For the fifth consecutive year, Fresno State is ranked among the top three of the nation’s best public universities for graduation-rate performance in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best College rankings issued today.
The University scored third-highest among public national universities and was No. 4 overall among all national universities, according to an analysis of U.S. News’ Academic Insights data used in the magazine’s annual rankings. Fresno State has ranked No. 3 for the past three years and was No. 1 in 2017.
The graduation-rate performance uses the University’s actual six-year graduation rate compared to predicted performance based on admissions data, school financial resources, the proportion of federal financial aid recipients who are first-generation, math and science orientations and the proportion of undergraduates receiving Pell grants.
“This particular national ranking speaks to the determination of our talented students, most of whom juggle work and family demands while seeking a college degree, a key that opens doors to a lifetime of professional and economic mobility opportunities,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “It also highlights the University’s commitment, including that of our dedicated faculty and staff, to supporting and empowering students to ensure their timely completion to a quality and affordable degree.”
Here’s a look at other categories of the U.S. News and World Report where Fresno State continues to deliver on its mission to educate and empower students for success.
- Fresno State ranked No. 6 for the second consecutive year for having the least debt load at graduation among public national universities and No. 18 among all national universities. Forty percent of recent students who graduated in 2019 or earlier have an average debt of $15,181 compared to the national average student debt of $29,399.
- The University ranked No. 21 for graduate indebtedness, a new category showing how schools compare in terms of the average amount of federal loan debt among recent graduates and the percentage of graduates who borrowed federal loans.
- Improving one spot from last year, Fresno State ranked No. 26 in the social mobility category for how well schools graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants, meaning they come from low- to medium-income households.
- The Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State ranked No. 60 out of 220 universities for Best Undergraduate Engineering Program.
- Fresno State and San Diego State are the only two CSU campuses to rank in the top 100 public national universities placing No. 100 and No. 65, respectively.
Fresno State’s reclassification as a Carnegie doctoral university in 2016 means it joined the top research universities in the nation in rankings produced by the new publication. Fresno State offers doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy and educational leadership.
U.S. News and World Report evaluates campuses on multiple factors for its overall national ranking. The news publication gives the most weight to outcomes, including graduation and retention rates followed by faculty resources, academic reputation, financial resources and graduation-rate performance. This year, the rankings included schools that don’t use the SAT or ACT at all in admissions decisions.
In other rankings
Last month, Fresno State ranked No. 26 in Washington Monthly’s annual nationwide college rankings. The Washington D.C.-based magazine calls attention to colleges that best serve the community, ranking institutions on social mobility, research and service. This is the fifth straight year Fresno State has ranked in Washington Monthly’s top 30.
The University also ranked No. 7 for Most Transformative Colleges in MONEY Magazine’s 50 Best Public Colleges rankings for 2020. Additionally, Fresno State ranked No. 40 on the Best Public College rankings, and came in No. 19 for Best Colleges Where More Than Half of Applicants Get In.