Competing in the "National University" category -- a group of more than 280 public and private institutions that includes Princeton, Harvard and UCLA -- University of the Pacific again ranked in the "first tier" in U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Colleges ratings.

U.S. News awarded University of the Pacific especially high marks for its ethnic diversity (Pacific tied for the fifth-highest diversity score), its value (No. 47) and its undergraduate engineering program (No. 45). Pacific also made the magazine's short list of "A-Plus Schools for B Students."

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Pacific News

U.S. News Ranks Pacific a 'First Tier' National University

Sep 10, 2013

Competing in the "National University" category -- a group of more than 280 public and private institutions that includes Princeton, Harvard and UCLA -- University of the Pacific again ranked in the "first tier" in U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Colleges ratings.

U.S. News awarded Pacific especially high marks for its ethnic diversity (Pacific tied for the fifth-highest diversity score), its value (No. 47) and its undergraduate engineering program (No. 45). Pacific also made the magazine's short list of "A-Plus Schools for B Students."

"No ranking can capture the full value that a university offers its students, but I am pleased at how well Pacific performed in this year's U.S. News 'Best Colleges' guide," said University President Pamela A. Eibeck. "These latest rankings reflect what we all know: Pacific is an academically competitive university that embraces a diverse, engaged student body. It is a superb choice for anyone who seeks a teaching-focused, small private university with challenging academics."

Overall, Pacific ranked No. 112 among 281 first-tier national universities, tied with UC Riverside, the University of Dayton (OH), the University of South Carolina, and the University of St. Thomas (MN). The overall ranking represented a six-point drop for Pacific from the magazine's 2013 rankings, a statistically insignificant change. For the past five years, Pacific has consistently ranked near the midpoint on the magazine's top-tier "National University" list, the most competitive field in the rankings, where Stanford, Yale and Columbia also vie. This year, 64 universities were listed in the "second tier" of the National University category.

In California, 19 public and private universities ranked in the National University "top tier." They are, in order from highest to lowest: Stanford, California Institute of Technology, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Southern California, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Pepperdine, UC Santa Cruz, University of San Diego, UC Riverside and University of the Pacific (tied), University of San Francisco, San Diego State University, University of La Verne, Azusa Pacific University, and Biola University. Of the 10 private California colleges in the National University category, Pacific ranked sixth.

U.S. News ranks many of California's small private universities, including the Santa Clara University, Chapman University, and Mills College, in the "West" division of its "Regional Universities" category. This makes it difficult to compare Pacific directly with some of its private peers on the annual U.S. News rankings.

Highlights of the U.S. News 2014 "Best Colleges" rankings

Great School at a Great Price. U.S. News ranked University of the Pacific No. 47 among 281 national universities on its list of "Great Schools at Great Prices." The ranking took into account schools' academic quality and net cost of attendance after need-based financial aid. "Only schools in or near the top half of their U.S. News ranking categories are included because U.S. News considers the most significant values to be among colleges that perform well academically," the magazine explained on its 2014 rankings website.

Ethnic Diversity. The magazine singled out 20 of the 281 national universities for their ethnic diversity. "College-bound students interested in studying with people of different backgrounds will want to consider stats on racial and ethnic diversity," the magazine noted on its website. U.S. News awarded Pacific a 0.70 score for diversity on a scale that ranged from 0.0 to 1.0, putting Pacific in a tie for the fifth-best score with Georgia State University, MIT, UCLA, UC Riverside, and the University of Texas-Arlington. 

A-Plus Schools for B Students. "So you're a scholar trapped in the GPA of a B student, and your heart is set on a great college. There's hope," U.S. News wrote in the introduction to its list of top-tier national universities "where nonsuperstars have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving - where spirit and hard work could make all the difference to admissions offices." The magazine selected 89 schools for this ranking, listing the schools alphabetically with information about students' academic competitiveness. At Pacific, the middle two quartiles of students have SAT/ACT scores between 1,070 and 1,340, the average GPA is 3.5, and 75 percent of freshmen graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school class.

Best in Undergraduate Engineering. Pacific tied for the No. 45 spot among top-tier national universities. The 19-way tie includes such institutions as California State University Long Beach; Pennsylvania State University, Erie; and the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

More information about the rankings of more than 1,600 colleges and universities: www.usnews.com/colleges

About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first university in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy, and health sciences. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes the acclaimed Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. More information: www.pacific.edu.