Sure, California has its share of globally recognized universities, including Stanford, Caltech and UC Berkeley. But do we have schools that offer reasonable tuition rates (or at least some help paying for school) and a sense of social consciousness?
We do. The magazine Washington Monthly recently came up with its own national rankings of campuses that graduate low-income students while also offering "contribution to the public good:"
Yes, Southern California, the land of "affluenza," off-menu ordering and personal grooming services galore, does quite well in the ranking.
UC San Diego tops the list, UC Riverside comes in second, and UCLA rounds out the top 10.
The criteria includes percentage of students receiving Pell Grands (32 percent for UCLA), net price of school ($14,474 for UCLA) and community service participation rank (28th for UCLA).
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We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).
We never thought of UCLA kids as particularly giving, unless we're talking about keggers on frat row. Now we know.