CM – UC Berkeley # 1 on Forbes’ list of the best American colleges


By Yasmin Anwar, media relations | September 8, 2021 September 18, 2021

Berkeley ranks first in Forbes’ rankings for accessibility and affordability, along with other indicators of success. (UC Berkeley photo by Keegan Houser)

For the first time, UC Berkeley took first place on Forbes magazine’s annual list of top American colleges, beating several elite private universities, including Yale in second place and Princeton up Third place.

Rounding out Forbes’ top 10 for 2021 is Stanford in fourth place, followed by Columbia, MIT, Harvard, UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University.

First public University that won Forbes’ top ranking – if you count West Point, a military academy that took first place in 2009 – Berkeley was recognized for providing « the most outstanding education for the widest range of students at the lowest cost » award . « 

In other UC locations that hit the top 50, UCLA was ranked eighth, followed by UC San Diego (15th), UC Davis (20th), UC Santa Barbara (39th) and UC Irvine (4th 7.).

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Forbes suspended its ranking of the best American universities in 2020 and revised its methodology by taking a closer look at accessibility and affordability.

At 27% of the UC Berkeley students, who receive government Pell Scholarships awarded to economically disadvantaged students, have ranked first on UC’s flagship campus. The magazine found that Harvard’s percentage of students receiving Pell Scholarships is 12%.

In addition to each university’s percentage of Pell Scholars, Forbes rated 600 four-year higher education institutions based on metrics such as average annual student costs , taking into account tuition, scholarships, and grants.

Other indicators of success that were reviewed for the Forbes ranking included alumni salaries, post-graduation debt, retention and graduation rates, and academic and professional awards and honors.

Forbes calculated the average UC Berkeley grant amount at $ 19,126, the average student debt at $ 6,000, and the average graduate starting salary at $ 138,800.


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