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September 7, 2022

Forbes magazine ranks UC Riverside No. 33 public university

The rankings focus on graduation rates, salaries, and low debt

Author: J.D. Warren
September 7, 2022

UC Riverside is the No. 33 public university in a college ranking from Forbes magazine. UCR was among several UC campuses and 17 public universities in the top 50.

The methodology for the Forbes list relies on data from two federal databases, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, or IPEDS, and the College Scorecard, as well as several databases that gauge graduates’ earning.

“Forbes top colleges ranking spotlights schools that offer an excellent education at a great price, graduate high-earners and propel students to become successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders in their fields,” the editors wrote in the introduction to this year’s Forbes Top Colleges ranking, released Aug. 30.

Schools placed well if their students graduated on time, secured high salaries and low debt, and went on to have successful careers. In 2021, Forbes data was reframed to better gauge alumni salaries, a new metric was added to determine how quickly graduates were able to pay off the cost of college, and schools were judged based on how well they are serving low-income students.

Twenty percent of a university’s score is based on its graduates’ salaries; 15% on graduates’ debt; 15% on graduation rate; 15% on Return on Investment, which gauges cost-vs.-earnings compared to high school graduates; 10% on student retention; 10% on academic success, and 15% on inclusion in Forbes various prestige lists, including Forbes 30 Under 30; Forbes 400; Richest Self-Made Women and Most Powerful Women.

UCR is No. 84 overall among 500 private and public universities considered for the Forbes list. MIT led this year’s list, with UC Berkeley and Stanford tied for No. 2.

This past week, Washington Monthly released its annual college rankings and placed UC Riverside No. 4 among 444 universities nationwide in its Pell Grant student performance. Separately, the Princeton Review recently released its annual best colleges list, with UCR earning high ranks in financial aid (No. 11 in the U.S.), making a public impact (No. 20), and best value (No. 23).

The U.S. News & World Report 2022 college rankings, the most-watched rankings, are set for release this month. For three consecutive years, U.S. News has ranked UCR No. 1 in the nation for social mobility.

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