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CSUF in Top Tier of U.S. News Rankings

Ranks Number Seven in Public Comprehensive Universities in the West

Sept. 10, 2013

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So long as the warm weather holds, campus lawns are popular places to study between classes.

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Cal State Fullerton retains its perch among the “Top Public Regional Universities (West),” announced today by U.S. News & World Report.

CSUF is No. 7 in the annual ranking, ahead of four other CSUs in the top 10 and below three others. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo tops the list of public universities in the West that award mostly bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

In the magazine’s broader “Best Regional Universities” in the West category, incorporating both public and private institutions, CSUF ranks 35th among 90 institutions in the top tier in the West. Leading this list is Trinity University in Texas, followed by Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount universities in the No. 2 and 3 slots, respectively.

For the “Best Regional Universities” annual ranking, 621 institutions in four geographic regions throughout the nation were assessed by region. The magazine ranked 1,376 institutions overall for its “2014 Best Colleges” after collecting data about almost 1,800 colleges and universities during the spring and summer of 2013.

Princeton, Harvard and Yale are the top three institutions, respectively, in the magazine’s “National University Rankings,” which include only those institutions offering doctorates.

This year, the magazine made "significant changes" to its ranking methodology "to reduce the weight of input factors and increase the weight of output measures," noted Robert Morse and Sam Flanigan in the U.S. News online posting.

The rankings of regional universities are based on a variety of factors and, for the first time, incorporate a “graduation rate performance indicator” — a factor that accounts for 7.5 percent of the overall assessment.

The indicator, which previously applied only to national universities and liberal arts colleges is described by the magazine as an “outcome measure that focuses on the difference between each school’s predicted graduation rate (as calculated by U.S. News based on key characteristics of the incoming class closely linked to college completion, such as SAT and ACT scores and Pell Grants) and its actual graduation rate. The indicator gives credit to schools that have higher-than-expected graduation rates.”

In addition, the weights assigned for some longstanding measures have been adjusted downward. Retention and undergraduate academic reputation, each now account for 22.5 percent of the overall score (down from 25 percent). Also changed is student selectivity, now 12.5 percent (down from 15 percent).

Other assessment factors, which remain unchanged, are: faculty resources (20 percent), financial resources (10 percent) and alumni giving (5 percent).

U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings will be published in the print edition of “Best Colleges 2014” guidebook, now on sale online and on newsstands Sept. 24.

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