UCR campus beauty
June 17, 2024

Money magazine rankings put UC Riverside in top tier

UCR is among the top 7% of universities ranked in Money's 2024 Best Colleges

Author: J.D. Warren
June 17, 2024

UC Riverside is one of only 54 universities to receive a 5-star ranking in Money magazine’s 2024 list of Best Colleges . It placed UCR in the top tier of the Money rankings, with a half-star improvement over the 2023 rankings, and in the top 7.2% of universities ranked nationwide.

Other 5-star colleges include the likes of perennial rankings leaders Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale. Among the nine University of California undergraduate universities, UCR was one of six campuses to earn the honor, along with Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, UCLA, and San Diego.

“To be ranked among the top universities on Money magazine’s list is a real badge of honor for our university, and like other acknowledgments, reflects our emphasis on research excellence and student success,” said Kim Wilcox, UCR’s chancellor.

Seven hundred and forty-five of 2,400 U.S. colleges were considered for the list, which was published this month. To be among the 745, a college had to have at least 500 undergraduate students or 150 freshmen; have sufficient, reliable data for analysis;, and have a graduation rate above the median for its category  — in UCR’s case, that is public universities.

Money’s score assigns 30% of its weight to quality of education; 40% to affordability;, and 30% to outcomes. Those measures variously consider graduation rates, cost, and earnings among many factors.

This past year, Money christened its new, one-to-five-star rankings system. UCR received 4.5 stars in the inaugural year. In explaining its decision to abandon numbered rankings, Money’s editors wrote: “In a numbered ranking, very small differences in colleges’ scores result in different ranks, exaggerating the difference in performance. As experts have long advised, it’s more important to look broadly at where a college lands on a list and not its precise rank.

Money’s description of the 5-star rating threshold reads: “These colleges score exceptionally high on most of our metrics.” 

UCR was recently named among the top 1.3% of universities in the 2024 Center for World University Rankings. In fall 2023, U.S. News ranked the university No. 2 in the nation for social mobility, the leading measure of a university’s success elevating graduates’ standard of living. 

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