Money magazine ranks Pacific as one of nation’s best colleges

students stand by columns on campus

University of the Pacific is one of the best colleges in the nation, according to a new ranking by Money magazine.

California’s first university received 4.5 out of 5 stars. Only Stanford University and Cal Tech ranked higher among the state’s private universities. Nationally, only 4.6 percent of the schools ranked higher than Pacific.

This is the first year Money magazine used a star rating system. The new method is intended to help families of prospective students get a better understanding of a college’s value.

Colleges were evaluated on three main criteria: quality, affordability and student outcomes.

“Our students go on to have extraordinarily successful careers,” said Pacific President Christopher Callahan. “Our faculty do an outstanding job providing students with the knowledge, critical thinking skills and hands-on experiences they need to excel in the workplace and in life.”

Money magazine found that Pacific graduates were among the nation’s top in career earnings. The median early career earnings for Pacific students are $81,000 annually, according to the report.

The study also found that Pacific’s yearly cost for students who received aid—$22,800—is lower than most of its peers, and only $10,400 for low-income students. Both are the lowest costs to students compared to the other eight West Coast Conference schools – Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, Santa Clara University, St. Mary’s College, University of San Francisco, University of Portland and University of San Diego.

Pacific was second among the WCC schools in student debt at less than $20,000.

The university also scored highly in the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings for “Best Value Schools,” coming in at No. 5 among public and private universities in California.

Founded in 1851, Pacific is California’s first and oldest university with campuses in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. Pacific had nearly 6,300 students enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the fall of 2022.

The university is known for providing small class sizes and student-centered learning while also offering the resources and opportunities of a large university. Pacific offers more than 80 undergraduate programs in its nine schools and colleges and more than 40 graduate programs.