LONG BEACH - Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) has been named among "America's Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges" in a new list released Monday by the Washington Monthly.The publication's 2013 list includes those colleges in America that "do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices," and it is a pretty exclusive list. Out of the 1,572 colleges and universities in its broader rankings, only 349 made the cut as best-bang-for-the-buck schools. CSULB appears at No. 6 on the list of 349 colleges and universities from across the country. "At a time when college costs are rising faster than both inflation and the nation's median family income, it is important to know which institutions can give students a high-quality education at a relatively low cost and a commitment to student success," said CSULB Interim President Donald Para. "This new list by the Washington Monthly affirms Cal State Long Beach's efforts to provide an outstanding education at a reasonable price. At the same time, our graduates are not burdened with a great debt.." To make the Washington Monthly list, each college and university had to meet a set of criteria. First, at least 20 percent of an institution's student body must be receiving Pell Grants, which typically go to students whose annual household income is below $50,000. Additionally, each university had to have a graduation rate of at least 50 percent. One other criteria was a student loan default rate of 10 percent or less, which the publication said was to make sure graduates are earning enough in the workforce to at least cover their student loans. Once the list of institutions meeting the criteria was compiled, the publication applied the "buck" part of the measure by ranking the schools based on their net price of attendance. The net price included the average tuition that first-time, full-time students from families with an annual income of $75,000 or less actually pay after subtracting the need-based financial aid they receive. "It is important that California, and the CSU in particular, offer its working-class and middle-class families viable and quality higher education options at affordable prices," noted Dan O'Connor, chair of CSULB's Academic Senate. "While the Washington Monthly article talks about several cost factors with respect to higher education, it is equally important that it emphasizes the quality of the education students receive at Cal State Long Beach." According to the publication's editors, the resulting list helps answer an important questions that prospective students should be asking themselves: "What colleges will charge people like me the least and give me the highest chance of graduating with a degree that means something in the marketplace?" A complete list of the 2013 America's Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Colleges can be found on the Washington Monthly website.
********** Published: Sept. 5, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 21