By: Sydney Charles
Photography by: Kate Rutz-Robbins
U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Irvine as the No. 9 public university in the U.S. in its Top Public Schools ranking. UCI also ranked as the no. 2 most sustainable university in Sierra Magazine, and took the #1 spot in Money Magazine as the best university for “cost” and “quality.”
For the past five years, UCI has secured a place in Money Magazine’s top 20, but this year the university was able to obtain the top spot due to considerations of diverse data including “graduation rates, tuition fees, family borrowing, and alumni salaries” in order to determine maximum “quality” and “affordability,” Chancellor Howard Gillman saidon UCI earning the No. 1 title for the digital magazine.
“We are thrilled to be ranked No. 1 by Money and once again among the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “This latest recognition of our national leadership in combining outstanding academics with outstanding value is testament to the concerted efforts of our faculty, staff, students, and supporters. It is our mission and our privilege to ensure that a world-class education is available to talented and ambitious students of all backgrounds and circumstances.”
According to Sierra Magazine, UCI’s many sustainable resources were a principal focus of the university’s high rank: “UCI has added more EV charging stations and finished converting its central-cooling plant to a system that conserves over 80 million gallons of potable water per year while cooling campus buildings—17 of which are certified LEED Platinum and seven of which are zero-waste facilities.”
For second-year nursing major, Nikita Paul, the eco-friendly qualities are part of what makes the Orange County campus unique.
“I think that UCI is very different from other campuses. It’s not so much about competing with friends, there’s more support,” she said. “I [also] appreciate that we’re trying to be eco-friendly. There’s lots of outlets that reward being friendly towards the environment, and I feel like a lot of campuses don’t do that.”
Graduation outcomes, expert opinions, faculty influence, student excellence, financial resources, and strong alumni donations, are some of the ranking indicators that allowed UCI to snatch the No. 9 spot for the 2020 U.S. ranking, as well as the No. 36 crown in the national university category for U.S News & World Report.
Third-year dance major Cayla Flagg also reflected on the admirable aspects of UCI as a high-ranking college of excellence.
She said, “It’s incredible that UCI chooses to give out so many scholarships to help grant more people access to equal opportunities [in order to pursue] a higher education, while also ranking high in academics. This beautifully demonstrates that we are capable of achieving excellence, no matter our backgrounds.”
Vice Chancellor Willie Banks explained that the recent rankings strike a perpetual pride in his heart.
“The rankings from Money Magazine, US News and World Report reinforces what we have long believed: the University of California, Irvine is providing our students with a world class education while keeping student affordability in mind,” said Vice Chancellor Banks. “I am proud to be affiliated with an institution with a keen eye for attracting and retaining the best students from not only California, but also from across the country and internationally. The work our faculty and staff provide to elevate our student experience is top-notch and transforms the whole student.”