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19 CSUs Ranked Among Best Colleges for Quality, Affordability and Access

Alisia Ruble



​​Nineteen California State University campuses were included in Money magazine’s fourth annual value ranking of schools based on educational quality, affordability and graduate earnings.​

Money’s Best Colleges for Your Money rankings released July 10 include the Long Beach, Fresno, Los Angeles, Stanislaus, San Luis Obispo, Northridge, Fullerton, Pomona, San Diego, San Bernardino​​​, Maritime, San José, East Bay, Chico, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Marcos, Sonoma and Monterey Bay campuses. Long Beach, Fresno, Los Angeles and Stanislaus were also named among the nation’s Top 50 Best Public Colleges​.

Money’s rankings are the first to combine the most accurate pricing estimates available with students’ likely earnings after graduation and a unique analysis of how much “value” a college adds.

The magazine’s methodology includes value-added calculations comparing expected and actual outcomes for graduation rates, student loan default rates, and earnings data. They estimate a college’s “value add” by calculating its performance on important measures such as graduation rates, student loan default rates, and post-graduation earnings, after adjusting for the types of students it admits.

Money also included Stanislaus, East Bay, San José and Sacramento in the 50 Colleges that Add the Most Value. These rankings were based solely on value-added grades for graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment.

Fresno, Los Angeles and Stanislaus were also lauded for access by being named among the 50 Best Colleges That You Can Actually Get Into.

CSU campuses are frequently recognized as engines of social mobility due to their success in educating diverse students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. For example, Washington Monthly and CollegeNet​ recently highlighted a number of CSUs for doing the best job of helping students from low-income families attain degrees at affordable prices.

Two CSU campuses—Cal State L.A. and Cal Poly Pomona—are included in the Equality of Opportunity Project's list of top 10 colleges that channel students from low- or middle-income families to the top 20 percent of American wage earners.

Affordability; Graduate Earnings