University News

College scorecard highlights all-around value of UCLA, other UC campuses

Janet Napolitano
University of California

UC President Janet Napolitano

The College Scorecard recently unveiled by the White House reflects the broad value of UCLA and other University of California campuses and the education they provide.

The scorecard, which bases its analysis on data from students who received federal financial aid, shows that UCLA and other UC campuses are a good investment not only for students and their families, but for the federal government and the state.

“The University of California is one of the best values in higher education,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “The newly released scorecard showcases the excellent performance of all 10 of our campuses in the areas measured, including cost, graduation rates and student debt levels. I hope this scorecard will help to improve accountability — at all institutions — for the billions of student aid dollars distributed by the U.S. Department of Education.”

At UCLA, 91 percent of students graduate within six years, well above the national average of 44 percent for four-year colleges and universities, according to the scorecard’s interactive website. In addition, 96 percent of students return after their first year, compared with the national average of 67 percent.

Reflecting socio-economic diversity at UCLA, 36 percent of students have family income of less than $40,000 and receive a federal Pell Grant to help pay for college.

Among former UCLA students who received federal financial aid, the median salary 10 years after enrolling was $59,200, exceeding the national average of $34,343.

The scorecard shows that graduates of UC campuses are much more likely than others to have begun to pay down their college debt. Only about half of UC undergraduates borrow to help pay for the cost of their education, while 55 percent of California students receive enough financial aid to fully cover tuition.

The financial and graduation data were among an array of new and previously released information included in the government’s scorecard.

UC campuses also were highlighted in documents released alongside the data. UC Irvine was praised as an “engine of opportunity” for contributing to social mobility by offering an affordable education to low-income students. UCLA was hailed for enrolling a large share of students receiving federal Pell Grants and serving them well.

In addition, five UC campuses — UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine and UC San Diego — were listed by the Education Department as among 15 public colleges that fall in the top 10 percent of all four-year schools for their graduation rates and median earnings.

The release of the scorecard follows a series of recent national and international rankings whose varying methodologies underscore UC’s standing as one of the world’s preeminent research universities.

In the annual ranking of American colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report, released last week, UC campuses comprised six of the magazine’s top 11 public universities. UC Berkeley topped the list, followed by UCLA at No. 2. UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Davis all made the top 11.

In August, Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked UCLA second among U.S. public institutions and No. 12 overall,  and the latest Washington Monthly College Guide and Rankings placed UCLA sixth based on its service in the public interest.

This story was adapted from a University of California news release posted here.

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