UC Riverside Tops Time Magazine List

UCR: Time magazine puts campus at top

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With graduation rates, affordability and access equally weighted, UC Riverside is the top university in the country.

At least, it comes out that way in a new ranking by Time magazine.

Time used an algorithm based on data pulled from the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Schools were evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Six-year graduation rate;
  • Percentage of full-time, first-time undergraduates receiving Pell grants; and
  • Net cost for students receiving aid, and whose families’ annual incomes were below $110,000.

The White House announced the rating system last year, aiming to create a simple way to evaluate schools and the value they offer their students.

Criteria for those assessments include tuition cost, graduation rate and the percentage of students who receive federally funded scholarships for lower-income students.

Time wondered how such a plan might work, so they collected information for 2,500 college and universities and ranked them according to the Obama administration’s method.

The online article allows readers to change the importance of each metric — and the schools rankings change accordingly.

“We’ve left it to you to adjust how important each of those metrics should be,” the Time story said, urging readers to “adjust the sliders, and watch the schools reshuffle” in the rankings.

Before readers’ own adjustments, with each criteria weighed equally, UCR topped the list, followed by UC San Diego, City University of New York/Bernard M. Baruch College, UC Irvine and CUNY Brooklyn. Cal State San Bernardino ranked 30th.

UCR spokeswoman Kris Lovekin said officials at the campus were pleasantly surprised, including her.

“It was beyond even my high expectations for this campus,” Lovekin said. “Hard work by the faculty accounts for that.”

While UCR has struggled to increase its graduation rate, Lovekin said that when the disproportionate number of low-income and first-generation college goers is factored in, the school is doing better than average.

“We’re beating the odds,” she said.

And topping at least one list.

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