A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

UCR Gets 4.5 Out of 5 Stars from Money Magazine

'Best colleges' list includes cost, post-graduation salaries among its criteria
By John Warren | UCR News |

UC Riverside achieved a 4.5 out of 5-star rating in Money magazine’s Best Colleges in America 2023 rankings, released June 22.

Money magazine overhauled its college rankings system this year; its previous list was numbered. In 2022, UC Riverside was ranked No. 40 on Money’s list, which was then named “Best Value Colleges.”

The new list abandons numbered rankings in favor of a “stars” system, with five being the most. Similar to the previous list, Best Colleges 2023 considers cost and average post-graduation salaries. Money’s methodology is based on three categories, each with subcategories. They are quality of education, affordability, and outcomes.

Quality of education factors graduation rates, standardized test scores, yield rates, and student-to-faculty ratios, among other things. Affordability considers the net price students pay for their education, the debt they take on, and their ability to pay that debt. Outcomes weighs earnings 10 years after college among its criteria.

On Money’s 2023 list of 736 four-year colleges, 34 universities achieved 5-star rankings, and 190 were awarded 4.5 stars. In its UCR summary, Money’s editors wrote: “UC Riverside has an economically diverse student body and impressive outcomes.” Among the metrics touted, UCR’s graduation rate of 79% and average salary of $64,000 a decade after enrolling were mentioned.

UCR has charted increased college rankings success over the past several years leading up to its recent invitation to become a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. UCR was named in March by The Chronicle of Higher Education No. 1 in the nation for Pell-recipient freshmen retention rates. This past fall, Washington Monthly named UCR No. 4 among 444 universities nationwide in its Pell Grant student performance. Also this past fall, Forbes named UCR the No. 33 public university in the country.

UCR’s highest-profile rankings accolade is having been named by U.S. News & World Report as the nation’s top public university for social mobility the past four years. The social mobility category considers the degree to which a university elevates its low-income graduates to a higher standard of living.