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Student Success 2022

Cal State LA continues to rank among top universities in college guide

September 09, 2022

Cal State LA News Service

Graduates celebrating at the 2022 commencement ceremony.
Photo: Cal State LA's Class of 2022 celebrates graduation in the Commencement Pavilion. (Credit: Robert Huskey/Cal State LA)

Washington Monthly magazine has again ranked Cal State LA among the top universities in the nation in its recently released annual rankings.

The magazine’s 2022 College Guide and Rankings listed Cal State LA at number three in the “Best Master’s Universities” category. The University moved up two spots from last year.

Cal State LA continues to be ranked number three in the West in the “Best Bang for the Buck” category, which includes colleges and universities that offer students the opportunity to obtain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

“Our graduates climb the ladder of success with less debt holding them back,” said William A. Covino, president of Cal State LA. “They’re using their education to create the lives they want for themselves and their families, while contributing to their communities.”

Washington Monthly ranks universities and colleges based on their contribution to the public good, considering factors that include social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

An Economic Mobility Index report, released this year by the think tank Third Way, puts Cal State LA at number one in the U.S. for providing the most economic mobility based on the number of students the institutions enrolled and the best return on investment. The study found that only 17% of full-time undergraduates at Cal State LA had to take out federal student loans.

The Third Way study confirmed the findings of other research, including a groundbreaking study by Opportunity Insights (formerly called The Equality of Opportunity Project) that examined the role of colleges and universities in helping individuals climb the income ladder. The study found that Cal State LA has propelled a higher percentage of students from the bottom fifth of income into the top fifth of U.S. earners, and ranked Cal State LA number one in the nation for upward mobility.

Cal State LA is committed to engagement, service, and the public good. The university is deeply involved in the communities it serves. During the pandemic, the campus served as one of the first vaccination sites named by the Biden administration, and provided the vaccine to hundreds of thousands of people from underserved communities.

The university is leading a regional consortium of colleges and universities participating in the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program. The consortium offers meaningful civic and community engagement opportunities to at least 200 low-to-moderate income students, helping to reduce their college debt through financial support while addressing key challenges facing some of the most underserved communities in the eastern region of Los Angeles county.

Last month the university launched the Los Angeles Innocence Project at Cal State LA. The partnership identifies and investigates cases of individuals with credible claims of actual innocence, and litigates those claims when new evidence supports overturning a conviction. Project attorneys will work to test the viability, reliability and accuracy of evidence used to convict their clients in collaboration with faculty and students in the California Forensic Science Institute and School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics at Cal State LA.

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit