UC Davis lands top 10 spot in Forbes’ Best Value Colleges rankings

Just in time for college decision day on Monday, Forbes released its rankings of America’s Best Value Colleges – and the University of California system rules the top 10.

UC Berkeley claimed the No. 1 spot, but our region’s UC Davis wasn’t far behind – at No. 9. UCLA came in at No. 2 and UC Irvine nabbed No. 8. Another top state school, Stanford, landed at No. 7. UC San Diego just missed the top 10, ranking at No. 11.

The top California State University campus was Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, at No. 73. Sacramento State came in at No. 258.

“The question we begin with is not ‘What’s the “best” school?’ but whether a college will deliver a meaningful return on investment,” Forbes says of its rankings. It takes into account tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success in its index of 300 schools.

Among the most interesting conclusions from the rankings, according to Forbes: Those top private Northeast institutions seem to have lost some of their luster. The West claims more than half of the top spots in the rankings, and five of the top 10 are public schools. All emphasize research and have strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

Check out the full rankings at

Forbes’ top 10 America’s Best Value Colleges

  • 1. UC Berkeley
  • 2. UCLA
  • 3. Princeton
  • 4. University of Florida
  • 5. Harvard
  • 6. MIT
  • 7. Stanford
  • 8. UC Irvine
  • 9. UC Davis
  • 10. Brigham Young
Related stories from Sacramento Bee