UCSB was ranked number 17, a jump from number 34 in last year's rankings. Other UC campuses in the top 25 include UC Berkeley at number 7; UCLA and UC San Diego at numbers 9 and 10, respectively; UC Davis at number 20; and UC Irvine at number 22.
"I am delighted by this national recognition of the exceptional value of a UC Santa Barbara education," said UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang. "Such recognition is a reflection of our deep dedication to teaching and mentoring students, and our unwavering commitment to excellence, access, and affordability. Our students participate in highly ranked academic programs, engage in original undergraduate research, and study with award-winning professors. Our campus offers a wonderful balance between strong academics and a high quality of student life in a spectacular location."
In determining the rankings, Kiplinger's assesses quality and affordability of each college and university according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger's revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year, and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid, and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same. Many schools have appeared on the list multiple times, including UCSB.
"As states cut funding for higher education, and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value' is more significant than ever," said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance. "This year's top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices. We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality."
The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger's February 2012 issue on newsstands today and online at http://www.kiplinger.com/links/college. Visitors to the Web site will find special interactive features, including frequently asked questions about the public colleges rankings and data sortable by criteria, such as state, tuition cost, average debt, student/faculty ration, and admission rate.
For nine decades, the Kiplinger organization has led the way in personal finance and business forecasting. Founded in 1920 by W. M. Kiplinger, the company developed The Kiplinger Letter, which launched in 1923, and remains the longest continuously published newsletter in the United States. In 1947, Kiplinger created Kiplinger's Personal Finance, the first magazine of its kind in the United States.