate, meanwhile, is among the highest in the nation.

According to Chad Baldwin, UW spokesperson, says that the university is often penalized on these kinds of lists for their high percentage rate, but this list is different.

“In this particular one, they took a look at three things that are really important. One of them is academic quality, the other one is affordability, and the other one is accessibility, and so the fact that we are open to most students and our tuition is so low—those things in this particular ranking actually helped us,” says Baldwin.

The website says, “Often the quality of a school is tied to a low acceptance rate. The rationale for this is obvious -- lots of students want to attend a great school and the school can be picky about who it accepts, resulting in an ‘elite’ status and a really talented student body. But there are only thousands of such spots, and millions of prospective college students. The A-List is designed to expose schools with the unique combination of strong academics and high acceptance rates -- a combination that is definitely a good thing.”

Data was collected from nearly 600 schools when creating the list, according to CollegeAtlas.org.

To view the list of the top 100 schools, click here.