Are you eyeing any of these colleges and universities?

With the first “early decision” college-application deadline looming on Nov. 1 and colleges adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2021’s Best College & University Rankings report.

In a fierce global economy, a college degree can help secure employment and keep you ahead of the competition. And though success ultimately rests on students’ own determination and performance, the quality of the schools they choose can certainly have an impact. However, attending higher education requires more than just the grades to get in, according to Adam McCann, financial writer for WalletHub. You’ll also need the financial resources to attend. On average, tuition and room and board at a four-year college costs around $22,000 – $50,000 per year. It varies depending on the school’s public or private status and whether it’s in-state. For those prices, students want to know they are getting a good deal.

To help college-bound seniors choose the best schools within their states, WalletHub compared over 1,000 higher-education institutions in the U.S. based on 30 key measures grouped into seven categories, such as Student Selectivity, Cost & Financing and Career Outcomes. The data set ranges from student-faculty ratio to graduation rate to post-attendance median salary.

Top 10 Colleges & Universities in California

1. California Institute of Technology
6. University of California-Los Angeles
2. Stanford University
7. Harvey Mudd College
3. University of California-Berkeley
8. University of Southern California
4. Pomona College
9. University of California-Irvine
5. Claremont McKenna College
10. University of California-San Diego

With that in mind, here’s a closer look at some of the top schools and how each performed in certain metrics:

School Snapshot: California Institute of Technology (1 = Best; 34 = Average; 68 = Worst):

  • 2nd – Admission Rate
  • 62nd – Net Cost
  • 1st – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 62nd – On-Campus Crime
  • 22nd – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 1st – Graduation Rate
  • 3rd – Post-Attendance Median Salary

School Snapshot: Stanford University (1 = Best; 34 = Average; 68 = Worst):

  • 1st – Admission Rate
  • 56th – Net Cost
  • 2nd – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 23rd – On-Campus Crime
  • 2nd – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 1st – Graduation Rate
  • 1st – Post-Attendance Median Salary

School Snapshot: University of California-Berkeley (1 = Best; 34 = Average; 68 = Worst):

  • 8th – Admission Rate
  • 46th – Net Cost
  • 46th – Student-Faculty Ratio
  • 49th – On-Campus Crime14th – Gender & Racial Diversity
  • 3rd – Graduation Rate
  • 10th – Post-Attendance Median Salary

To view the full reports, please visit:

Best Colleges & Universities Overall: click here.

Best Colleges: Click here.

Best Universities: Click here.


Image Sources

  • Stanford: Image by Susanna Berggren from Pixabay