University News

UCLA ranks No. 5 in national survey of universities’ economic diversity

New York Times report calls UC system an ‘upward-mobility machine’

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UCLA commencement
Reed Hutchinson/UCLA

The rankings take into account graduation rates and cost of attendance.

UCLA is among six University of California campuses in the top 10 of a New York Times ranking that measures which colleges and universities are doing the most for low-income students.

The College Access Index, created by the Times’ Upshot blog, is based on the share of students who receive federal Pell Grants, the graduation rate of those students and the amount that low- and middle-income students pay to attend.

UCLA is fifth on the list, and five other UC campuses are among the top seven: Irvine (1), Davis (2), Santa Barbara (3), San Diego (4) and Berkeley (7).

An accompanying article calls the UC system an “upward-mobility machine,” noting the university’s deliberate steps to attract students of modest means, especially transfers from community colleges.

“The transfer pipeline is crucial, because many highly qualified low-income students — unaware of how much financial aid is available at four-year colleges — first enroll at local community colleges, where published tuition tends to be low,” the article says.

A separate article details the report’s methodology. The findings were presented Sept. 16 at the Times’ Schools for Tomorrow conference.

UCLA consistently performs well in a wide variety of rankings. In U.S. News and World Report’s latest annual ranking of American colleges and universities, published Sept. 8 , UCLA placed second among public universities. In August, Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UCLA second among U.S. public institutions and No. 12 overall. The latest Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings, based on service in the public interest, put UCLA sixth.

The College Scorecard made public by the White House this month reflected the value of UCLA and other UC campuses and the education they provide.

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