The Forbes ranking, which evaluated 300 schools on their ability to deliver the best bang for the tuition buck, is the latest in a series placing UCI in the top tier of U.S. colleges. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., April 24, 2019 — When it comes to getting the best value for your tuition dollar, UCI is No. 1 in the nation among public universities, according to Forbes magazine.

Overall, UCI placed third in the Forbes 2019 Best Value Colleges survey, which rated 300 schools on their ability to deliver value, based on costs, academic quality, graduation rates, student debt and postgrad earnings.

Brigham Young University and Princeton University led the list, with UCI outpacing Harvard University, the University of Washington, Stanford University, UCLA and other elite institutions. Last year, UCI rated fourth among all schools in the survey.

“I am delighted that Forbes has reaffirmed our mission of educating California’s brightest students, regardless of their circumstances or background,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We feel privileged to enable and empower our students to pursue their own American dream of a productive and satisfying life.”

Forbes writes that its Best Value Colleges ranking “is focused on that human angle. Most students and their families are interested in value over prestige. And with the May 1 College Signing Day, the deadline for most college-bound students to accept an offer, right around the corner, it is the definitive guide for those looking for an excellent return on one of the most important investments of their lives.”

The Forbes list is the latest in a series placing UCI in the top tier of national colleges. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks it the seventh-best public university in America. The New York TimesCollege Access Index has twice rated UCI No. 1 among U.S. universities doing the most for the American dream and providing unparalleled opportunity for social mobility.

Money magazine also put it at No. 3 on its 2018 list of the “best colleges in the U.S.” According to Money, the included schools “deliver a superior education at an affordable price, enabling graduates to avoid heavy debt and succeed in the workplace.” And in the 2018 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings of top U.S. colleges, the campus placed third for offering a productive learning environment.

UCI’s earned reputation for providing value, accessibility and affordability for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status, has made it the most popular college destination for California’s college-bound high school seniors.

More than 70,000 aspiring in-state freshmen applied to attend UCI this fall. Additionally, the university was the top choice for first-generation students and those from low-income families and underrepresented groups – all of whom have not historically had access to a world-class college education.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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