UC Berkeley ranks No. 1 on Forbes list of American value colleges

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UC Berkeley ranked as the No. 1 value college in the United States by Forbes magazine — a ranking that considers which colleges are most worth a student’s investment — ahead of Ivy League schools and other UC campuses.

Justin Conklin, a Forbes reporter who helped compile the second annual Best Value College ranking, said to create the list, Forbes gathered information about the quality, alumni earnings, on-time graduation, dropout risk, gross tuition and fees of more than 650 universities. In comparing this data, the Forbes list came down to 300 institutions across every region of the country. This is the first year Forbes also considered student debt and Pell Grant recipients for the ranking, according to Conklin.

“Notably, UC Berkeley shows a great commitment to enrolling and graduating an economically diverse population of students,” Conklin said.

Prospective campus freshman Charlie Xu also said in an email that several factors must be considered when choosing the best value colleges. For Xu, the resources offered on campus, world-class professors and rigorous academic structure made UC Berkeley a value university, especially considering the cost of tuition is lower than other high-caliber universities.

According to Conklin, Forbes’ college rankings receive hundreds of thousands of online views. Included on the list were universities such as UCLA and Stanford, with rankings of No. 2 and 7, respectively.

Jesse Rothstein, a campus associate professor of economics and public policy, said in an email that he is glad Forbes recognized the value UC Berkeley provides despite funding challenges that have forced the campus to raise tuition and fees.

“It is easy to lose sight of the fact that public higher education remains an extremely high-value investment for both students and taxpayers,” Rothstein said in an email. “Berkeley competes with Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and all of the other most prestigious colleges in the country, and does so at a cost a fraction of what our private competitors charge.”

Contact Kate Tinney at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @K_Tinney.

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  • Professor S Freeman

    Best Value Colleges in California (see College ROI Report with SUPPORTING DETAIL)
    http://www.payscale.com/college-roi/state/California
    1. Harvey Mudd College(Private) 20 Year Net ROI $962,000
    2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)(Private) 20 Year Net ROI $864,000
    3. California State University, Maritime (CSUM)(In-State)20 Year Net ROI $826,000
    4. California State University, Maritime (CSUM)(Out-of-State)20 Year Net ROI $781,000
    5. Stanford University(Private)20 Year Net ROI $761,000
    6. University of California – Berkeley(In-State)20 Year Net ROI $732,000
    7. California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) – San Luis Obispo(In-State)20 Year Net ROI$678,000
    8. University of California – Berkeley(Out-of-State) 20 Year Net ROI $638,000
    9. California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly) – San Luis Obispo(Out-of-State)20 Year Net ROI $633,000

  • Charlie Chan

    A friend from UC Berkeley told me about this (Not News) news item.

    I am currently a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student and a former UC Berkeley freshman.

    UC Berkeley creates too many barriers for students to gain entry into Computer Science:
    – Many of the lower division classes I needed for computer science were either filled to capacity or closed.
    – GPA admission requirement had recently been increased.

    I transferred to Cal Poly and have not been disappointed:
    – Cal Poly’s CS classes have less than 40 people, while at UC Berkeley the number tends to be well over 100.
    – Employers seem to like Cal Poly students a little more (than UC Berkeley students, for example), because Cal Poly students learn by doing.
    – Every person I talked with has had (seniors) or will have (juniors) an internship done/lined up for the summer after junior year.
    – All of the seniors I talk with have a full time offer or plan to make a startup after they graduate.

    CalPoly SLO has a very good reputation in engineering. It does not have the research chops of the grad school at UCB, but the reputation of the undergrad education is actually better. (UCB has a reputation for underserving the undergrads in engineering, because all the faculty time is taken up with the large number of grad students.)

  • ShadrachSmith

    Except for Women’s Studies degrees with an internship in pipe-line protest. Those are worthless.

  • FreedomFan

    Heterodox Academy ranks UC Berkeley near the bottom for leftist bigotry and censorship of conservatives ideas:
    http://heterodoxacademy.org/resources/guide-to-colleges/top150/