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Princeton Review Names UC San Diego Top University for Return-on-Investment

Princeton Review Rankings

Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications

The University of California, San Diego has earned top recognition in The Princeton Review’s new rankings for the return-on-investment the campus offers to students. UC San Diego is ranked the nation’s 31st best college for students seeking great academics, outstanding career preparation and generous financial aid. The campus is also named a great value, taking the No. 21 spot ­­as the best U.S. college for students who are not eligible for financial aid.

For the new rankings, The Princeton Review developed a return-on-education (ROE) rating—what students pay for college versus their career earnings after graduation. The ROE rankings evaluated 650 schools, measuring 40 weighted data points including everything from academics, cost, financial aid and student debt to statistics on graduation rates, alumni salaries and job satisfaction.

“We are pleased that UC San Diego’s return-on-investment for our students is once again highly ranked,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego’s stellar academic programs and outstanding faculty prepare our students to be successful in their careers and trailblazers in their fields.”

The rankings were released in the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review book, “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In.”

The Princeton Review praised UC San Diego for the financial aid packages it offers to students, as more than half of UC San Diego’s undergraduates receive some form of need-based aid.

“We salute and highly recommend UC San Diego and all of our ‘Colleges That Pay You Back’ schools,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president/publisher and lead author of the book. “[These schools] stand out for their excellent academics, impressive career preparation services and affordability to students with need via comparatively low sticker prices, generous financial aid or both. Plus, their students graduate with great career prospects.”

The company based its ROE rating on data collected in 2013-14 from surveys of administrators and students at 650 colleges, plus surveys conducted by PayScale.com through April 2014 of alumni of the same schools.

In the book’s profile of UC San Diego, The Princeton Review editors praise the school for its affordability. The profile also reports PayScale.com figures on median salaries of UC San Diego’s alumni, showing the median starting salary as $49,300 and median mid-career (15 years of experience) salary as $101,000.

The Princeton Review rankings follow a recent PayScale.com report which also commended UC San Diego for the earning potential of its alumni. UC San Diego is listed as the 11th best public university in the U.S. for the average mid-career salary of alumni.

For more information on the 2015 edition of The Princeton Review’s “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best Value Colleges and What It Takes to Get In,” go here.