UC Merced found itself this week on another list of the nation’s top universities for high graduation rates and alumni giving.
The U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Best Colleges rankings rated UC Merced No. 78 among public colleges and No. 152 overall among national universities.
UC Merced has been ranked on the list in the past for specific graduate programs, but this year is the first time it appeared on the national universities ranking, the college announced in a news release.
“Earning a spot among the nation’s most highly regarded colleges and universities is an enormous honor and a tribute to the trailblazing faculty, staff and students who have brought us so far in such a short period of time,” UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland said in the news release. “UC Merced has emerged as the next great research university in the most respected and accomplished public university system in the world.”
UC Merced, which opened in 2005, was the youngest campus to make the list this year.
The national universities list evaluates major institutions with national reach, advanced degree programs and commitments to research. The list includes nearly 300 of the largest and best-known colleges in the country and ranks 231 of them.
UC Merced’s rating was based on the university’s rates for graduation and alumni giving.
The report calculated a six-year graduation rate for each school based on students’ SAT scores, the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants and spending on instruction.
In 2015, UC Merced’s 66 percent graduation rate exceeded its predicted rate of 52 percent. The national average is 59 percent. The 14-point difference ranked No. 8 among the 298 universities.
In terms of alumni giving, UC Merced’s young alumni, many of whom are in their 20s, ranked No. 47 among public universities with 11 percent and No. 102 overall. The ranking put the 10-year-old campus ahead of many other bigger schools with more established alumni bases.
In February, UC Merced earned the second-highest classification for American research universities on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In the last two weeks, the campus ranked No. 8 in the west on Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck list and No. 41 in the magazine’s national rankings. UC Merced also placed in the top 100 on the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” list for the fourth time in five years for being environmentally sustainable.
Brianna Calix: 209-385-2477