Merced County Times Newspaper
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UC Merced ranked 15th in nation on new list of Best Public Colleges

UC Merced has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal Best Colleges in the U.S. ranking published today. Out of 400 universities that were looked at nationwide, UC Merced came in at No. 15 for public institutions. The university was ranked No. 59 overall.

This latest assessment, a joint venture between the Wall Street Journal and college-focused survey and research platform College Pulse, has been reworked from prior years. Shifting from traditional metrics, the methodology used to compile the rankings now emphasizes student outcomes.

Among the new criteria examined was how colleges improved their students’ likelihood of graduating on time and how much they increased salaries following graduation. According to the researchers, this list provides a more accurate reflection of the value a school provides its students.

Another change in this latest iteration of the rankings is the weight added to the student experience. More than 60,000 current students and recent graduates were surveyed earlier this year by College Pulse. The data, the researchers said, “captured a range of perspectives on student life, including students’ perception of learning opportunities, career preparation, dining halls and sports facilities, and the students’ thoughts on diversity.”

“I am pleased to see our institution recognized for student outcomes,” said UC Merced Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz. “Student success has always been our North Star, and this report is further proof that students are benefitting from choosing UC Merced.”

The Wall Street Journal ranking comes on the heels of another good showing in Washington Monthly’s annual College Guide and Rankings. Buoyed by its impact on student social mobility, UC Merced came in at No. 56. Washington Monthly’s rankings are the result of three equally weighted categories: social mobility, research, and community and national service. As a result, UC Merced also claimed the 25th spot in the “Best Bang for the Buck in the West” section.

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