For the second consecutive time, UCI tops The New York Times’ College Access Index of U.S. universities based on their commitment to economic diversity. Gilberto Cardenas/UCI

‘Doing the most for the American dream’

UCI again tops New York Times’ College Access Index for its commitment to upward mobility

When it comes to enabling students to achieve the American dream, no university matches UCI.

For the second consecutive time, the campus tops The New York Times’ College Access Index of U.S. universities based on their commitment to economic diversity. The ranking takes into account the number of low- and middle-income students that a college enrolls and the price it charges them.

UCI was No. 1 in The New York Times’ previous College Access Index as well, in 2015.

“We’re thrilled to once again be recognized as the leading campus in the United States providing access to all qualified students, no matter what their background,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We are proud to offer California’s brightest young people a world-class education and the opportunity to pursue the lives they want to lead as productive and informed citizens.”

The ranking comes a week after the U.S. Department of Education named UCI a Hispanic-serving institution for 2017-18, meaning that fully one-quarter of undergraduates identify as Latino and that half of all students receive financial aid. This builds on the campus’s designation earlier this year as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution, demonstrating its dedication to access and diversity.

Both classifications are part of a federal program to help universities support first-generation and low-income students. They increase UCI’s eligibility for funding and grants to boost financial aid and other student services, to purchase scientific and laboratory equipment, for faculty development and to improve classrooms.

The College Access Index is the latest in a series of rankings that put UCI in the top tier of U.S. universities.

It was No. 8 in Forbes’ 2017 Best Value College survey, which judged 300 schools on their ability to deliver “the best bang for the tuition buck based on tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success.”

Last year, U.S. News & World Report rated UCI the ninth-best public university in America, and Money magazine placed it at No. 16 among four-year institutions for “educational quality, affordability and alumni success.” This year, Money also included UCI in “The 25 Best Public Colleges for Big Paychecks.”

In addition, the Sierra Club’s Sierra magazine has named the campus a top 10 “Cool School” seven years in a row for its innovative sustainability programs.

It’s quite impressive for a beach school. Yes, UCI tops that ranking too.

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