California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s 2012-13 list of the top 100 best values in public colleges. The ranking recognizes four-year institutions that combine outstanding education with economic value.
The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger’s February 2013 issue, which hit newsstands on Jan. 1. The list also can be found online at www.kiplingers.com.
CSULB appears at No. 82 on the list (up from No. 98 last year) and is one of 12 California institutions to make the rankings. Three other CSU campuses were among the top 100—Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (40), San Diego State (77), and Cal Poly Pomona (89). The other eight California schools were University of California campuses.
“The ability to afford a college degree is the most important factor when it comes to access to higher education, and at Cal State Long Beach, we are doing what we can to keep costs down for students wherever possible,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “We are pleased to once again be recognized by Kiplinger’s as one of the best value public colleges in the nation, and our improvement on the list by more than 15 spots over last year certainly speaks well of our efforts to maintain lower costs for our students.”
Alexander also noted that the Kiplinger ranking clearly shows students and their parents that the high price tag of many colleges and universities nationwide has little to do with the quality of the education experience being offered.
In addition, visitors to Kiplinger’s website will find CSULB among 10 schools in the country earning recognition in another area that Alexander finds very important—public colleges with the lowest debt for graduating students. On this list, CSULB comes in at No. 2 with an average debt for its graduating students at $12,401. Two other CSUs also made this list—San Diego State at No. 7 ($16,400) and Cal Poly Pomona at No. 10 ($16,815).
Selected from a pool of nearly 600 public institutions, schools in the Kiplinger 100 were ranked according to academic quality, test scores for incoming freshmen, admission and retention rates, student-faculty ratios, and four- and six-year graduation rates. The editors then rank each school based on cost and financial aid.
Many schools have appeared on the list multiple times, including CSULB, a testament to the consistent value these colleges provide.
“We applaud this year’s top 100 schools for their efforts to maintain academic standards while meeting the financial needs of their students,” said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Web visitors will find special features, including a frequently-asked-questions section about how the public colleges are ranked and a tool that lets readers sort by in-state and out-of-state cost.