California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB On Magazine’s Best Value List Again

Published: February 17, 2015

CSULB has been named to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s 2015 list of the top universities costing under $30,000 per year, coming in at No. 11 in the nation. The ranking recognizes four-year institutions that combine outstanding education with economic value. Overall, CSULB was ranked 75th which was up from 82nd last year and 98th the year before. CSULB was the eighth best in California behind only University of California institutions.

“Many of our students are the first in their families to attend a university and their experience here is life-transforming. We pride ourselves in the value of our education and student outcomes here at Cal State Long Beach,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley, who noted that the high tuition and high selectivity of a university does not necessarily equate to value, quality and excellence. “To have our success in that important mission recognized by a prestigious national publication is certainly satisfying.”

Kiplinger’s assesses quality according to measurable standards, including the admission rate, the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, the student-faculty ratio and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include sticker prices, financial aid and average debt at graduation.

“We salute this year’s top schools,” says Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. “Balancing top-quality education with affordable cost is a challenge for families in today’s economy, which is why Kiplinger’s rankings are such a valuable resource. The schools on the 2015 list offer students the best of both worlds.”

The complete rankings, including the top schools overall as well as the best values in public schools, private universities and private liberal arts colleges, are available online. The rankings appear in the February issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, which came out on Jan. 6. Web visitors will find special features, including a tool that lets readers sort by admission rate, average debt at graduation and other criteria for all schools, plus by in-state and out-of-state cost for public universities; a slide show of the top 10 schools in each category; archives of previous years’ rankings, and an FAQ about the ranking methodology.

To come up with the best values, Kiplinger’s begins with data on nearly 1,200 public and private four-year schools provided by Peterson’s College Guide, then add its own reporting. The list is narrowed based on measures of academic quality. Then each school is ranked using cost and financial aid measures. Quality criteria account for 55 percent of total points, and cost criteria account for 45 percent.

For nine decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. Founded in 1920 by W.M. Kiplinger, the company developed one of the nation’s first successful newsletters in modern times. The Kiplinger Letter, launched in 1923, remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947, Kiplinger created the nation’s first personal finance magazine.

–Ken Swisher