California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has been ranked the fifth best public regional university in the western United States by U.S.News & World Report in its “Best Colleges 2014” guidebook.
“This recognition affirms our students’ decision to make Cal State Long Beach their university of choice,” said CSULB Interim President Donald Para. “Our university faculty and staff are diligent in their efforts to ensure our graduates are prepared to meet today’s workforce needs and help shape the future economy of our region and nation.”
Adding private institutions to the mix, CSULB ranked 32nd overall among all colleges and universities 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 at No. 5 behind Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Western Washington University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and Evergreen State College in Washington.
CSULB also was listed as having one of the top undergraduate engineering programs (engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor’s or master’s) in the country. Out of nearly 400 accredited undergraduate engineering programs in the nation, CSULB’s is listed at No. 45 with several other programs. The rankings are based on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty at all accredited programs.
The 2014 “Best Colleges” guide provides an examination of how some 1,600 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, student selectivity and alumni giving. The indicators also include input measures that reflect a school’s student body, its faculty, and its financial resources.
The guide’s editors say they rate U.S. colleges and universities in an effort to assist students with one of the most important decisions of their lives—choosing the right college—noting: “Your investment in a college education could profoundly affect your career opportunities, financial well-being and quality of life.”
Studies seem to back up that thinking. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, research shows that those with a college degree earn nearly twice as much as those with just a high school diploma. The wage gap is even larger when comparing those with master’s or doctoral degrees to those with just a high school diploma.
The Best Colleges rankings provides information that lets students compare one college with another and find the differences that matter to them. The 2014 edition of “Best Colleges” allows students to sift through data from nearly 1,800 colleges and universities.
The exclusive rankings are available online at www.usnews.com/colleges. The 2014 edition of the “Best Colleges” guidebook will be available on newsstands Sept. 24.