Finance publication MONEY has released its 2023 college ratings and once again named Stanislaus State among the “Best Colleges in America.”
Using a new star rating system that replaces its traditional numerical ranking, MONEY gave Stanislaus State 4.5 out of 5 stars, which places the University among the top third of the 736 four-year public and private colleges from across the nation that made the cut.
The star rating is based on dozens of data points that include graduation rates, the net cost of attendance and alumni earnings to emphasize institutions that combine quality and affordability. While the underlying methodology is similar to previous years, the new rating system can assist students and families with their college search by highlighting the variety and diversity of high-value colleges in the United States.
“Stanislaus State is pleased to again be recognized by MONEY as one of the top colleges in the western United States and the nation,” said President Ellen Junn. “We pride ourselves on providing a high-quality and affordable education, ensuring that our students — many of whom are the first in the families to attend college — can pursue their dreams of attaining higher education and enhancing their economic mobility without shouldering enormous debt.”
In their write-up, MONEY highlighted Stan State’s focus on affordability and student success, particularly the University’s smaller class sizes, “which means increased opportunities to connect with faculty members.”
The publication also noted that the University’s federal designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which gives it access to “grants to expand its ability to teach underrepresented populations” and that its “six-year graduation rate is 70%, above the average of schools rated this year.”
“Stanislaus State is pleased to again be recognized by MONEY as one of the top colleges in the western United States and the nation. We pride ourselves on providing a high-quality and affordable education, ensuring that our students — many of whom are the first in the families to attend college — can pursue their dreams of attaining higher education and enhancing their economic mobility without shouldering enormous debt.”
– Ellen Junn, Stanislaus State President
In explaining their reason for shifting to a rating system, the publication wrote, “At their best, college rankings highlight successful schools and give families easy access to critical consumer information, like the earnings of a college’s graduates and the typical amount of student debt owed by alums. At their worst, they perpetuate a belief that measuring colleges is an exact science and take families’ attention away from what they should actually be looking for in a college.”
MONEY noted that the average early career earnings of Stan State graduates is approximately $58,100, which is about 70% more than a person without a college degree. An economic impact study and report released in January showed that in return for their investment, Stan State graduates receive a stream of higher future earnings that continues to grow throughout their working lives. The study also found that for every dollar Stan State students invest in their education, they receive $12.10 in higher future earnings.
MONEY’s rating is the most recent accolade to highlight the University and its offerings. In May, U.S. News & World Report recognized Stan State’s Master of Social Work, Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration programs as among the top graduate programs in the nation. In its college rankings released last fall, U.S. News & World Report named Stanislaus State among the best universities in the Western United States with the University receiving two Top 10 rankings, No. 4 for social mobility and No. 9 among top public schools.