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Vol 56 No. 9 | August 2004
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CSULB Named of the Top 3 Public Universities in the WestCSULB Among Top 3 Public Universities in the West

By Rick Gloady

California State University, Long Beach has been ranked one of the top three public masters universities in the west by U.S. News and World Report in its 2005 America's Best Colleges Guide, which was released on Friday, Aug. 20.

In addition, Cal State Long Beach was ranked among the top 32 colleges and universities of all 129 private and public master's institutions in the western United States, placing it in the first tier of rankings (the top 25 percent) for the first time in the university's history.

"All of us at Cal State Long Beach have believed that we offer the academic quality and student support that warrant inclusion in U.S. News and World Report's upper tier," said Robert C. Maxson, university president. "It is especially gratifying to achieve this recognition in a survey that claims national attention. The full credit here goes to the outstanding faculty and dedicated staff who work to the benefit of our students every day."

As defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, institutions in the universities-master's category provide a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's level programs. They also offer few, if any, doctoral programs.Cal State Long Beach offers two doctorate degrees.

In U.S. News and World Report's survey methodology, colleges provide data for up to 15 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects publication officials' judgment regarding how much a measure matters. Finally, the colleges in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score.

Among the indicators used to measure the academic quality of the colleges and universities were: peer assessment (weighted by 25 percent), retention (25 percent in master's colleges), faculty resources (20 percent), student selectivity (15 percent), financial resources (10 percent) and alumni giving rate (5 percent).

CSULB also ranked first in the West among universities-master's institutions in least debt load, meaning graduate's from the university's Class of 2003 graduated with the lightest debt load in the West. Some 29 percent of CSULB students graduating in 2003 had a debt load of $6,319 to top the list. By way of comparison, some 89 percent of 2003 graduates from the University of Great Falls in Montana graduated with a debt load of $29,483, placing them among the 'most debt' list.

Finally, Cal State Long Beach was also mentioned as one of west's top universities-master's institutions in student body diversity, ranking seventh with a diversity index of 0.67. (The formula produces a diversity index that ranges from 0.0 to 1.0.  The closer a school's number is to 1.0, the more diverse is the student population).

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