For the fifth consecutive year, U.S.News & World Report has ranked California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) the fourth best public regional university in the western United States in its annual edition of “America’s Best Colleges Guide.”
Additionally, the Long Beach campus was recognized in the 2013 guide for having among the lowest debt loads for its graduating students and one of the top undergraduate engineering programs.
“It is always gratifying for our university to be ranked among the best in the country,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “It’s also increasingly important in today’s fiscal environment to be ranked among the best universities in keeping our students out of debt.”
Overall, CSULB ranked 28th among all colleges and universities (private and public) in the western United States, a region made up of 13 states from Texas to California to Washington and includes Alaska and Hawaii. Among just public institutions, however, it came in fourth again behind Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Western Washington University.
In the “Least Debt” category, CSULB ranked second lowest among regional universities in the west with 42 percent of its graduates leaving the campus with an average debt of $12,401. The campus’ average debt load ($12,401) was the 13th lowest in the nation among all regional colleges and universities, and its percentage of graduates with debt (42 percent) was seventh lowest among all regional colleges and universities nationally.
Finally, CSULB was listed as having one of the best undergraduate engineering programs (engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s) in the country. Based on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty at all accredited programs, the rankings listed CSULB tied at No. 44 with several other U.S. undergraduate programs.
CSULB’s up-to-date U.S.News ranking comes on the heels of recent rankings from other publications, including a “Best in the West” designation from The Princeton Review and a No. 9 national ranking in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
The 2013 “Best Colleges” package provides a thorough examination of how nearly 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Indicators used to capture academic quality fall into a number of categories, including assessment by administrators at peer institutions, graduation and retention rates of students, faculty resources, student selectivity and alumni giving.
The indicators include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty, and its financial resources, along with outcome measures that signal how well the institution does its job of educating students.
The exclusive rankings are available today (Sept. 12) at www.usnews.com/colleges. The 2013 edition of the Best Colleges 2013 guidebook will be available on newsstands Sept. 18.