Here’s why UCLA is the Best University in America.
About 21% of freshmen and 43% of students who transfer to Cal University receive Pell Grants, a government scholarship designed to help low- and middle-income families afford college. These highly motivated students make great strides on their own. Cal graduates earn enough to recoup college fees in an average of 1.45 years.
Golden Bears (as UCLA graduates are called) from low-income families are even more successful: they pay back their college expenses in just 0.7 years.
The University of California – One of The Best Colleges in America
These statistics explain why Berkeley was named one of the top colleges in the United States by Forbes this year. In the new ranking, colleges with the largest number of students from different segments of the population received special recognition. Unlike the 9,000 UCLA graduates in 2021, there are only 1,500 at Harvard.
Only 12% of Harvard students receive Pell Grants, which explains why the famous 384-year-old private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which consistently tops the lists of the best colleges, dropped to 7th place in the Forbes ranking.
Three other UC campuses in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Davis ranked in the top 25, and the other five campuses made the Forbes list of the top 600 out of 2,700 four-year colleges. UC Merced, located in one of the state’s lowest-income regions, made the list for the first time this year at No. 252.
UC has been the model for US public higher education for over 150 years. At its founding in 1868, state and higher education leaders conceived of the first University of California as an institution that would provide affordable, hands-on education to a wide range of residents. California had become a state less than two decades earlier, in 1850.
The flagship campus began operations in Auckland and moved to Berkeley in 1873.
In 1919, the University of California expanded south into the growing city of Los Angeles, taking over part of a public institution, the Normal School, which was founded in 1881 to train teachers. Then came the University of California at Davis, which in 1959 was incorporated into the University of California as a full-fledged campus.
Its roots go back to 1908 when it was founded under the name University Farm as a research and higher education institution for the original University of California in the Bay Area, famous for its agricultural programs, Davis is one of the best educational institutions in the country for the study of viticulture and the art of winemaking.
In the 1960s, UCLA and Department of Education executives expected student enrollments to skyrocket when Baby Boomers reached college age. They developed the California Higher Education Master Plan, which included three-degree programs.
The plan confirmed UC’s mission as the state’s leading research institution. Today, 9% of California’s top high school graduates are guaranteed enrollment.
Community College System
California also has an accredited system of 116 community colleges and the California State University system with 23 campuses. An important aspect of the Master Plan is that students from one of the state’s community colleges are given an advantage in admission to the University of California, which creates opportunities for students from different backgrounds. Today, 29% of UCLA graduates start their college degree at a community college.
The UC system as a whole has over 285,000 students, including 226,000 undergraduate students. More than three-quarters of these students are California residents. This high percentage of California students is unusual for a prestigious public university. Out-of-state students are often preferred at public universities as they pay higher tuition fees.
The popularity of the UC system continues to grow. For the fall of 2021, a record number of applications from 250,000 applicants were submitted, which is 16% more than in the fall of 2020, with the number of applications from residents growing by 13% and from non-residents by 44%.
This resulted in a record enrollment of students, including over 84,200 accepted freshmen from California, the largest number of diverse students, and the largest number of students transferring from community colleges. So UC is the Best University in The USA.