An exclusive new list developed by U.S. News & World Report shows California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) among the most efficient universities in the country and ranks the campus at No. 2 on its list of most efficient regional universities in the West.
In compiling the list, U.S. News measured financial resources by taking into account how much a school spends per student on instruction, research, student services and related educational expenditures. The resulting lists show which schools are providing a high quality education while spending relatively less than their peers to achieve that quality.
“The national data clearly shows the California State University is among the most efficient university systems in the nation,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “In fact, national studies indicate the CSU is a national leader in producing baccalaureate and master’s degree graduates for less cost than the vast majority of other public and private universities in the nation.
“This new list by U.S. News & World Report would seem to add credibility to that national data,” he added. “At Cal State Long Beach, we have long believed that we are serving our students in a very efficient manner in terms of the dollars per student we receive. At the same time, we are doing what we can to keep costs down for our students so that they graduate with as little debt as possible.”
The “most efficient” list is significant considering California Gov. Jerry Brown and the release of his proposed 2013-14 budget. While increasing funding for higher education, the governor challenged the state’s universities and community colleges to operate more efficiently, to increase graduation and transfer rates and to get students through quicker.
The U.S. News list is based on operating efficiency, defined as a school’s 2011 fiscal year financial resources per student divided by its overall score (the basis U.S. News uses to determine its overall numerical rank) in the 2013 Best Colleges rankings. According to the publication, this calculation reveals how much each school is spending to achieve one point in the overall score and its position in the rankings.
CSULB received $11,561 per student during the 2011 fiscal year and was ranked 28th overall among regional universities in the west in the 2013 Best Colleges list, placing the campus at No. 2 among its peers in efficiency. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was at the top of the list with its $16,159 per student and No. 6 overall ranking. Cal State Fullerton was at No. 4 with $11,855 per student and its 31st ranking.
Among the national universities, Florida State University was at the top of the list with its $17,731 per student in 2011 and its No. 97 ranking among national universities in the 2013 Best Colleges list.
How should this list of most efficient universities be interpreted?
“Schools that are featured on this list are doing a good job in managing their financial resources relative to other schools that may have larger state funding, higher tuition, or larger endowments,” wrote U.S. News writer Robert Morse in an article that accompanied the list of most efficient national and regional universities. “Many of these schools are likely to be more affordable in terms of tuition relative to others in their ranking category, since almost all of them are public universities.”