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UC San Diego Named No. 4 Best Value Public College by The Princeton Review

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications and Creative Services


  • Amanda Rubalcava

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  • Amanda Rubalcava

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The University of California San Diego has been ranked fourth among the nation’s top public colleges for students seeking an outstanding education at an affordable price, according to The Princeton Review’s Best Value Colleges for 2021.

The guide profiles 200 colleges that received the company's highest ROI (Return on Investment) ratings. The ROI ratings are determined from over 40 data points, covering topics ranging from academic offerings and financial aid to graduation rates and alumni salaries.

“As one of the nation’s leading public research universities, we are committed to ensuring that access to a top-notch education is both attainable and affordable,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We want prospective students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to be able to picture themselves living and learning at UC San Diego. This latest recognition reaffirms our commitment to expanding college access, opportunity and success for all.”

UC San Diego was selected from more than 650 institutions considered and surveyed for the final 200 universities profiled in the Best Value Colleges for 2021 list. This list does not rank the colleges hierarchically. To coincide, The Princeton Review also reports seven categories of ranked Best Value Colleges lists, each highlighting the top public and top private colleges within each category.

Among The Princeton Review’s seven categories of ranking lists, UC San Diego earned the following high marks:

  • #4 | Top 50 Best Value Colleges (Public Schools)
  • #5 | Top 20 Best Career Placement (Public Schools)
  • #6 | Top 20 Best Value Colleges for Students With No Demonstrated Need (Public Schools)
  • #11 | Top 20 Best Schools for Financial Aid (Public Schools)  

As part of the university’s efforts to shape a more inclusive future, UC San Diego offers resources and educational opportunities to ensure students of all backgrounds can thrive on campus. Among these programs is the Chancellor's Associates Scholarship, which supports talented local students through scholarship funding, benefits, services and programs. Further, the Career Center at UC San Diego helps connect students to job opportunities, internships and more to help lead all Tritons to optimal outcomes. The Triton Transfer Hub, opened in 2020, is another campus resource that supports transfer students through high-impact learning experiences, community building and professional development.

Alongside this latest ranking, UC San Diego was featured in the 2020 edition of The Princeton Review’s annual The Best 386 Colleges book. UC San Diego also placed third among public universities in Money’s 2020 annual ranking of the best colleges in America, ranked by value. For more information about UC San Diego rankings, visit the Campus Profile.

Full methodology and further information on the Best Value Colleges for 2021 project and its seven categories of ranking lists can be accessed on The Princeton Review website.

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