UC Riverside was ranked No. 40 on Money magazine’s latest “Best Values” college ranking, released May 16. It represents an increase of eight places over Money's last best value list, on which UCR ranked No. 48. Among public universities, UCR ranked No. 31 on the list, up from No. 32.
To make the list, colleges must have at least 500 undergraduate students and have a graduation rate at or above the median rate for peer institutions – in the case of UCR, that means public universities. There were 623 colleges and universities included in the 2022 list.
Money’s ranking methodology considers quality, which includes six-year graduation rate, transfer student population, and Pell Grant graduation rate; affordability, measured by the price of a degree and borrowing; outcomes, which considers earnings 10 years after enrolling.
In its summary of the 2022 UCR ranking, Money’s editors noted the university’s six-year graduation rate of 77%, “which is about 10% higher than at schools with comparable student demographics.” The analysis also noted early-career salaries for UCR graduates are a median of $59,000, $9,000 higher than for institutions with similar demographics. The salary compares to median UCR graduating debt of $18,000.
Three other University of California campuses, Irvine (No. 9), Davis (No. 10), and San Diego (No. 12), also ranked among top campuses. The other UC campuses finished below UCR.
The top campus in the rankings was University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, followed by University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and University of Virginia.
Money magazine's last ranking was in 2020. There was no 2021 list, according to Money editor Kaitlin Mulhere.
The ranking joins other accolades UCR has received this year. In April, UCR was ranked among the top 1.3% of universities internationally by the Center for World University Rankings. In February, UCR was named the No. 18 university nationally in the Economic Mobility Index, which measures the role universities play in catalyzing the economy.
Also during the 2021-22 school term, U.S. News & World Report named UCR for the third consecutive year as the country’s No. 1 university for social mobility. UCR cracked the top 50 public universities in the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education poll.
This past fall, Washington Monthly magazine named UCR No. 1 in the nation for Pell Grant performance. UCR graduated the second-most Pell Grant students in the country, according to federal data from the most recent cohort considered.