For the first time ever on Forbes’ annual national ranking of America’s best colleges, a public school, the University of California at Berkeley has headed the list, trouncing some of the nation’s most coveted private universities such as Yale and Princeton.
UC Berkeley was recognized by Forbes for its excellence, affordability and “rich tradition of leading technological and social change.” In addition, they mentioned its “world-class academics, great sports and stunning Bay Area setting.”
Forbes usually calculated their grading by focusing on things like retention rate, graduation rate and average salary after graduation. However, this year Forbes adjusted their criteria. In 2020 the rankings were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore the company instead focused on changing their methodology with this year’s ranking using “a methodology counting low-income student outcomes and adds a giant federal database to Forbes’ tally of graduate earnings,” the company affirmed in a statement.
This resulted in a very different list than ones from previous years, emphasized by Berkeley taking the top spot.
UC Berkeley released a statement of their own expressing their gratitude towards the result and revealing their aims to reach a broad-cross section of students: “In the last few years we have increased those efforts, and with incredible results,” the university said. “It is gratifying to see such important work recognized in the methodology used by Forbes and hopefully more institutions.”
Janet Gilmore, UC Berkeley’s senior director of strategic communications welcomed the result and highlighted the great work the university aims to achieve.
“A key part of our mission is providing a world-class education to a broad cross-section of exceptional students and transforming lives,” she said. “It is gratifying to see our important work recognized in the methodology used by Forbes and hopefully more institutions.”
In terms of other universities, Harvard, which has been known to top the rankings, most recently in 2019, fell to seventh. There were also three other California universities within the top 25 – Los Angeles (No.8), San Diego (No.15) and Davis (No.20).
Here are the top ten schools on Forbes’ college ranking list:
- University of California, Berkeley
- Yale University
- Princeton University
- Stanford University
- Columbia University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Pennsylvania
- Northwestern University
To view the full list of rankings, click here.