The Princeton Review has named UC Santa Cruz as one of the top 75 best-value public undergraduate schools in the nation, according to a list published this week  in the book The Best Value Colleges: 2012 Edition.

Criteria are excellent academics, generous financial aid, and/or relatively low cost of attendance.  Eight UC campuses made the list.

"It is indeed gratifying to see UC Santa Cruz and our sister UC campuses recognized in this manner, " said Michael McCawley, UCSC director of admissions. "UCSC continues to provide a high-quality educational experience for our students, even during these difficult budgetary times."

The list highlights 150 undergraduate colleges and universities: 75 public and 75 private institutions.  The company identifies the top 10 in each category, then lists the remaining 65 in alphabetical order, unranked. In a companion article, USA Today published a searchable database with the same information.

The Princeton Review based its lists on analyses of data collected from an initial list of 650 institutions identified as having excellent academics.  More than 30 data points were considered across three primary areas: academics, cost of attendance, and financial aid.

The Princeton Review also factored in data from surveys of students who shared assessments of their professors and their satisfaction with their financial aid awards.