Skip to Main Content
Chico State

CSU, Chico Recognized Among Nation’s Top Public and Online Colleges and Universities

Sunlight reflects off the glass facade of an academic building
Jason Halley / University Photographer

The new Science Building on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 in Chico, Calif. (Jason Halley/University Photographer/CSU, Chico)

When it comes to investing in higher education, prospective students and their families consider a range of factors, including affordability, value, transformative opportunity, and statewide, regional and national prominence. California State University, Chico checks every box.

College Consensus, a college review aggregator, has compiled rankings of higher education institutions based on several reputable regional and national lists—and CSU, Chico once again has been recognized on a half dozen of them, including those reflecting best public and online schools, as well as best value.

Jerry Ross, associate vice president of Enrollment Management, said that between in-person instruction, virtual learning and excellent affordability, CSU, Chico continues to distinguish itself as a premier educational institution.

“These rankings are further examples of the outstanding work of Chico State to expand access to higher education in California and nationally,” Ross said. “There are few institutions that can match our high-quality academic programs combined with our value, equity and accessibility.”

In its national ranking of “Best Public Colleges and Universities,” College Consensus listed CSU, Chico at No. 8—a 32-spot leap from last year’s placement at No. 40. Cal State Stanislaus was the only other CSU campus to appear in the top 10, coming in at No. 6.

Additionally, CSU, Chico was ranked No. 38 on the list of “Best Colleges and Universities” and No. 8 on the “Best Colleges and Universities in California.”

As the entire world shifted online, higher education likewise had to pivot. CSU, Chico was primed for the move thanks to its robust distance learning programs and online degrees. College Consensus ranked CSU, Chico at No. 2 on its list of “Best Online Colleges and Universities” up from last year’s No. 24 ranking. The only other CSU campus listed in the top 50 was Cal State East Bay, at No. 23.

Finally, when it comes to value, CSU, Chico continues to stand out as one of best in the nation—both for traditional in-person learning and online instruction. The University was recognized at No. 12 on College Consensus’ “Best Value Online Colleges and Universities” list and also at No. 62 in the “Best Value Colleges and Universities” rankings.

The recognition as an affordable higher education institution is nothing new to CSU, Chico—in fact, the CSU, the nation’s largest university system, remains one of the most affordable when compared to other institutions across the country. CSU tuition and fees for an academic year of undergraduate education averaged $7,363 for the 2020–21 academic year while the national average was $11,839.

All published rankings recognized the top 100 colleges and universities in each category. To compile its rankings, College Consensus compiled data from reputable and respected national college ranking systems including Money magazine, US News and World Report, Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, WalletHub and Washington Monthly.