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Chico State

Chico State Excels in Money Magazine’s ‘Best of 2023’ Rankings

An academic building on a college campus as the morning sun breaks through
Jason Halley / University Photographer

With fall classes resuming soon at colleges and universities around the country, Money magazine has published its list of “The Best Colleges in America 2023”—placing Chico State in rare air when it comes to excellence in higher education.

Employing an updated rankings system, Money magazine awarded Chico State 4 1/2 stars out of a possible five stars.

Colleges and universities on the list were ranked from 5 stars down to 2.5 stars. These institutions’ scores were measured according to 26 different factors—from alumni salaries and tuition costs to financial aid and graduation rates—before being broken down into three categories: quality of education (30 percent), affordability (40 percent) and outcomes (30 percent).

Nearly every CSU campus received 4 1/2 stars—Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was the lone CSU campus to receive a 5-star rating.

“Chico State has a very long tradition of prioritizing high-quality, affordable education for a wide swath of students,” said Interim Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Serge Desir. “We believe everyone who is ready for a college experience should be able to achieve it without financial strain.”

Of the 736 colleges and universities on Money’s list, Chico State was listed in the top 15 percent for lowest estimated price for the 2023–24 academic year and the top 16 percent for lowest estimated price with an average grant.

In previous Money magazine rankings, Chico State was recognized on the “2022 Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value” at No. 48—within the top 8 percent of all higher education institutions around the country—No. 34 on its “Best Public Colleges” rankings and No. 21 in the list of the country’s “Most Transformative Colleges.”

Additionally, Chico State has been ranked in the top 5 nationally for the lowest student debt and for having its students graduate with the lowest federal debt of any public college in California.