It is the fourth consecutive year that UC Riverside has been ranked among the top 10 schools in the survey, which considers civic engagement, research, and social mobility. Prior to the No. 2 ranking in 2013, UCR was fifth in 2011 and ninth in 2012.
UCR also placed 21st in the category of “Best-Bang-For-The-Buck Colleges,” an exclusive list that ranks schools on measures of access, affordability and student outcomes. UCR finished first among UC schools and improved five spots from its 2013 ranking.
“UCR is beginning to achieve the recognition it so richly deserves,” Chancellor Kim Wilcox said. “The ranking by Washington Monthly places value on student success, for which UCR has also been recognized by the National Science Foundation through its support of our undergraduate learning communities and instructional innovations, and by the Department of Education through its interest in what we’re doing at UCR. The campus is rapidly becoming a national model for student success.”
In their introduction to the rankings, the editors of Washington Monthly wrote the following about UCR:
“The UC campus in Riverside, ranked number two this year, stands out as a model for other public universities to follow. Riverside falls below most of its system peers by conventional measures. It’s not part of the ultra-exclusive Association of American Universities. It doesn’t enroll students with SAT scores so high that their graduation is all but guaranteed. Instead, Riverside is unusually focused on social mobility. Since 2006, its enrollment has grown by 25 percent. Half of all freshmen are first-generation college students, and the campus is the most racially and ethnically diverse within the UC system. Riverside’s focus on public service exceeds that of almost every other national university.”
Steven Brint, vice provost for Undergraduate Education at UCR, said the Washington Monthly rankings are significant because they “reflect the campus’s mission to unite academic excellence, broad access for motivated students, and community engagement.”
“Washington Monthly measures both the academic quality and the social contribution of colleges,” Brint said. “It is gratifying to see that the statistics have confirmed the outstanding record of our campus. People around the country are starting to ask, ‘How does UCR do it?’”
Paul Glastris, editor in chief of Washington Monthly, said that UCR stands out as a model for other public universities to follow, adding “Riverside’s focus on public service exceeds that of almost every other national university.”
UCR was third overall in community service participation and hours served and was first in federal work-study funds spent on service.
“This ranking demonstrates again that UCR is among the very best at what really matters—making a world-class education accessible to students from every background, and helping students to achieve their dreams,” agreed Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Paul D’Anieri. “UCR has become a magnet for talented students and faculty, and together they are setting a high bar for what a university can do.”
Four University of California campuses appeared among the top five schools in the survey, which appears in the September/October issue of the magazine. UC San Diego was first, UC Berkeley third and UCLA fifth.