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Chico State

Rankings Season: A Roundup

A bright sunny sky shines above a brick academic building
Jason Halley / University Photographer

Around here, it’s called “Rankings Season.” Every August to October, magazines, online outlets and national and international organizations release their rankings of the best higher education institutions.

And every year, Chico State appears at the top of several lists, from best bang for the buck and sustainability to graduate school rankings and online education. Here’s a quick rundown of the accolades bestowed upon us recently.

Money Magazine

For its annual “The Best Colleges in America 2023” rankings, Money magazine scored more than 730 colleges and universities out of a possible 5 stars—Chico State received 4 1/2 stars. Additionally, 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.

Washington Monthly

In Washington Monthly’s “2023 Master’s University Rankings,” Chico State was recognized at No. 6—within the top 1 percent of the more-than 600 institutions listed and matching last year’s ranking. The University was also honored at No. 17 in Washington Monthly’s “2023 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: West” list.


In Forbes’ annual “America’s Top Colleges List,” Chico State is ranked No. 158 nationally out of 500 higher education institutions. The University made the top third of the schools listed and was the 18th-ranked public institution from California. Additionally, Chico State was recognized at No. 3 in Forbes’ “Best California Colleges Online of 2023.”

US News & World Report

Chico State is no stranger to being in the top 10 rankings in US News & World Report rankings—this year is no different. In its “Best College Rankings,” the magazine listed Chico State tied for No. 7 in its “Top Public Schools – Regional Universities” list; tied for No. 8 in its “Best Colleges for Veterans” regional list; No. 15 in its “Overall Rank – Regional Universities” list; No. 21 in its “Best Value Schools Regional Universities” list; and No. 22 as a “Top Performer on Social Mobility – Regional Universities” list.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

…or AASHE, honored Chico State for its environmental practices and commitment to sustainability on the 2023 Sustainable Campus Index. Chico State was ranked No. 3 in the Master’s Institutions category—the University’s sixth consecutive year in the top 10 and its third straight year in the top 5.


In August, Chico State’s Graduate Equity Fellowship Program (GEFP) was named a finalist for 2023 Examples in Excelencia at the Graduate level by Excelencia in Education, the nation’s leading authority on efforts to accelerate Latinx student success in higher education. Then in September, the program was recognized as the top school in its category. The GEFP was honored for its leadership in effectively serving Latinx students to succeed in attaining their master’s degrees and transitioning to PhD degree programs.