Public Affairs, The California State University

Eight CSU Campuses Lauded for Accessibility, Affordability in TIME’s Best Colleges Ranking

By Stephanie Thara

Eight CSU campuses have been ranked among the nation’s top colleges and universities based on new criteria proposed by the White House that emphasize accessibility, affordability and completion. Last week, TIME magazine issued their rankings after collecting data from 2,500 higher education institutions and assessing the value of each institution based on metrics such as graduation rates, tuition and the percentage of Pell Grant recipients.

“Increasing college opportunities for low-income students has been at the forefront of the CSU’s mission and we are proud to be nationally recognized for providing an affordable, accessible and high-quality education,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “TIME magazine’s ranking highlights the value we provide to our students and the state of California, and the CSU’s dedication to advancing academic success and improving graduation rates.”

CSU Bakersfield, CSU Dominguez Hills, Fresno State, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State L.A., Cal State Northridge, Cal State San Bernardino and CSU Stanislaus were among the top ranking universities. As the database evolves with the addition of more universities and colleges, the rankings may change. The most updated list can be found on the TIME magazine website.

Financial AidDue to the robust amount of financial aid offered at the CSU—including the State University Grants, fee waivers, Cal Grants and federal aid—most CSU bachelor’s degree recipients graduate without any student loan debt.  In 2012-13, approximately $3.8 billion was distributed to 319,000 CSU students—nearly 76 percent of the total student population. Of this, $782.6 million was allotted in the form of Pell Grants.

The rating system proposed by the White House is intended to provide prospective students and their families with information that will allow them to select schools that provide the best value. The Obama Administration plans to link the institution’s performance with federal financial aid disbursements.

For more information on financial aid, visit CSU Facts.

Update, May 7, 2014: This story has been modified to include Cal State L.A. which was added to the TIME’s ranking on May 6, 2014.