UC Berkeley is the first public university to top Forbes best colleges list


Harvard’s unseating praise and ranking above Stanford’s neighbors, UC Berkeley landed the No. 1 spot on America’s Forbes 2021 College Top list released Wednesday.

“Cal’s 31,000 undergraduates pay just over $ 14,000 a year ($ 29,000 more for non-California residents) in tuition and fees for an education that is arguably richer than what they would receive from arch-rival Stanford,” Forbes said in a local greeting article. school was founded in 1868.

The news organization said in a Forbes retooled the criteria for its annual list that includes both private and public universities this year, using “a methodology to count low-income student outcomes and add a giant database federal government for Forbes’ county of graduate earnings, ” statement.

This resulted in a completely different list from the past few years, with a public college claiming the top spot for the first time.

“Public universities deliver the most outstanding education in the widest range of students at the most affordable prices,” Forbes said. “That’s Forbes’ 2021 message placed in top colleges.”


Harvard, which was No. 1 in 2019, fell to seventh. (Forbes didn’t make the list in 2020 due to COVID.) How does the Golden Bear make the leap? Forbes explains that “21% of incoming freshmen and 43% of Cal’s transfer students receive Pell Grants, money the federal government offers to help low- and moderate-income families pay for college.” In the Massachusetts Ivy League schools, only 12% of Harvard undergrads receive Pell grants, Forbes said.

Three other University of California schools – Los Angeles (No. 8), San Diego (No. 15) and Davis (No. 20) – made the top 25. Stanford, another Bay Area university, ranked fourth.

See the full list of Forbes.com.

Forbes gave a lot of reasons why UC Berkeley came out on top, including its “world-class academics, great sports, a stunning Bay Area setting, reasonable costs and a fair history.”

UC Berkeley said in a statement a key part of its mission is to reach a large cross-section of students.

“In the last few years we have increased these efforts, with incredible results,” the university said in a statement. “It’s gratifying to see such important work recognized in the methodology used by Forbes and hopefully more institutions.”

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