Cal State Fullerton students cheering in their caps and gowns
Story Value

CSU Impact Highlighted in National Competition

Alisia Ruble

CSU students, alumni and staff flocked to Twitter to tout the transformational nature of a CSU education.

Cal State Fullerton students cheering in their caps and gowns
California State Universities saw an overwhelming amount of support in Forbes’ annual “#MyTopCollege” social media competition, with Cal State Fullerton finishing at number one for the fifth year in a row. 

Several other CSUs finished in the top ten, as well: Cal State Long Beach (#2), Cal State Northridge (#7), Chico State (#8) and Fresno State (#9).

To enter, participants were asked to submit posts on Twitter and Instagram, tag their universities and use the hashtag #MyTopCollege. Forbes tallied the number of submissions for each school and declared winners in small school (fewer than 2,000 students), medium school (2,000 – 15,000 students) and large school (more than 15,000 students) categories.

The competition is a precursor to Forbes’ annual “America’s Top Colleges” list. This year’s theme was impact, encouraging  participants to share how their university has transformed their lives. While Forbes invited mainly current students to share their campus pride, it was alumni who had the most to say about how the CSU provided opportunities for them, their families and their communities.

Cal State Fullerton alumna Kelsey Brewer, a CSU Student Trustee Emeritus and current policy manager for the Association of California Cities – Orange County, says her experiences at CSUF gave her the courage and leadership skills she needed to impact her community.

Cal State Long Beach alumnus and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia credits his time at the university with inspiring his distinguished career in local politics. Since earning a bachelor’s degree in communications at the university and a doctorate degree in education, Garcia has advocated for increased access to higher education for Long Beach students.

Cal State Northridge double alumnus Christopher Balam, a faculty member at Cal Lutheran and a research fellow with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, highlighted the impact CSUN has on the surrounding community.

Chico State alumna Alex Brown says her leadership apportunities as a student working to prevent domestic violence and raise awareness for the LGBTQ community fueled a passion for advocacy.

Fresno State alumnus Blake Zante found his passion for advocacy while serving as President of the university’s Associated Students, Inc. and pursuing his bachelor’s degree in political science. Following his graduation, Zante has worked as a Kenneth L. Maddy Institute Legislative Scholar in Washington D.C., an opportunity afforded him thanks to his time at Fresno State.

Discover what the hundreds of other participants had to say about their CSU experiences on our Wakelet page,, and stay tuned for Forbes' release of "America's Top Colleges" August 21.