U.S. News ranks CSUMB No. 2 in social mobility in Western region

Four students hanging out together outside of the College of Science building Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias

Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias

September 19, 2023

By Mark Muckenfuss

CSU Monterey Bay rose higher in three major categories in the latest U.S. News and World Report college rankings, performing better than almost any other university in 15 western states in positioning disadvantaged students for promising futures. 

The 2024 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings rate CSU Monterey Bay as No. 2 in the Western region for social mobility, a metric that measures how well a school puts low-income students on a path to success. 

The magazine also ranked CSUMB as No. 6 among Top Public Schools in the West and No. 14 among all universities in that region.

“I am so proud to see that CSUMB continues to move up in the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges Western regional rankings year over year,” said CSUMB President Vanya Quiñones. “Our success as a top public school and on social mobility is due to our dedicated staff and faculty, who work hard to ensure our students have an exceptional experience and gain a strong education that prepares them for careers in our region.”

“Some colleges are more successful than others at advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of disadvantaged students awarded with Pell Grants,” U.S. News said in its explanation of the social mobility ranking. “The vast majority of these federal grants are awarded to students whose adjusted gross family incomes are under $50,000.”

In addition to Pell Grant status, evaluators also considered borrower debt and whether college graduates earned more than workers with only a high school diploma.

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Lawson said, “It is gratifying to see another ranking recognize CSUMB as a leader in social mobility. We know that our graduates receive a high-quality education without going into debt to pursue their aspirations.” 

The U.S. News assessment follows other recent college rankings that placed CSUMB among the region’s and the nation’s top schools. The Wall Street Journal ranked the university No. 13 among public schools in California and No. 8 in the CSU system. And Forbes magazine listed CSUMB as No. 17 among medium-sized colleges nationally.