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Students rank UC campuses among the nation’s best

All nine University of California undergraduate campuses were named top academic institutions by The Princeton Review in its Best Colleges for 2024 list and the 2024 edition of its related guidebook “The Best 389 Colleges.”

Just 15 percent of America’s four-year colleges and universities are featured in the book. The Best Colleges guide is one of the few annual rankings that bases its results on student reports of their experience, rather than institutional data or other metrics.

To compile their list, the Princeton Review tallied results from roughly 165,000 student surveys at the schools in “The Best 389 Colleges,” receiving about 424 surveys per school. The surveys were conducted over the last three years. The 85-question survey asked students to rate their professors, administrators, financial aid, campus amenities, school services, and other aspects of life at their colleges on a five-point scale and to report on their experiences at them.

“We created our rankings to provide a resource for college applicants that helps them answer what may well be the toughest question in their college search — ‘What’s the best school for me?’” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review and lead author of “The Best 389 Colleges.” “Our selection of colleges for this book reflects our high opinion of the schools: we recommend each one as academically outstanding. Our ranking lists reflect the opinions of the school’s students — their customers — and their reports to us about their campus experiences.”

The University of California and its nine undergraduate campuses are ranked highly year in and year out on a wide range of university rankings.

Most recently, Money magazine ranked all nine UC undergraduate campuses as among the best in the country in combining educational quality and affordability, according to Money’s 2023 Best Colleges in America list. Four UC campuses — UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC San Diego — earned 5 stars, Money’s highest ranking, a distinction awarded to only 34 universities in the country.


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