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Saturday, September 23, 2023

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Above, a view of SDSU's Hepner Hall. Above, a view of SDSU's Hepner Hall.

Money Magazine’s Best Colleges for Value Ranks SDSU

The rankings assessed quality, affordability and outcomes for graduates.
By Jeff Ristine

San Diego State University ranks No. 55 for quality, affordability and outcomes among more than 620 four-year colleges in the U.S., according to new rankings released Monday by Money magazine.

Money said it sought to rank relatively accessible colleges and universities by their value to students, showing that “your college doesn’t have to be exclusive to be a great investment.” 

The 24 factors in the magazine’s methodology for measuring colleges included the net price of a degree after scholarships and grants, the six-year graduation rate for first-time students and transfers, and the share of students from  low- and moderate-income backgrounds.

The data collection and number-crunching for the rankings were led by the magazine’s partner, Witlytic, and included “value-added” measures aimed at capturing graduates’ earnings after obtaining a degree and calculations of graduation rates against those expected from the economic and academic profile of its students.

“Early career earnings” for SDSU graduates, drawn from data in the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard, were pegged at $59,030 annually. 

SDSU was ranked No. 79 in the magazine’s most recent list, published in 2020. Adding to SDSU’s affordability is a broad package of opportunities for financial aid and scholarships, which totaled more than $60 million in 2021-22; endowments for scholarships also have increased steadily and currently total $136 million.

In addition to SDSU, 20 other campuses in the California State University system were represented in the rankings’ top 100. CSU has not imposed a systemwide increase in tuition for more than 10 years.

Money published separate rankings for 48 “selective” colleges, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Princeton.

Several other publications place SDSU high in annual rankings published over the past year:

SDSU is No. 67 among public universities in the U.S. and the undergraduate business program is No. 8 in U.S. News & World Report’s “2022 Best Colleges.” The School of Public Health is No. 19 in the same magazine’s rankings of the nation’s best graduate programs.

In addition, SDSU was third in the nation for the number of students who studied abroad in the latest Open Doors report. And The Princeton Review featured SDSU in both “The Best 387 Colleges” and its guide to “Green Colleges.”