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Washington Monthly Names UC San Diego the Best Public University for Social Mobility


  • Erika Johnson

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  • Erika Johnson

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UC San Diego students

Photo by Elena Zhukova, UC Communications.

The University of California San Diego has been named the #1 public university in the nation by Washington Monthly for contributions to social mobility, research and public service. UC San Diego has topped the rankings eight times over the past nine years.

The 2018 College Guide and Rankings assessed four-year colleges based on recruitment and graduation of low-income students; production of cutting-edge research; the number of undergraduates that go on to earn a doctorate degree; as well as success of instilling the importance of service to the community and our country.

“We are proud to be recognized as the leading public university in the nation for expanding educational opportunity for diverse students, conducting bold investigations that benefit all, and infusing a service-oriented outlook into all of our research and teaching,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

The results coincide with UC San Diego’s commitment to increasing educational access. UC San Diego is expected to enroll one its most diverse ethnic and socioeconomic classes of students this fall. Nearly one-third of the campus’s newly-admitted freshmen and transfers are the first in their family to attend a four-year college.

Just two weeks ago, UC San Diego was recognized by Money Magazine for being one of the best schools in the U.S. for gaining a quality education at an affordable price, transforming the lives of low-income students. Similarly, in 2017, the New York Times recognized UC San Diego for enrolling the highest population of low-income students—11 percent—among peer institutions. With a degree from UC San Diego, these students have a high probability of thriving in the middle class and beyond.

Washington Monthly’s ranking also called attention to universities that conduct research for the benefit of our community and nation. At UC San Diego, students, faculty and researchers are constantly making waves, such as producing the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip flops—changing the world for the better environmentally. In addition, a team of UC San Diego scientists recently discovered the destructive mechanism that blocks the brain from knowing when to stop eating, which may offer clues to overcoming the obesity epidemic.

The complete 2018 Washington Monthly college rankings can be found here. Founded in 1969, Washington Monthly is a bimonthly nonprofit magazine covering politics, government, culture and the media. The College Guide and Rankings first appeared in the publication in 2005. For more UC San Diego rankings, visit the Campus Profile.

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