Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Looking for a good deal in higher education?

Hello, everyone! My name is Amy Umble, and I am now covering parts of education here at The Free Lance-Star. I’ll report on Stafford County Public Schools, King George County Schools and The University of Mary Washington. By the end of the week, I hope to have a separate blog up and running with details about UMW. If you have any blog name suggestions, send them along! You can comment below or email them to

You can stay here at this blog for updates on King George County Schools and Stafford County Public Schools. I hope we can start some good conversations about education, so please get involved. Especially if you’re a teacher, parent or student!

I’ll be tweeting, too. You can follow along (and hopefully join in): @aumble.

And now onto the news:

If you’re looking for a good deal in higher education, you won’t have to look far. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine just listed the University of Mary Washington among its 100 Best Values in Public Colleges for 2012.

According to the magazine, UMW is the fifth best deal in Virginia, and the 44th out of 100 four-year public schools nationwide, comparing tuition costs. The magazine selects the best values from a pool of more than 500 public, four-year colleges and universities, ranking them on admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, graduation rates, costs and financial aid.

Kiplinger’s also reports that UMW students graduate with the least amount of debt, on average–at $15,600.

You can see more about UMW’s costs here and learn about the rankings here.