IRVINE – Orange County's only UC campus has been ranked the 16th best value among U.S. public colleges by personal finance magazine Kiplinger, behind four other University of California campuses.
UC Irvine, along with Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Diego and Santa Barbara, landed spots in the magazine's top 20 list despite a 72 percent increase in tuition over the past five years. The magazine assessed colleges' value using a weighted formula that examined admission and graduation rates, tuition costs, financial aid and student debt data, among other factors.
"Fortunately, most students don't pay the shocking sticker prices" for a UC education, Kiplinger said in its report. "UC schools offset their high cost with liberal financial aid."
UC undergraduate tuition was raised 18 percent last year, to $12,192 annually, and UC officials were considering an additional 20 percent increase this year if California voters had rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 tax-hike initiative in November.
"Regardless of the tuition increases, you're getting probably one of the best educations in the world," said Ria Carlson, UC Irvine's associate vice chancellor for communications. "There's a lot to crow about here, and it's great for Orange County – you really have a world-class institution at your doorstep."
UC Irvine moved up six spots in this year's Kiplinger best-value ranking; it was ranked 22nd last year.
The full report is on newsstands now.
Among the four UC campuses that bested UC Irvine this year, UCLA moved up three spots to No. 6, UC Berkeley dropped one spot to No. 8, UC San Diego held steady at No. 10 and UC Santa Barbara moved up three spots to No. 14.
All of UC's undergraduate campuses except Merced made Kiplinger's top 100 best-value list. UC Davis ranked 23rd, UC Santa Cruz 54th and UC Riverside 92nd.
The California State University campuses that made Kiplinger's top 100 list were: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (No. 40), San Diego State (No. 77), Cal State Long Beach (No. 82) and Cal Poly Pomona (No. 89).
Kiplinger's top-ranked U.S. public colleges were the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (No. 1), University of Virginia (No. 2) and University of Florida (No. 3).
Among private U.S. colleges, which Kiplinger ranked separately, the top-value honors went to Yale (No. 1), Rice (No. 2) and Princeton (No. 3).
The highest-ranked California private colleges were: Cal Tech (No. 5), Stanford (No. 8), USC (No. 32), Santa Clara (No. 33) and Pepperdine (No. 47).
No O.C. private colleges made Kiplinger's top 100 list.
Top-value public U.S. colleges (select list)
1) North Carolina at Chapel Hill
8) UC Berkeley
10) UC San Diego
14) UC Santa Barbara
16) UC Irvine
23) UC Davis
40) Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
54) UC Santa Cruz
77) San Diego State
82) Cal State Long Beach
89) Cal Poly Pomona
92) UC Riverside
Top-value private U.S. colleges (select list)
5) Cal Tech
33) Santa Clara
79) Loyola Marymount
84) University of San Diego
94) University of the Pacific
96) Point Loma Nazarene
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