2021 US News rankings and the UC's


I found this to be interesting:

Other than UCB and UCLA, which did not change from the previous year, most of the other UC’s rankings increased from the previously year’s 2020 rankings to the current US News 2021 rankings:

UCSB #34 for 2020 to #30 for 2021;
UCI #36 to 35;
UCSD #37 to 35;
UCD #39 to 39, no change;
UCR #91 to 88;
UCM #104 to 97; and
UCSC #84 to 97 (decreased 13 spots)

Note that despite being accepted in 2019 to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), UCSC’s ranking decreased. Excluding UCR and UCM, all UC’s are AAU members, which includes all Ivy League schools, Stanford, MIT, other elite private schools, elite state flagship public schools like Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc., totaling 63 US universities.

IMO the US News rankings are utterly useless for anything but school search (like for specific majors.) Although UCLA and UCB might be the most-famous ones, the UC name as a whole is extremely well-regarded on the West-coast. :smile:

Kudos to the UC System for providing a top flight education at a cost that is reasonably affordable to in-state students. I also appreciate that UC admissions are comparatively fair and not tainted by legacy, donor, and VIP preferences. Students must really earn their admission to a UC.


Above is a link for AAU members including the 7 UC members and the US News 2020 rankings of all 63 members.

Agreed…UCSC is the only UC to drop on US News Rankings this year…all others seem to keep going up…amazing newest 16 year old UC Merced is tied with Santa Cruz already…all UC’s now in Top 40 (Public) and Top 100 (Nationally)…


LOL - Nevermind what I said about UC admissions not being tainted by legacy, donor, VIP preferences…So naive…

I saw that today ha! I still think it’s comparitively much better than the pack, but far from immune.

Is there any reason in particular why UCSC dropped while all the others went up, or was that just luck of the draw?

I was wondering myself regarding UCSC because UCR moved ahead at #88 while UCSC and UCM are tied at #97. In 2018, UCSC was at #81, UCR #124 and UCM #165. In 2013, UCSC was at #77, UCR #101. In 2012 UCSC was at #75, UCR #97. That is all the records I have for all UC’s.

Just general impressions that may not relate directly to factors that go into rankings, but UCSC has been embattled lately with grad students striking, lack of housing, and the wildfires that came pretty close to campus, causing evacuations. The campus is situated in a norcal forest.

UC-Riverside does have a program allowing direct admit to their med school. That could really be a draw for students, considering how difficult it is to be admitted to any med school, plus - in state tuition for med school is nice.

UC Riverside had the largest US News gain of any college in the NATION (39 spots) from #124 in 2018 to #85 in 2019. Some of the reasons are similar high graduation rates for Pell vs non-Pell recipients and almost identical high graduation rates regardless of ethnicity. Ranking #1 on the Social Mobility Index the last few years helps as well as the fact that UCR has the first new Medical School in California in 50 years. Is one of the fastest growing UC’s for a reason still having a personal touch and more collaborative education than many of the other locations. Riverside county is now the third fastest growing county in the NATION with growth projected through year 2065…the campus is positioned to move upward and onward in a big way in the future. Good article about that biggest US News jump in the nation here…