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Chico State

Chico State Among Nation’s Elite in Recent Washington Monthly Rankings

A crape myrtle flowers in front of an academic building.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Whether it’s earning an undergraduate degree or continuing on to graduate work, investing in higher education is one of the most important decisions a family can make—both for the lives of prospective college students and the trajectories of their families. As a value, Chico State has once again been recognized as one of the nation’s best.

In its “2022 College Guide and Rankings,” Washington Monthly has honored Chico State in the top 15 in the “Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: West” and “Master’s University Rankings”—moving up in both from last year.

“Students want to have the comfort knowing they will not be burdened beneath under a mountain of student debt when they graduate from college,” said Jerry Ross, associate vice president for Enrollment Management. “Providing a high-quality college education at an excellent value is part of what helps make Chico State unique among higher education—and moving up in the rankings of multiple categories shows us that our hard work is paying off.”

In Washington Monthly’s “2022 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: West” list, Chico State was listed at No. 14—up a spot from last year’s spot—out of 214 higher education institutions.

California State University schools occupy nearly half of this regional ranking’s top 20 spots. Buoyed by the system’s affordable education compared to other national systems, the Washington Monthly list is led by Cal State LA (No. 3); Cal State Maritime (No. 4); Stanislaus State (No. 5); CSUN (No. 6); Sacramento State (No. 10); CSU, Dominguez Hills (No. 11); CSU, Bakersfield (No. 13); and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (No. 18).

In its “Master’s University Rankings,” Chico State ranked even higher—reaching No. 6. This is an improvement from last year’s ranking at No. 12 and puts the University in the top 1 percent among the nation’s 603 schools listed. Within this category, Chico State was also ranked at No. 11 in social mobility.

Once again, the CSU was well-represented in this category, including Cal State LA (No. 3); CSUN (No. 4); Stanislaus State (No. 8); and Sacramento State (No. 9). Cal State Dominguez Hills (No. 14); Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (No. 17); and Cal Poly Pomona (No. 20) round out the top 20

Washington Monthly established its rankings consensus by equally weighing three parts: social mobility, research and community and national service, and requires that in order to be considered for the list, each institution must “be excellent across the full breadth of our measures, rather than excelling in just one measure.”

The Washington Monthly rankings comes on the heels of Chico State’s rise in US News & World Report’s Best College Rankings, including as No. 10 in Top Public Universities in the West; No. 13 in Best Colleges for Veterans – Regional Universities West; and No. 22 in Social Mobility – Regional Universities West. Additional placements over the last year include College Consensus ranking the University No. 2 in its “Best Online Colleges and Universities” and No. 8 in the “Best Public Colleges and Universities” lists—both national honors. For its affordability, Chico State placed in the top 8 percent in Money magazine’s “2022 Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value” listing, placing No. 48 out of 623 qualifying schools, while also being recognized as the top school in the state and No. 5 in the nation for lowest student debt by LendEDU.